When I was reading/watching The Expanse series, at a certain point in the story a character refers to a cascade. Something broke (trying not to spoiler) on a planetary system and he explained that that thing breaking would affect something else and that would affect something else until the whole place was, well, screwed, and he referred to it as something like "the cascade effect".
And so this is how I'm thinking about where my body is at right now. I'm dealing with the cascade of ongoing anxiety from a really harsh week.
So, let's say I had a week's worth of daily, sometimes twice daily panic attacks, because I did. And you sort of think well that's all just mental stuff, maybe with some racing heart or something, except no.
Because by this weekend along with the massive anxiety, my system had been so, screwed over... for lack of a better term, my stomach hurts when I eat or drink anything at all. I can't properly regulate temperature. Almost anything at all sets me off into another panic attack. I keep cricking my neck and needing to wear a thing at night to keep it from going into weird positions. I have awkward health issues that have flared up that I need to manage, and probably other things I can't think of right now. And on top of all that physical pain and discomfort, I still have the anxiety ongoing AND I still have to try to deal with life. Oh, and I'm way way way WAY less of a functional human when my anxiety is this intense. That's a doozie to deal with honestly, because as much as I don't like the stomach pain, it's something I've dealt with on and off for years (a decade?) so I have ways to manage it and OTC stuff to take (hi Gaviscon, how are you!?) but the "non functional" stuff is new to me and rather disturbing.
I'm not just talking about the usual distracted "oh put the milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge, whoops!" or "tried to unlock my house by pressing the car unlock button" type things that most of us have from time to time, it's the loss of my usual functional normal ability that I mean. Like forgetting why I stood up even though I say to myself I'm getting my slippers, I'm getting my slippers, I'm standing up to get my slippers... stand up, start wandering randomly through apartment feeling like I'm forgetting something but no idea what.
Or finding parking really really excessively challenging and ending up driving around blocks a few times psyching myself up to try to park at all.
Or just not keeping up with or on top of things that are ordinarily habits and ingrained. It's brutal because I can't trust myself. I forgot someone's anniversary last week even though my calendar had two reminders and my phone reminded me, I didn't "notice" until the next day or something and I felt awful about it.
So, yeah... there's a system cascade failure thing going on from high levels of anxiety over the last week. And it sucks. And I have to keep going and dealing and doing things (that I don't want to do at all).