So a couple of weeks ago, my neurologist prescribed a medication for me that was intended to help me fight fatigue.
To my surprise, it actually works. I don’t have to take as many naps as I once did. I still don’t have the energy for hours-long shopping trips or the ability to work on my feet for long periods. I’m nowhere close to being able to do a retail job, for example.
But because I’m not taking naps as often, I’m getting a lot more done. I feel more productive. I can keep up with household tasks a bit better. It feels good that I can get more work done, although it’s not really helping me focus any better on my writing work and might actually be making that worse.
It’s like a very artificial energy that only applies to certain tasks. I’m more productive and spend more hours awake, but I can also tell that the tiredness is still there under the surface and I’m just masking it.
There’s a downside to all this, though, more even than the fact that I can tell I’m still tired underneath everything. The price of my increased energy is that it has also dramatically increased my anxiety.
The anxiety I feel is pretty intense, too; sometimes it feels like it’s choking me. I have typical panic attack symptoms fairly often, which weren’t a regular part of my anxiety before. I already had anxiety but I could manage it well enough that it rarely got above a 2 or 3. Now it’s turned up to 11.
So I’m left with the tough decision: do I want to give up the productivity if it makes the increased anxiety go away? Or do I accept having to take more naps and being less productive so that I can get relief from the intense anxiety?