Out of Control…Again


downloadSo, I rang in the New Year with a decision on what birth control I am going to use. If you tuned into the last season of Spectrum (Wednesdays from 8-9 pm) and caught our two-part episodic saga on birth control, you probably remember how unsatisfied I was with my options. I have had a long, tried experience with these hormonal blunders, spawning a relationship that is much like picking classes here at Sac State–expensive, necessary and a willing sacrifice of my happiness to preserve the success of my future. I am dramatic, I know. But for good reason–my hormones are out of whack, and unlike a broken leg or a horrible disfigurement, no one can see it. Instead, they catch my wrath, and think that I am just being psycho.

I ended up snagging the Nexplanon–an implant surgically placed into my arm that tapers tiny amounts of progestin into my system. I got the little bugger installed (hehe) on December 14th. By late January, I had been PMSing hardcore for a week-and-a-half, as my period was late (usually droppin’ in around the 20th) . After weeks of being on a healthy-eating, running and bouldering routine, I suddenly became uncharacteristically anxious, depressed and HUNGRY. The smallest things made me cry–a professor’s story about coming out (yeah, that sounds emotional, but I’m gay enough that a coming out story is as common in my life as coffee), a text from my boyfriend that felt “distant”, and my personal favorite: the loudness of the speakers at the gym that I work at. Friends’ actions seemed calculating. I had just purchased tickets to travel after graduation, and not even that sounded fun. Doritos sounded as good as sex. This. Is. Not. Me. I am a holistic person by-and-by, and I actually like to have fun (not in the way you mention having lots of fun on a dating profile or Facebook, but, like, actual fun). I always think, “What could I change about how I eat or move to make me feel better?”, before I resort to over the counter help, but this was different. There was something blocking me from being the confident, busy-body that I typically am. There was something more powerful than me controlling me. And I knew the entire time who the culprit was.

Fast-forward about 7 days. I’m mid-period (the longest one I have EVER had by the way). It is Saturday morning. I have just awoken from a long night of much needed partying and on to my next favorite weekend activity–BRUNCH. First, I have to drop by the library downtown to get my passport for the aforementioned (first time I used this word, ever) global romp. My homie Vivian (my counter-part on said global romp) booked an appointment together and headed off round 9 a.m. to take pictures for the passports at a Rite-Aid (random tip: save yourself some extra cash by getting your photo taken at a pharmacy versus the library or wherever you go). Right after we stepped foot out of the Rite-Aid a wave of absolute fear came over me. I could not shake the thought that something (I don’t know what) was chronically wrong with me and I was going to DIE…and soon. I knew it was irrational, but it was powerful. I managed to stuff the feeling down, writing it off as a hangover (sometimes it be like dat).

Enter the passport office. The poor guy helping us process our applications had the most high-pitched, annoying voice that made me want to lunge across the table and strangle him. In fact, I kept playing scenes in my head in which I actually did it. CAH-RAY-ZEE. Never would I ever care that much. Every time Viv asked him a question, I wanted to scream at her, “STOP ASKING HIM QUESTIONS SO WE CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE!” I wasn’t afraid of him per se, but I was just afraid to be around anyone. If I was going to die, I was going to die alone. We left the office and Viv finally started to notice that something was up, I asked her to drive home. I was drenched in sweat and having what felt like hot flashes–can’t wait for menopause. The car ride to meet up with brunch buddies at my boyfriend’s house felt like a joy ride. I was terrified to be on the road. I was terrified of every light pump Viv made on the breaks. What was happening to me???

Once we arrived at my boyfriend’s house, I sat on his lap and started balling. The release of tears felt amazing. The past hour of being paralyzed by fear prevented me from shedding one tear. I went outside for air and finally started to feel like the grim reaper wasn’t around the corner. I felt like I had just been on a roller coaster, my body was tingling from residual adrenaline. I felt like I could lift a car off of my baby, or like I could scream in the face of anyone who thought they were being funny.

I had a panic attack.

From BIRTH CONTROL? No way, there must be something lingering under the surface that I am not dealing with.

Consult: Reddit. What a beautiful tool. Enter into search bar: “Problems with the Nexplanon”.

Sure enough, tons of forums leading to more forums with women sharing the increase of panic attacks experienced on the implant. For the first time in weeks, I finally felt like I wasn’t trapped in the “prison that is my own head” (Credit: Lena Dunham).

What’s the verdict? I am sure that you are assuming that I had that thing ripped out the next day. WRONG. Like most women, I am just going to ride it out. Hopefully I will stabilize. Feeling pretty good post-anxiety attack, but hey, there is always more room for a good death-scare.

Signing off hopeful,

DJ Mophead

of earing

Mophead is a dj for KSSU

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