What To Do When the Emptiness Sets In

This past week has been hard. For one thing, I can see all the positive things I’ve accomplished begin to slip. Yes, I’m in a more stable place, but having finished the STAAR test, and the kids beginning to push back because they don’t think they should have to learn anything else now, and the stress of making the decision of where I’ll teach next year (or if I will teach at all), and the inherent loneliness of not having all the beautiful things I kind of thought would be there given the wonderful way my new year began, all of those things have begun to weigh on me and cause me some immense distress.

For another thing, my blood pressure has become erratic again. I had a bad night with the Boy (completely my own fault… I was hormonal and overreacted to something minor), and it was just one bad thing too many. I had a panic attack a couple night’s later, and a three day headache followed by a week of sleepless nights. I’ve been having minor panic attacks on and off since last Wednesday.

Wednesday, I went to the doctor to check out what was wrong with me. My blood pressure was 182/128. He sent me to the ER, and wanted me to take an ambulance. Stubborn me, I drove myself, and the whole thing became an absolute disaster.


I was totally calm… my pressure has been much worse, and once he told me how high it was, my priority was to calm down so it wouldn’t get worse and do serious, irreversible damage. The first time my blood pressure went haywire, in 2002, I did permanent damage to my right eye. I burst blood vessels in both eyes,  but some of the ones in the right eye will never heal. I’ve learned to work around it, although my aim has never quite gotten back to normal. I used to be a fairly good shot with a rifle; not so much anymore.

Either way, I went to the ER. And they did nothing. Over four hours of sitting and talking and tests, and they decided I was a junkie looking for Xanax because I informed them that at one point I had a prescription for that, and I could only take half of the lowest dose. I used this as my reason for not wanting to take a Valium. The ER doctor said he was sure my blood pressure was due to anxiety, and the Valium would help. I said I wouldn’t take it because of how my body reacted to the Xanax, but if he wanted to give me that, since I knew how much (or rather how little) I needed, that would be fine.


Thus, he decided I was a junkie, a Xanax addict, and told me to follow up with a specialist. The specialist he sent me to was one for addiction, and thus did me no good. I haven’t even had a Xanax in over a year… If I’m an addict, I’m really bad at being one, since I only get my “drug of choice” once a year, if that.

When I get my Xanax filled, a one month prescription will last me up to six months. It’s only as needed, and I don’t like taking it because it makes my dreams weird.

But my pressure comes down.

Since I’ve been having panic attacks, I thought it might be good to get back on it, but now I have to fight to convince people I’m not an addict.

The problem with the anxiety is that without something positive to hold onto, an anchor of sorts, it drops back into the depression I had before. It’s already begun. This weekend was full of that empty feeling, the feeling of nothingness and not wanting to do anything. Apathy had begun to set in, but I was wavering between the apathy and the panic.

The panic kept me up all night last night. The apathy made me not want to do my job today. And then a calm set in. I got things done. Not all the things that needed to happen, but I can see the light again. I have to find the source of that light and cling to it and follow it out of the hollow darkness that is threatening.


This is one of those moments when I wish I had someone to lean on, preferably male. Like I’ve said before, I don’t want a man to fix my problems, but I’d really like one who can tell me that “we’re okay” like Four from Insurgent. I need someone to be my united front with me, to help me weather this storm. And it is the fear that I will never have that kind of partner that drags me further from the light.

So, now I have to focus. On what, I’m not 100% sure. But I need to find something other than a guy to anchor to.

For one thing, I certainly don’t have a guy to anchor to. The most stable guy in my life is the Boy, and he is anything but… He’s not an option even if I wanted him to be one. He’s got his own troubles to deal with, and doesn’t want the responsibility of being there for me like that.


The Viking has checked on me more than I’d care to admit since things have become shaky,so he’s obviously willing to take the job but he’s not what I want. No spark at all, and since he’s maybe a tiny bit shorter than me, he’s not going to be able to do that come up and hug me from behind thing that inevitably makes me feel safe.


Massage Guy is out, since he needs to be prompted even just to talk, and I don’t have time to train him while trying to find my own inner strength.


Actually, if I’m honest with myself, I think that’s what I was trying (and maybe still am trying) to do with the Boy. I want him to be the one who is there for me, even just as a friend. He epitomizes so much of what I think a man should be that I want him to be strong for me, and when he can’t do that, because he also values self improvement, I want to help him to become that for me. It’s caused a number of fights because he doesn’t understand why I need that of him, and I can’t explain it, because, well, I don’t understand why either.

All I know for sure, is that I have to find something to help me get through this mess before it becomes the full blown depression that it did last year. I was more physically stable at this point last year, but I was emotionally slipping faster. Now, the only thing working for me is that I can make the necessary changes because I’m not in any type of stable anything. If I need to move to Ohio to be with my friends there, I can drop everything and go. Or if I suddenly get offered a job in New York, nothing stopping me there either. The sky’s the limit right now, and that little nugget of hope may be the only thing keeping me from sinking down into the murky depths of despair.

Wish me luck. I could use some bright, cheery thoughts sent my way.


About Elizabeth

First and foremost I am a teacher. What I teach is a blend of grammatical art, literary love, and a smidge of spiritual awareness. My blog tries to combine the best of all three over a cup of tea.

4 thoughts on “What To Do When the Emptiness Sets In

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