Friday, August 26, 2016

Sex and Excercise

Some of the symptoms of Anxiety are, excessive worry, irrational fears, self doubt and muscle tension. I would worry about a lot of issues, money, job security, health. I had all kinds of irrational fears. I was constantly doubting my abilities, always worried about being liked,  as well second guessing decisions I would make.

It is my understanding that there certain activities that are actually good for people that suffer from anxiety and depression. The activities release and increase serotonin levels in a person. Serotonin is a a chemical the body releases which affects mood, appetite and sleep. Endorphins, Dopamine and Serotonin are all chemicals that can make a person feel happy.  The body releasing one of these chemicals boosts the release of the others. Two of these activities that increase these "happy" chemicals are exercise and sex.

When I was first diagnosed with Anxiety I noticed an increase in my desire to pursue both activities on a regular basis. Not that someone told me that I should, I just learned from experience and how I felt after doing these two activities I tended to feel better. I also felt better longer.

When I first started running, my exercise of choice, I could not get enough of it. I ran almost everyday. Running was a great way to spend time by myself and sort out thoughts. I found running helped with the excessive worry and the irrational fears. At first I just ran a few miles. Then I started working on my time and focusing on races. I wanted to be competitive and establish endurance. I wanted to run races and compare myself to my peers. There was a certain mental high from competing.

Now the sex part, well that activity involved someone else. That someone else was my wife. My wife was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I loved her. I loved being with her. I could not get enough of her. Her happiness was so important to me. All of this is what I think all married or committed couples should feel. I also loved having sex with her. Why? She was hot, sexy, intelligent and fun. I wanted to be with her everyday. I found that having sex helped ease the muscle tension and the self doubt. There was a certain mental high from sex.

I was about 2 years into my anxiety diagnosis when my wife decided she wanted to go back to school. The plan was she would go to school at night and I would do my best to work and take care of the kids and house. Once she earned her degree she would get a job and we would be able to have a double income.

Having a second income would ease the excessive worry I always had as being the sole income earner for the family.

Sacrifices had to be made. It would be worth it. She started school and was out of the house almost every night.

I found myself running more but having less sex. I was becoming more stressed by the responsibilities of taking care of the kids, taking care of the house and being the sole provider.

I found the inner monologue in my head during my runs had changed dramatically. I was no longer organizing my thoughts I was overwhelmed by them.

"Okay I need to switch the laundry over when I get back. I need to make lunches. I need to make sure I stop at the store to get something for dinner. Who has practice tonight? I need to get them to school. I need to call my client when I get to the office. I cannot afford to lose this client. Oh wow. What would happen if I lost this client? That would be awful. My commission would be seriously cut. I would need to get a part time job. My wife would kill me. Actually my wife is never home. She is probably going out with some young dude from her class. I need to run harder. I need to burn more calories. Maybe the young college student is going to kill me. That would be horrible if the kids found me dead. How would a college kid kill someone? Probably a gun. I should get a gun. No I shouldn't. If I had a gun one of the kids could find it and end up shooting themselves. Oh my god now I picturing my kids shooting themselves. Oh the blood. Oh my god I think I am going to cry. My wife is cheating on me and my kids are dead. Okay, Calm down. Calm the fuck down. She is not cheating on you. Not with a student anyway. Most likely the professors. How would a professor kill someone. Most likely a gun. Great now I am thinking about my kids being dead again. I can't breath. I can't breath. Am I having a heart attack? I am running. maybe I pushed myself too much. Calm down. Calm down. Start over.  I need to change the laundry over, I need to make lunches...."

This is what I would think on almost every run.

I started to run less.

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