Do me a favor? Close your eyes (ok.. maybe not all the way.. since it would be pretty hard to continue reading with your eyes closed) Imagine you were driving on the highway in a snow storm.. and given the roads were pretty salted.. and clear.. you are going about 50-60 mph.. and all of a sudden the breaks go out. What do you do?
PANIC. Instantly you think… Get me the hell out of here before i deliver my breakfast right through my rear.. too much. But accurate. You look for a way out. You look for a clear path… Something soft maybe to crash into.
I’m assuming your heart will be trying to escape at this point as well. Along with your sanity. Right out the window. You may even scream. I’m sure a cold sweat would come on.. and maybe even a tear or two. Your flight or fight responses would be like what the actual hell are you doing to me, body?
It would be scary. However you can’t possibly know the feeling of it unless you were actually in that position.. Even with my super great description… It still wont feel real unless it happens.
Welcome to my life. Anxiety in a nutshell right there, ladies and gentlemen.
That, my friends.. is how I feel with every panic attack. Pretty scary huh. The wild thing about anxiety.. is that no matter how much you tell yourself something isn’t happening.. Your body physically feels like something is happening. You 100% feel the pain, or the heart palpitations and the dizziness. ITS real. The feelings are real. If someone were pinching your arm.. and you had to stop thinking about it.. it would be kind of hard right? YES.. because you ACTUALLY FEEL THE PINCHING. Thinking that you don’t feel the pinching isn’t going to take the feeling away. Am I right or am I right?
I feel that I am more often than not explaining myself to people who don’t understand. I often get called weak. If I can say one thing to the people who say that… It wouldn’t be said with words. It’d be one big fat middle finger up in the air. I think i am to the point where i realize that you can’t fix stupid. You cannot change someone else perspective on something.. So why try? I know how I feel. And I know there are millions of others who feel the same. That’s all that matters!
The struggle is definitely real. But I know its also taught me so much. I have learned so much about myself going through all this. I have realized just how STRONG i actually am. Despite peoples initial reaction to my illness… I am learning to accept it. I am learning to grow from it. And slowly but surely manage it.. Hopefully a little faster than slower.
I have realized a few things here… It helps… It doesn’t take it away..But it helps… and any sort of relief, you may know, is helpful.
- READ ABOUT IT
I know there are a lot of things to read that are far more interesting than anxiety.. But understanding it for yourself or someone you love helps. I read a lot of material. I sought out every book in the library to find out why this is happening to me and what I can do to manage it.
- GET HELP
You should never have to go through this alone. For some it can lead to depression. And depression and anxiety together is far worse than having just one of the two. There is so many resources for Mental Health. At first i was so hesitant to seek help. I didn’t want to feel weak.. and i didn’t want medication. Then I realized I began a state where i didn’t have a choice. I was at an all time low. So i seen the doctor. I was prescribed some medication and therapy. The therapy is a God send. My therapist has opened my eyes to so much about this that I NEEDED to see in order to start fixing myself. I go still once and week and very much look forward to the time sitting across a clean cut man with a yellow note pad. Woosah. The medication part for me was the hardest. Until i realized that anxiety comes from a chemical imbalance in the brain.. That can be caused by lots of things.. Like trauma.. Which i had experienced.. I wont get into that now.. But i promise i wont leave you hanging.. Its a story worth a read. Finding the right one was the hardest. In a year span I had tried 4 different meds. Most of which I hated every second of.. But you have to take the good with the bad, right? Right. So the bad was nothing less than horrible.. between being allergic to one of them and switching to others I about had enough when I found one that was right for me. That took the edge off. You still need managing skills.. Which is why the therapist helps too. I am in no way shape or form BETTER now that i have the meds.. But it is a solid starting point. There is a light at the end of the tunnel… Its quite small at the moment.. but i am hopeful.
- WRITE ABOUT IT
At least this one helps me.. I like to write my symptoms down.. There are a few wonderful apps to help track symptoms.. That way you can understand what triggers the anxiety.. and what helps manage it. I even began writing a book about it. I haven’t gotten terribly far.. but writing about it keeps me busy.. and when i am busy… I noticed, I worry less.
- KNOW THAT THESE FEELINGS WILL PASS
It might not seem possible.. but looking on the brighter side of things DOES help. Know that the feelings are temporary. Know that they will pass, and in time you will feel better.
Sometime my anxiety is all day.. I can’t get thoughts out of my head. For me its fears of health related issues. I’m dizzy so i have a brain tumor… My chest is tight so I need an ambulance because I am having a heart attack… those type of things. I can be somewhat of a hypochondriac. . But hey.. we play the cards we are dealt. And this is who I am.
I will overcome this. I will learn to love life to its fullest and live every moment in the moment.. without fear.
Until then.. Ride the storm with me, will ya?