The Panic Bird is Back


As I type I’m slamming large mugs of decaf jasmine sleepy time tea. Forgive me if I slump over in a completely relaxed hump on top of my computer yielding a post of jibberish. I’m mostly hoping that this damn anxiety will shake. There is so much I want to being doing right now. I want to finish my current YA read and sink into East of Eden. Blogging and responding to comments and visiting other blog lovelies would be nice. I would most enjoy some sleep and by “some sleep” I mean a solid 12-hour chunk of restful slumber.

But I can’t sleep. Partly because of children and partly because I just stare with dry burning eyes at the ceiling each night waiting for sleep. I find little pockets of time to read and write and completely lack the energy to do it. And yes, I have cut back on coffee. I need some coffee because the two to four hours of sleep each night renders me useless and I have to keep trudging on. If you haven’t noticed, I have a touch of the clinical depression with a giant heap of generalized anxiety on top. Lovely. I’m reminding myself each day that I am one day closer to this spell being over, but it feels like I will feel like this forever. That’s a hopeless feeling. To know you have a good life but to be unable to decide it you want to cry or realizing you can’t cry because your heart and breath throttle your chest so hard. You bastard panic bird. I once listened to a TED talk where the speaker discussed anxiety as constantly having that feeling that you are about to fall. Yes. Falling. It sucks.

My depression and an anxiety haven’t been this severe for several years. Part of the contribution to my current state is from a million little things that add up to make a big, ugly landslide of mental illness. These things on their own wouldn’t be too bad, but things are just hitting me at a time when I feel a bit vulnerable.

I’ve gained 40 pounds in the past few months. That’s partly why I nixed vegetarianism; I thought maybe I needed to reassess my food intake (too much bread or cheese, maybe?). I started back to therapy to make sure my binge eating was under control and I have not binged since April as a result. I’m doing low-impact aerobics and swimming a few days a week. I’m back to logging food on the Weight Watcher app. I’m drinking less coffee and more water. Still… weight gain. I noticed my right ankle swelling to the point of painfulness, but if I stretch out on the floor with my foot above my head it goes away within ten minutes. I also have splotches on both feet. Off to the doctor I went and I’m still waiting for some test results. Oh, and my joints ache. I’ve lost three pounds in the past week, but mostly that is from the exercise and not eating for most of the day. That sounds worse than it is… I’m just not hungry until lunchtime. This gaining weight and feeling awful isn’t good for my self image, I feel like a fat fuck-up on most days.

I have a long list of other stuff to write, but I just can’t. Maybe the tea has kicked in? My kids are challenging right now, our Dolores Umbridge character at work is being especially Umbridg-y, and I’m just tired of noise.

All this to say…

I don’t know. What was I going to say. I had a point and now I’ve lost it. I can’t uncloud my thoughts long enough to figure out my point. I’m going to bed now. If you believe in God please pray I get some uninterrupted sleep. And if you don’t believe in God then send me a good wish or twelve.



  1. high levels of stress will cause weight gain for no reason, even if your diet and exercise don’t change. which of course is both true and unhelpful. i’m sorry friend. praying you don’t get to know your ceiling intimately tonight. which sounds… sketchy at best.

  2. I’m so sorry. I know it doesn’t mean anything, but you are not alone. I have been struggling with weight gain in spite of doing everything right – exercise, monitoring caloric intake, food journaling, etc. It is frustrating and upsetting and becomes a vicious cycle. BUT, I am trying to take things one day at a time. I have three or four journals in which to help channel the self-defeatist thoughts and to motivate me when I get really down. It isn’t easy. I still haven’t seen the scale move or my clothes fit any better. I just have to have faith that they will if I keep going. Just as I have faith that you will have better days and sleepy nights.

    You are in my thoughts as you take one day at a time.

  3. I’m so sorry you are going through a rough time. I am wondering..have you had your thyroid checked? I know when mine is off even a little bit, I gain weight without reason, feel achy all over and my depression, insomnia and anxiety are almost unbearable. If you can find a functional medicine practitioner near you that can do hormone and comprehensive thyroid testing, it’s totally worth it. I went through a really dark period where I thought there was no hope and it was like night and day once I started to treat my thyroid condition. I hope you feel better soon! *Hugs*

  4. Oh wow. So sorry you are struggling with all this. Definitely praying here for you. I’ve had you on my mind a lot this week knowing that your kids were headed back to school. I hope they are all transitioning well to their new classes. Praying for sleep and for test results that are conclusive and helpful. Hang in there!

  5. Not sleeping – for whatever reason – is awful. *Hugs* Hope you get some soon. I know it doesn’t cure ALL anxiety, but it certainly does help!

  6. I for one can say I know how you feel because other than the eating disorder I suffer from the same problems. I have had severe panic disorder and GAD all my life. Meds have saved me but then comes the point where they stop working and the insomnia and squirriely stomach kick in and I’m useless. I am at that point now, again. And I worry mostly about health. Am I going to have a stroke? A heart attack? So I am off to the doctor on Tues to see what damage I’ve done to my body and either increase my meds or change them. I was a junk food vegetarian and gained many pounds. I’m now trying to be a healthy vegan and I’m losing weight. I also gave up my beloved coffee yesterday but I don’t know if that will last. As I’m writing this I’m drinking green jasmine but it should probably be herbal. Sorry for going on and on. I guess I needed to vent to someone who can understand. If you haven’t experienced it, you truly have no idea.

    I hope you start to feel better. I hope I start to feel better. You can always email me if you ever want to “talk.”

  7. Before I knew her, my highly trained and experienced nurse friend, Crazy Peggy, encountered a life-threatening situation with a bird when her pin-feather-covered baby cockatiel had a serious night fright and achieved a new world record of 49 broken blood feathers at once. In an understandable panic, she called a friend who was an emergency technician and aviculturist.

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