I recently had another moment of clarity it my long journey with anxiety. The truth of the matter is I am beginning to miss the klonopin. I am hesitant to say that out loud because saying it is the first step towards using it, and I know that would be a bad choice, but for ten years it squelched the anxiety so effectively that I have come to understand that much of the psychiatric treatment I sought out in that time was to counter the depressed mood the benzo was causing. What I thought was depression was mostly a side effect of the Klonopin which had completely masked the true enemy anxiety.
I have always been the type to want to be in control of a situation. It has often been something of a running joke with my friends, but it is a symptom of something that is not at all funny. I cannot let go. I need to be the in control of things. I need to know that I can make something stop if I want it to, or that there is a way out of a situation. I always find a way to at least feel as if I have control over things.
In examining the things that cause be the greatest anxiety they all have control as a common thread. I don’t like cramped spaces if there isn’t a clear exit. I need to know that I can leave. Control. I am terrified of amusement park rides. If I get start to get sick I cannot stop the movement. Control. Speaking of being sick I have a lifelong phobia of vomiting. Vomiting is mostly an automatic bodily response. I don’t know when it’s going happen or for how long. I can’t control it. As anxiety attacks have become a regular part of my life they have the same thread. There was the incident back at Christmas when I my wife and I were separated in the Mall without the ability to communicate. I couldn’t find her and without her I couldn’t get into the car. I was trapped. I was no longer in control. The most interesting part of this has become my reaction to the anxiety attacks themselves. The attacks have reached the point that they are fueling themselves. When I am having an anxiety attack I don’t feel like I am in control of my body and I don’t know what I will do. I have urges to flee, but of course you cant run from danger that doesn’t exist. I simply don’t know what is going to happen and I fear that I will lose control of myself. Losing control of myself in the public is a scary scenario. In my experiences with depression I have never been truly suicidal, but what I have experienced is the fear that I will lose control of myself and do something impulsive without thinking.
When thinking clearly about things I know that none of us are really in control of anything. Control is mostly just an illusion, but the perception is important. In many cases the perception of control is what allows people or groups of people to function. Taken too far it can be destructive in both group and individual scenarios. When keeping everything in order is how you control your anxiety how do you find the will to let go?