The last few years I've suffered from occasional anxiety. It's mostly pesky, but I spoke to my doctor about it. Knowing I'd have to be dying before I'd take serious medication, he suggested St. John's Wart and vitamin B6, which I sometimes take like asperin for a headache. I've also changed my habits in terms of food, exercise, and sleep. All this has helped significantly.
More recently, I also noticed that I'd started to occasionally have trouble breathing. Again, pesky enough that I - convinced it was the onset of adult asthma due to L.A. smog - described it to my doctor. I said I felt like I was forgetting to breath, holding my breath and then having to concentrate and take deep breaths. I felt like I wasn't getting enough oxygen.
I was completely floored when he said with confidence, "That's anxiety."
"But... but..." I was taken aback because never when this would happen was I feeling - to my mind - anxious. Anxiety, to me, is a sense of stress, a sense of slight panic in your chest.
I did have a firm knowledge of just *when* the breath thing was happening:
- In the car, driving along, thinking about stuff.
- In my office, sitting at my desk, thinking about stuff.
And somehow I knew almost immediately that he was right. Somehow this was another form of anxiety. Anxiety that I didn't even recognize as anxiety because it's happening way in the back of my mind/body or something. Totally weird.
Frankly, I was just really glad that I wasn't somehow developing asthma. It's better to have to stop and take a few deep breaths rather than feel, to my mind, actually anxious. Have at it, body. Works for me.
So this morning, I was sitting in my office on the last day of my six-month gig in the Awards Office at Sony. I started having trouble breathing, and then I started laughing, because I've got no idea if it's anxiety about my pending unemployment or if it's the completely evil cold that attacked me on Monday night. Maybe a little of both?
Either way, I'm going to be fine. Definitely looking forward to spending some time relaxing and getting organized this weekend, starting with dinner and movie at my apartment tonight, just me and my Netflix. Tonight I've got Baadasssss! (How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass), and tomorrow night I've got four episodes of Deep Space Nine (Season 1, Disk 2). Not to mention that there's new Caprica and Numb3rs tonight, hooray!