Tuesday, July 28, 2009


"Awfulizing" is a term that Susan, my T, uses. It refers to when I allow my thoughts to run away with me into the worst possible scenarios. I used to do it constantly and I've gotten much better with it to the point I barely allow it at all. Lately, though, I've been serving up a hefty dose of it.
I have chronic pain in my left shoulder area. It's my stress spot where I am constantly in a state of clenched & tightened muscles. It causes pain, tenderness, aches, fatigue, spasms and general all-around unpleasantness in my shoulder, collarbone, neck, jaw, head, arm, chest, shoulderblade/back. It gets worse when I'm in a panic or anxiety mode. I've often thought I was having a heart attack because of the intensity of the pain.
It's particularly bad this week and I can feel it expanding now into the area of my ribs, lungs, neck. My body is very tricky in the manifestation of stress. It likes to attack in a certain way to send me into maximum panic and only when I finally accept that it's not a physical problem, it disappears and moves onto some other odd symptom. So the newest thing is this discomfort in the lung area of my chest as opposed to just the heart area. In addition, my chest feels kindof tight and it radiates up into my neck when I breathe deeply. So here I go.....
"I'm having a heart attack. No, that's not what it is. It's muscular, like the Dr said. But this is different pain, it's something new. It's heart failure, cardiomyopathy. It's Cancer. Oh God, I just know I have cancer, I'm sure of it. I can feel it spreading through my body like poison. It's TMJ. It's a brain tumor. I'm having an aneurysm. Bianca is going to find me dead on the floor. I'm going to die while driving and crash killing her, too. I should go see the Dr but I don't want to deal with it. It's lung failure. And what about those bruises? I bet I'm having kidney failure, too and I'm going to die from that. That's it, everything is diseased and I'm having total organ failure, just a question of which one is going to give out first. I'm about to die. I bet I won't even make it to Bianca's birthday party. What will she do without me?" Repeat, ad nauseum.
I can't seem to shake the awfulizing lately. I don't feel good. I'm sure the 99% humidity isn't helping since the air quality is crap for breathing right now. And I've been feeling extremely lightheaded which I'm sure has nothing to do with the fact that I seem to be completely inept at taking one stupid pill a day (Effexor) so I'm all over the place taking it every, oh, day & a half or so when I get the jitters & brain-buzzies that remind me I didn't take it.
I feel like a freak. I know I need to focus on my health but it's all tied into my addiction and I feel like I am only capable of baby steps right now. The "not-knowing" is bliss and torture at the same time.


VICKI IN AZ said...

Thinking of you.

Ethereal Highway said...

OMG. This happens to me all the time. It feels terrible.

jumpinginpuddles said...

wow we also get spasming shoulder pain