This week the racing thoughts are taking over my life. Around and around and around they go, layers upon layers of thoughts, memories from childhood and from pastoring, three different song fragments at a time, harmful thoughts, lists of things to do or a grocery list. Over these racing thoughts I’m counting obsessively. Numbers going through my head, counting steps or stairs, counting items around me. My therapist suspects the counting is a coping skill to help drown out the racing thoughts. But now the counting is nearly as loud and obnoxious as the racing thoughts.
Writing the thoughts or lists down doesn’t help. Deep breathing and meditating doesn’t help. Tai chi and water aerobics don’t help. TV or puzzles don’t help. Conversations with others don’t help. DBT skills don’t help. Cats on the lap don’t help.
The thoughts race and race and race and race. From the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep. Even my dreams seem layered on each other, as though my thoughts are racing while I sleep. I forget what I’m trying to do because the thoughts needed to carry out a task get caught up in the racing thoughts so that I can’t tell which of the thoughts is the important one that I need to pay attention to. Since dressing and eating are challenging, you can imagine what it’s like to drive!
Several times this past week, as I’ve tried to cope with the thoughts, I’ve seriously thought of harming myself, and at one point even suicide, just to make the torment stop! So, a few days too late, I called my psychiatrist who has now added an anti-psychotic to the mood stabilizer and anti-depressant I’m already on. She said rather than the upped dosage of the mood stabilizer causing the thoughts, that I’m having break-through manic symptoms. Phew! So glad someone can understand what’s going on and treat it! I hope this new drug works, since I haven’t responded well to anti-psychotics since I’ve started treatment.
Meanwhile, back to fighting against the racing thoughts to get through each day. Not a good way to live – trying to get through each day, safely, just to repeat the torment the next day, and the next night. I’m in solidarity with friends who live this way All.The.Time. I hope it gets better for you! And me.