One word: Anxiety.
As I sit down to start this post, it’s hard to know where to start; I wasn’t even sure if I would start sharing this part of my life. I also realized that if I had someone like me to connect with when I first started this journey, maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone during the hard times. I would have known there was light on the other side of anxiety.
As short as a few years ago, the word anxiety almost seemed like a bad or taboo word
Anxiety. As short as a few years ago, it almost seemed like a bad or taboo word, but these days the thoughts around anxiety disorders have become so much more understanding and accepting. I remember feeling embarrassed to bring it up to my family, friends, and especially doctors. If you happen to get a shitty doctor, it can still be a bad scenario but don’t give up. Keep trying new providers and research the ones out there that may specialize in mental health. Keep knocking on doors until you find the one you connect with and you feel comfortable sharing with. Nowadays (after many years or decades of therapy), for the most part, I shout it from the rooftop that I HAVE ANXIETY! And it sucks a lot sometimes. Where is the switch in my brain to shut it off? I’ll let you know when I figure that one out. It’s a constant, delicate dance with the light and the dark of the universe, and I hate to break it to you, but sometimes the darkness takes the lead.
My journey with anxiety
Right now, I’m about 5ish years (give or take) on my journey with anxiety. Now I have suffered from depression since adolescents, so I’m sure I had anxiety to some extent when I was navigating those oh-so-lovely teenage years. But a quick prescription of the next new antidepressant was the typical response without much digging by doctors who probably didn’t fully understand the best treatments at the time. At the start, it was extremely terrifying. I didn’t realize what was happening.
If you’ve never witnessed someone with anxiety or maybe you have but don’t quite understand what it feels like, it’s like always being in fight or flight mode. It’s utterly exhausting, and scary. I was in a constant state of fear and felt like I was going to die at any given moment. I felt extreme anxiety when I was alone watching my daughter. The racing thoughts of something happening to me while I was with her and how she would get help were all I could think about. Driving was another trigger for me. I cannot tell you how often I called my mom and husband while I was driving, ultimately losing my mind, and not knowing if I was going to be able to make it home.
Thinking of where I could have someone come pick me up but then also worrying about how I would get my car home. I always felt like my body was just going to shut down, I was going to have a heart attack or stroke, and that would be it. Getting ready to drive with my kids in the car only amplified these fears because I didn’t want anything to happen to them. I would like to say that I’m past all of this, but unfortunately, I’m not, yet.
After years of therapy, I was able to understand somewhat the thought process of my anxiety and things I could do to help turn the narrative. I’ve found some natural remedies that have helped lighten the intensity. I’ve tried different medications, unfortunately, without any luck. And I will keep trying new things, meditating, exercising, and finding new remedies that help me manage my anxiety.
My anxiety attacks…
I’m not sure if it is the craziness of the pandemic or the turmoil I have seen throughout the world, but in the last few months, I have realized that I am no longer managing my anxiety in a way that is letting me thoroughly enjoy life. My attacks are back to an everyday normal, and I start to feel as if I’m dying yet again. I wake up in a panic, with racing thoughts, and lingering chest pain, which makes me think I’m sure having a days-long heart attack. Yes, I know that it is not possible, but my brain automatically goes to the most ominous of places, and to be quite frank, I f***ing hate it. I hate where I am right now, mentally, and emotionally. I’ve lost my joy and promise for the day ahead, and I feel like I have failed at my progress, knowing that I’m almost back to where I was five years ago. It is just plainly a shitty feeling.
I’m not ashamed of it…
But guess what I’m not ashamed of it. I want to show others that you can and deserve to fight your way back to happiness. After another morning of waking up in a panic with extreme chest pains, all while crying on the phone to my mom that I didn’t want to die, I finally have decided to go back to the doctor. I’m terrified but hopeful that I can find something that will help me. Now, I will say that if medication helps you, then by all means, PLEASE take it. For me, I have yet to find a medication that has worked for me but I’m willing to keep searching, which is why I have just stuck to my natural remedies for the last three years. I’ve had heart monitors and different antidepressants that had left me feeling angry or having darker thoughts.
The process has been long
And when no one could give me a good answer, the response was muscle spam pills; I kid you not. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with my heart (thank god) 5 years ago, and the other medications they had me try made things worse, and that is what I was left with. That’s when I started to look for solutions myself and research why or what brings on anxiety. But now I’m at a place where I know I can’t do it all on my own. This week I head back to a new doctor to see what could help me on the road to recovery, I guess, it’s hard because I know it will never go away. Still, I just want to be able to enjoy the days ahead. I know the lows will again come as this is life, but I don’t want it to feel like doomsday every damn day. I’m excited and nervous about the next steps, but I’m ready to learn and grow. Here’s hoping for a peaceful and relaxing future!
Here’s one of my go-to books for understanding anxiety: This Is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens and What Helps
Wishing you love, light and inner peace babes ✌🌈✨💜
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