Anxiety’s Vengence

Have you ever had a panic attack or anxiety SO bad you were physically ill??

I never have until last night.

Before being pregnant I handled stress differently. I could redirect my attention and take a few deep breaths and be better.anxiety

Over the last few years I’ve noticed occasional moments of overwhelming anxiety.  You feel stuck in a hole so deep you feel like you just keep falling and then are buried with everything you are stressing about needing to get done, do or take care of. I struggled with being able to pull aside those thoughts and shovel them into a well constructed “to do list” so I could climb out of the hole and feel accomplished and on top of the world by the end.

I felt things getting a little more difficult to control as time went on… after each child…my girls in fact, messed with my hormones so bad to the point that I spent a few months where I would have such terrible anxiety every day at the exact same time in the afternoon.  I don’t know if I was just tired or what but even if I didn’t have a lot to “do” I still found my train of thought going years and years in the future and stressing about life, decisions completely out of my hands, situations that had yet to even exist…yet here I was 4pm sweating and gripping the edge of my seat in fear of the future.

If you know me, you would know this is not me.

I spent a few months working really hard to get back to normal and eventually found my groove. I could tell when the anxiety was creeping up on me, I knew my triggers.  I came up with a game plan and fought them head on. I learned how to make my fix it lists in the order of the way I needed them to be so I can feel productive and ease my stress. I learned to let the mess in the kitchen go and take care of something more important.  I learned to take a deep breath and accept that I can’t always DO EVERYTHING.

But of course I’m not perfect.

Recently I have been getting caught off guard by my old familiar friend, but something is different…

I feel my chest tighten up, you know like when you take a step out in the cold air or as if someone is sitting on your chest and you struggle to open your lungs and breathe in. I feel the frozen tension from deep within my chest all the way up to my throat.  And then as I sit there trying to breathe through it I feel my heart pounding, It feels like adrenaline is hitting me and my body feels tingly and shaky, I feel lightheaded like I just ran a mile and I could fall over at any moment because the world is spinning…Its almost like that “medicine head” feeling like when you have an intense sinus cold…

I breathe through it, try to break my way past it. struggle through getting out of this hole I am in, its so hard to breathe in here. Panic has set in.

Yesterday I ran to my bed to get away from these feelings, to hide from all the fears. It was late, I knew I was tired and tried convincing myself my heart was pounding out of my chest because of the coffee I had nursed the whole day.  Hiding did not help me. I could not sleep, I was physically ill.  My body was lashing out in every way it could.  I cried, I prayed and I cried some more.

Finally sleep came just as I was entertaining the idea that maybe I just had the flu. I closed my eyes with nightmares of how tomorrow would unfold with three kids and mommy sick in bed….

In the morning I didn’t feel quite right, but I was a little better. My heart was still pouding and I had to take a step back and catch my breath every now and then.  Something wasn’t right, whether I was sick or not… this was different.  Throughout the morning these feelings came and went in concordance to my activities that day. It seemed as long as I was busy and participating in something I was okay and then the moment I sat down with myself and had time to think, my chest tightened up again and then Bum bum…bum-bump!

*sigh*

I hate thinking that I had taken care of a problem only to find out that… iiitttssss Baaaacccckkkk…. and with a vengeance.

Time to take a trip to the good ol’ Doctor.

I appreciate your prayers.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. journeymoo
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 09:18:18

    Maybe you remember, maybe you don’t, maybe you never knew.. I’m not sure but I struggled with this for quite some time and know exactly what you are talking about. If you want tips, just to graze the surface the TOP contributors for anxiety are as follows:
    1) Caffeine
    2) Lack of sleep
    3) Sugar (basically anything that wires you up)
    4) Alcohol/drugs

    For awhile i cut out all of that from my day to day life, and it did get easier but of course it doesn’t necessarily take care of everything.

    Secondly, DON’T TAKE DRUGS for anxiety. This infuriates me, just don’t do it. You are off yes, but IT IS FIXABLE! Drugs just exacerbate the problem and don’t ever fix it. It lets you hid and put a bandaid on the problem.

    You have had great instincts to create lists for you to check off and organize your priorities. This helps SO much so I’m glad you are doing that!

    There are techniques to still your heart/mind. Meditation and prayer are key to that. I know it’s hard for you to go into a quiet room to work on it and not get distracted by the kids but that’s ok. BREATHE. Slow your breath, concentrate on your beating heart and tell it, ‘it’s okay’ with each breath you take, repeat and breath out slow, take a deep breath. Find a mantra that suites your needs, one person told me at first to say something like ‘i love myself and this is ok’ basically letting yourself know that you aren’t broken, you are perfect (in Gods eyes if you will) or a ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart’ type of phrase.

    Lastly, no excuses! A positive attitude changes EVERYTHING. ‘I WILL overcome this’ ‘this IS okay’ ‘i LOVE me’ STAY POSITIVE!! Don’t say ‘yea but…’ That’s a virus of the mind and destroys you.

    ❤ Call me if you ever need anything! I used to not be able to leave the safety of my own room, look at me now! You can do it!

    Reply

    • spunkysalymander
      Feb 12, 2013 @ 09:29:59

      Lol yes I knew that 🙂 and I did l of the above 🙂 took out all the craziness from my diet I was caffeine free for a week! 🙂 I don’t take the drugs I just did at the time bc new born baby and crazy toddler was just too much to find time to deal w everything constructively on my own. I’m fighting w it more now than before so that was my only complaint really… That how strange it is that I am having trouble now a hormone thing a caffeine thing whatever it is … I’m not feeling like me and its pissing me off lol I’m definitely not wallowing in the woe is me and oh it’s a brain disease or whatever I’d rather identify it and beat the crap out of it and move on lol I would rather not sit and think negatively and be stressed bc I feel like it will just get worse and then ill be buried in it. But pretending to be positive and happy when there’s a problem won’t solve the issue so I’ve got to walk the line between them both . Day by day…

      Reply

    • spunkysalymander
      Feb 12, 2013 @ 09:44:03

      And yeah I do the breathing and what not but its usually in the quiet stillness that I would typically be relaxed and enjoy it that I feel my heard pounding and chest tighten up. I get more annoyed by it than scared lol work in progress 🙂

      Reply

  2. journeymoo
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 09:59:56

    It’s not pretending to be happy it’s making a choice. For example, I can give in to my anger when someone asks me a stupid question, or I can chose to calm down, relax and reply with a smile on my face. It’s training. When you smile and do this, it starts to become habit.

    Reply

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