Checking in to report that I've majorly backslid and have started checking myself for symptoms again. To be fair, they (the checking and, to some degree, the symptoms) never went away entirely, but they were greatly reduced -- but now I'm right back where I once was.
Part of what feeds my HA, and my anxiety in general, is the perceived need for vigilance. But for some reason I can't transfer this need for vigilance from "vigilance regarding health threats" to "vigilance regarding psychological threats," even though the latter is definitely real and the former is probably not real.
I am feeling frustrated, and disappointed, and my hope is faltering a little.
I try to remind myself that the Ivy League Trained Neurologist found no signs of the diseases I fear ... and that I definitely DO have an anxiety disorder (because I know that to be true) ... and that I have so very many of the common triggers for HA afoot in my life -- all these together certainly point to the great likelihood that I have anxiety and not disease X.
But it is hard to accept, and also that line of thinking feeds into my worry-reassurance-checking-worry loop. For some reason my mind has a loop running: how does this part of my body feel? Was that a strange sensation? Let me pause and examine it. Oh, no -- I felt it again! [Try to reassure myself with the above dialogue about Neurologist, Anxiety, etc.] Maybe if I check it now, the strange symptom won't happen and I can go on with my day. But then I check, and perceive a symptom, and I'm right back in it.
I stopped taking my SSRI about ten days/two weeks ago [edit: tapered under the supervision of my doc], and it honestly didn't help, but I'm wondering if this near-complete relapse is due to withdrawal. Hardly seems fair, since I got no benefit from the SSRI anyway.
Okay ... I vented, and now I'm done. Back to focusing on positive steps.