Yesterday was bad. Today was better.
The chest pain I’ve had since July has moments when it seems to finally be easing. If I think about anything that makes me anxious, then the tightness and pain returns. However, there are moments throughout the day that I’m not distracted by the vice like grip on my chest. And that gives me hope. It’s so wonderful to be anxiety pain free, even if it’s just for a short while.
When you start new medication, particularly for mental health problems, you need to be patient. And expect side effects. The anxiety medication I’m taking – beta blockers – has so far caused a range of glamorous and convenient effects /s. So far I have dizziness and fatigue. I have slept from just after lunch time until 7pm today … oops! I’ve also been feeling really low. I’m not sure if that’s a side effect or just how I’m feeling! My antidepressants have been keeping me pretty level lately so maybe this new medication is just shaking things up a bit. I feel fuzzy. My thoughts are foggy and jumbled. If I stand too long, my heart rate becomes rapid and I sweat. I’ve had so many showers! If I don’t take the medication at precise intervals, I get palpatations and horrible chest pain. Chest pain that is much worse than it was before.
So why am I taking the medication? And why the hell am I openly writing about it?
Well, if you’re currently taking meds you need to not freak out if you’re currently struggling like I am. These side effects are normal and, most importantly, temporary. You are not getting worse. This will pass. Hold on to those moments when the chest pain eases. Hopefully this will happen more and more. It took about 2 weeks for the big side effects of antidepressants to fade and 6 weeks to feel that they were starting to work. So I’m expecting the same now. I also don’t expect these meds to treat my anxiety. CBT, mindfulness, exercise, meditation, self care … they will help me manage my anxiety. The medication just controls the horrible physical symptoms of anxiety.
So next stop, CBT.