Like most women, my hormonal balance has changed multiple times throughout my life. My current shift is moving into the late stages of reproduction. For me this has caused high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, and severe anxiety. The first two I’m on medication for, the last one I’m learning to recognized and negotiate all over again.
Let me clarify, Annie (or my anxiety) isn’t always demanding attention. Because she is so ingrained in my thinking, most days she’s sleeping in her pocket, where she doesn’t disturb me. We have learned to communicate and negotiate how she effects me and when. But now in my late 40s, there is a week out of every cycle (every 21 days) when she won’t settle down or be quiet.
For me it’s like Annie changed her mask, color, and shape… leaving her unrecognizable. I’m having to renegotiate all the things I had grown used to doing to get her to calm down. On really bad days, it doesn’t work and the pit in my stomach and compression in my chest won’t go away. Then the nausea takes over. On these days, I have learned to close my office door and work quietly while not making big decisions if they can wait.
I’ve learned that if I’m busy enough, she calms down because I don’t give her the space she wants. But as soon as things slow down, she starts screaming again.
Don’t misunderstand me… I logically know that there is nothing to worry about and that everything and everyone is fine. But when Annie stands up and starts screaming, it’s like my basic flight instinct is on overdrive. I feel as if something bad is going to happen. I suspect an attack at any moment, but have no idea from what corner. It feels as if with the slightest push, I’ll lose control and start crying or screaming whichever one will give the most relief. And while this is all happening, I KNOW that I’m being irrational. That this shouldn’t be happening and I should not feel this way. But Annie is there and she is in control.
I’ve also come to know that in when my hormones cycle back around, it will pass. That’s my blessing … her really bad screaming visits usually only last 2-3 days, then she quietly sits down and goes back to the usual routine of everyday normal worry and negotiation that I’m used to.
Those 2-3 days of screaming attacks at the top of her lungs, are hard to get through, but I am extremely grateful, that it’s only for 2-3 days.