I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I suffer from anxiety and, in extreme cases, panic attacks. For the record, there is no shame in acknowledging that. In fact, I’d venture to say, there is so much more right with it than what you think is wrong with it. Let me share something with you. When stressed, I would feel this strange sense of being overwhelmed, start sweating, heart racing, tightening in my chest, and sometimes shaking. I would think I was having an attack of some sort. More like I thought I had a heart attack. I’ve been this way since I was younger but never knew what it was. When I started going to therapy for other things and began expressing what I was feeling, my therapist and my doctor said it was anxiety. WOW! I had anxiety attacks. That was both a shock and relief for me because now that I knew what it was, I could help handle it when it takes place.
Initially, due to depression, I was placed on medication to try and even out my symptoms. I had to try a few different medicines to find the right one for me. It also took finding the right doctor, and I bobbed and weaved until that happened as well. Eventually, I weaned myself off the medication (that is NOT what I’m suggesting to anyone). I had my reasons, and if I feel like I’m spiraling out of control, then I seek professional help, as should you.
Now I use different techniques to calm me down when I feel it coming on. So I go through mindful meditation techniques, which include breathing exercises, sometimes counting down from whatever number comes out my mouth first, talking to myself (telling myself it’s not that bad, I’m in control, and to calm down). I literally say it loud because hearing myself speak gently to myself helps me relax. There are many ways to do this, but if you can’t get it yourself, a therapist can help you figure out what works best for you. I also journal and talk through some things SOME times. It really just depends on my frame of mind at the moment. Oh, and I cry. There’s nothing wrong with crying. It’s so liberating and allows you to let go and empty out your cup completely. That is so important. Don’t walk around holding on to a whole bunch of stuff that weighs you down mentally, physically, and emotionally. Do yourself a favor and try your best to live free of weight.
I will be the first to tell you that it’s sometimes a lot easier said than done. But I’ll also tell you that it can be done. And please make sure if you’re going to talk through it, make sure you have someone who will listen and allow you to get it all out. There’s nothing like talking to someone careless and nonchalant about what you’re feeling. Or someone who interrupts you or tries to finish every sentence you say as if they’re the ones experiencing your pain and suffering. I hate to say this person is a last resort when, in fact, he should be the first. But God is always available for whatever you need when you need it. I don’t know how many times I’ve called friends or family in what I considered a life emergency for ME, and they didn’t answer. I’d try number after number, and no one would be available. I’d literally say, “well God, I guess that means you want me to talk to you first and not anyone else.” So, I’d do just that.
What’s important to remember is there’s no shame in having anxiety. There are ways to cope and medication if you need it. You have to figure out what works for you, just like I had to do. I still have anxiety attacks, but I’ve noticed that I’m handling them much better than before. In fact, my job as a nurse triggers them for me a lot, and I have to blog like I am right now to help me release the things I’m feeling. So, see, tonight, writing this blog is helping me as much as I hope it helps you. Now lay it all down and get a great night’s rest.
Until Next Time,