Survived Hawaii. Now waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I survived Hawaii. I’m patting myself on the back right now, because not only did I manage to maintain my sanity while I was there, I adjusted fairly well to the time difference (six hours), and I had a fabulous time.

Kona is breathtakingly beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it. And the people are lovely. Aloha Spirit puts Southern Hospitality to shame. There is something magical about the Big Island. The beaches are young, a local told me, meaning the black lava rock has not yet broken down into sand (little baby beaches!). It’s the only island with active volcanoes–three, to be exact–and what looks like fog in the photo below, is actually volcanic exhaust. How cool is that?

Coming back to DC has been tougher, than I expected. I guess it’s the jet lag. I read that west to east travel is harder on a body, so it’s not a complete surprise. The last few days have been rough. My sleep schedule has been way off kilter, and I’ve slipped into a bit of a funk.

Michael is leaving for another work trip this weekend and that has me really anxious.

I saw the shrink today and we talked about the anxiety. Impending Doom Syndrome kicks in, whenever Michael leaves for a trip. This is new. My head fills with thoughts of planes falling from the sky, and fiery car crashes. It seems like the more I try to block these thoughts, the more I catastrophize. And then I panic, as if simply thinking a horrible thought will actually bring it into being.

Dr. M. told me I’m experiencing Separation Distress, and that it’s a natural response to having lost my dad so suddenly. It’s comforting to hear that it is a natural part of the grieving process, but knowing that doesn’t stop the catastrophizing. Logic, shmogic. I feel ridiculous. Michael travels a couple of times a month for work, and this has never been an issue. Until now. I am this  close to wrapping myself around his ankle and begging him not to go.

I realize this is not a reasonable request.

I will just have to work this out.

Dr. M. increased my dose of Lamictal by 50mg. We were planning to do that, anyway, since I was on a pretty low dose for an adult. We’ll probably continue to increase it until I get to 200mg a day, then we’ll talk about weaning me off the Pristiq. He also switched me from Klonopin (which is slower to kick in but is a longer-acting benzo) to Ativan (which kicks in faster but isn’t as long-acting). He said he’d rather have me on something I can take as needed, instead of something I need to take twice daily. I agree. And I prefer Ativan. The Klonopin makes me feel like a derp.

He told me I should acknowledge this magical thinking, and remind myself that I am not able to create tragedy with my thoughts. He said, “think about the state of affairs we’d find ourselves in if that were true!”

Indeed.

He also suggested setting aside 15 minutes every day where I allow myself to worry. So, from 7 until 7:15pm I can worry and catastrophize to my heart’s content. This way, if anxiety starts creeping in, I can try to talk myself down by saying, I’ll put this aside for now. I’ll worry about this later.

We’ll see how well that  works out. But, I’ll give it a go.

In the meantime, until I master this, I will continue to reassure myself that what I am feeling is perfectly natural. It has a name. And I am not going to manifest tragedy just by thinking horrible thoughts.

And I’ll take another Ativan, and breeeeeeeathe.

 

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