Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to College: My Transition Anxiety Firsthand

JOURNAL SNIPPET (Before the Episode)

SATURDAY 8/23

Well, let's see... this is my first night moving into college. I go to Judson University. Me and my good friend Stormy decided to room together, and so far we're getting along just fine. Then again, it's been only a day. :P We're nearly all organized/unpacked.

I'm so tired right now. I ought to sleep. But I can't figure out what to write to help me not have transition anxiety. I think the fact that Stormy is here, plus my mind is off it, helps a lot. I've been okay all day. I also took my supplements this morning so that should have helped. Really, overall, things sorta went "according to plan," but anything that didn't I adapted to very easily. Oddly easily...

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Recollection of Transition Anxiety Episode

On Sunday night, I fell asleep rather easily, but woke up feeling strangely disoriented. I felt weird and uneasy, and my body was twitching and I was making soft noises in response.

I had experienced this before. Transition Anxiety... or more specifically, the strange "episodes" I associate with it. Usually I'd feel a mixture of intense anxiety and anguish, and there would be a lot of crying. However, I had mastered that portion of the episodes (mostly out of the necessity to not make a ruckus), so all that showed up that night was the physical symptoms that tend occur as a result--or the "aftermath."

Now that I had a sleeping roommate, I couldn't allow myself to release that pent-up anxiety in a way that would wake her up. I had to find another way to cope.

I prepared myself for what I expected to be a night of misery.

I pulled out my phone and messaged James. He's a wonderful friend of mine who I only know through the internet (half of my friends are online ones), but he's very close to me because we've got a lot in common, and he accepts me and tries to help me through stuff like this. During the anxiety, I had a hard time putting words into coherent sentences, though.

Here are some snippets of the conversation:

"Lushia Kyobi: Out of body, limbs float woke up flipped around next to computer, disoriented movement involuntary, spasms involuntary"

James did his best to reassure me until I managed to get up and out of bed. I figured a quick trip to the bathroom should help.

After I got out of bed, something occurred that I can only describe as a sort of "out-of-body" experience. It felt like my soul was trying to float out of my body as my consciousness fluctuated, creating a mental motion blur.
Bad anxiety affects my coordination

After walking into the bathroom, a mental block kept me from leaving and going back to bed. I cannot even explain why, but the very idea of leaving the bathroom paralyzed me.

A fairly accurate example of my
 visual glitches when I'm disoriented.
"Lushia Kyobi: Got up walked around scared into bathroom couldn't leave bathroom dark bad strange compulsion to stay worry"
"James Agbotta: <sitting outside your bathroom> its ok hmm? just relax"

I ate a small snack in case hunger was aggravating the anxiety symptoms. Sometimes I won't notice if I'm hungry when I'm overstimulated or anxious.
When I finally did force myself back in bed, I continued to talk to James, waiting for it to pass.

"Lushia Kyobi: Not in bathroom now forced body to walk into bed, binaural beats to calm because involuntary anxiety no control, only some, body tense. 'twas scary like possess"
"James Agbotta: maybe a hallucination? dream feeling real?"
"Lushia Kyobi: I don't know"
"Lushia Kyobi: Got food. Just followed basic instructions in deep mind, remembered water, food, binaural beats. Motor skills coming back some with some twitching but good"

The weeks before school I had disciplined my mind to take care of my body even when I was experiencing crippling anxiety. It was as if natural survival instincts took over. I'm sure glad that they did.

When the episode began, I expected the worst. Usually these situations last all night the first night of school.

But guess what?

It only lasted one hour.

It was a miserable hour for sure, but I conquered it. James did help me get through it, but it was ultimately my decision to actively seek my coping mechanisms that brought resolution.

For me... this was a huge success. :)

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