My Social Anxiety Life – Part Three

I’m at a crossroads in my Social Anxiety life. Do I go left or right?

They say for every action, there is a reaction. I’m sure Newton’s third law doesn’t really apply to what I will discuss in the following blog, but it makes sense enough to the subject in which I will be discussing. This is part three in a series of blog posts where I share my experiences in living with social anxiety.

In my last post, the discussion was about the revolving door of psychiatrists in my and the latest chapter that saw me not getting the help I needed. I knew after the appointment that there would be real-world consequences and they were felt today.

My social anxiety has reached high levels again after weeks of working to lower it to a reasonable level so that I can enjoy life outside my safe place—where I live. One thing that is always a constant in my battle to get my anxiety under control is my Ativan. When things are going good, I need less of it.

It is part of the reason why a couple of years ago I agreed with my doctor that lowering my Ativan intake would help me become less reliant on it. At the time it made sense, I had my anxiety well under control. The problem that arises with Ativan is that it is a controlled substance, so the government is forcing doctors to prescribe less of the medication because of its addictive qualities. I was never told this simple fact, they just gave it to me. I failed to realize the reason I had my social anxiety under control at the time was that I took a morning, afternoon, and evening dose.

Since changing to just a morning dose and an evening dose, my anxiety has done nothing but increase and at times at such high levels that I get to a point where I can’t leave my house for weeks at a time this year. That brings us to how yesterday’s action, me not being able to talk about adjusting my medication specifically my Ativan, has a negative reaction today.

I just went through a hard stretch of anxiety where I was forced to take more than my dose on certain days so that I could manage to leave my house. This week especially has been hard because of finals. My anxiety is just naturally higher during this time. When this happens, it depletes my Ativan greatly. Another reaction to this is that because Ativan is a controlled substance, the pharmacy won’t refill it early. It becomes my own personal catch-22 because I am damned if I force myself to only take my Ativan as prescribed my anxiety spirals and there really isn’t anything that I can do.

Over the last year and a half, it really has been a war with my doctors in whether they will increase my Ativan again. My doctors have tried different things to no avail, and I realize writing this I still have my CBT which helps, but it only goes so far. Some days I just wake up extremely anxious.

So today I tried what the doctor told me, “just take it like your Ativan like you’re supposed to.” I took my morning dosage at my regular time and by late afternoon it wore off. It was bad timing too because when my social anxiety reached its peak for the day, I was driving my car. By the time my anxiety had entered full panic attack mode I was pulled over on the road reaching for what little Ativan I had left. With some mindfulness breathing, I was able to get the anxiety under control. But why did it have to get to this point?

The best that I can do is try to not take my first dosage in the morning for as long as I can so that, by aking it in the afternoon, it will help me survive my day. I will have to deal with some level of anxiety by increasing my morning meditation, and my mindfulness breathing to throughout the day. I have to find a way to use my CBT to an advantage again.

I think my biggest problem is that often when things are good I think I don’t need to do my mindfulness breathing and my CBT. The truth is with everything that I deal with health wise daily combined with school and writing, there are just not enough awake hours in the day to really fix my issues. I must find balance, which has never been my strong trait in life.

I must continue the process as I work towards fixing my social anxiety life because the consequences could mean hospitalization and deeper into my current depression cycle.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Yeshi Kangrang

19 Replies to “My Social Anxiety Life – Part Three”

  1. I understand you all to well hun…
    Anxiety for over 6 months maybe has been out of control and getting harder to leave the house…
    Hang in there the best that you can…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can totally empathize with you. For myself, I have also lowered my doses because I do not want to be hooked forever, but the thought of not being to have access to them is terrifying. I hope your finals go well and you find a balance. It is not easy but you are fighting through it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is scary to think of not having access. They don’t tell you in the beginning how much you will have to rely on them. As bad as my anxiety was it has gotten worse over the years. It’s not the pills but it’s a contributing factor.


  3. I pray you feel better soon, the anxiety is not good for me either. It’s been 4 days and I’m already losing it

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes especially since I’ve been sick lately the anxiety has gotten the best of me. I’m planning on going outside tomorrow

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As an adult survivor of child abuse, I understand your plight. My social skills suck in public outings or engagements, and like you, I have less than a handful of friends that who truly “know” me and that I feel comfortable with. Diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks tend to come and go with memories alone. Being in public requires a great deal of courage – even if its just the grocery store or small restaurant.

    I have learned over my years here on the planet that the human body has the ability to heal itself, once the mind and the mind of your body (yes the body has an intelligence of its own) find that imminent point of balance, or come to a concerted agreement between each other, the body begins to work “with” what you believe “can be.”

    The body responds to what you “believe” and what you “feel.” Circumstances that are perceived as a “threat,” or that threaten the senses, initiates the build-up of the stress hormone cortisol in the human body, which in turn, affects the whole biological processes of your systemic “inner-net.” Pharmaceutical medications, created with man-made, non-biological chemicals, adds yet another layer of stress to an already stressed system. Anxiety and panic attacks have been noted as a natural progression to cortisol overload in the system, as the human body requires time, and sometimes help, to deplete those stress hormones “after” the perceived threat is removed. Massage therapy is extremely beneficial in reducing cortisol in the bloodstream. It’s worth the investment in your health and longevity on your journey.

    You are doing remarkably well with your healing journey. Your writing of this journey has pulled me in, it is a gift to others seeking answers to the same, and a record of how you are progressing. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think there is a person in this world who has not been touched by the effects of trying to survive in a hyper-mode world. We build the resilience that allows us to, as you said – “keep fighting the good fight!” Keep on…keeping on 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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