Hi, friends. I interrupt this period of “hermiting” to share a little bit of what I’ve learned about myself and how I handle stress and anxiety now as opposed to how I used to. I’m hoping it might help someone else to at least realize they aren’t the only ones with these confounding symptoms.
I’m lucky that a combination of a low dose of an anti-depressant, meditation, yoga, and a good therapist mean that I don’t have the generalized, daily, anxiety symptoms I used to. It’s just when things pile up or there’s some big new stress source (just family stuff; it’s okay) that my old symptom friends make a rare appearance.
For one thing, when that happens, I think to myself, “Oh, there are my symptoms again…I’d better pay attention to what is going on and see if I can ameliorate something and nip this in the bud.” In the past, I’d just wallow, think about how I must be at fault and must have caused this myself, and feel helpless.
You can’t control what other people do, think, or feel, and learning that little nugget is a great anxiety buster. Sure, people who don’t treat you or people you know well is annoying, but I have learned to just live with it unless I come up with something that’s helpful. I cannot fix everything. I sure used to try, though, and that would come back and kick me in the behind!
I have been known to engage in a frenzy of activity to take my mind off things. Hmm, I don’t think I’m over that one! Being active and engaged in productive tasks is helpful, but over-doing it can lead to more anxiety, like I feel right now, because I couldn’t work on a project over my vacation like I’d hoped I would. BUT, because I’m not altogether drowning in my worries, I know I WILL get that project done and it will be fine and it doesn’t make me a bad person. Whew, that lesson took a long time to sink into this over-achiever.
(The good news is that this week I am trying to do something to help a stressful situation that is causing me anxiety, by tapping into my strengths, which I have some of, too!)
The big thing that I have learned and that I want to share with my fellow anxiety sufferers is:
It won’t always be this way.by me
You can get help, you can perform self care, you can work on your coping skills and get medical help if you need it. When I was the age of my younger son, I was in the middle of an awful, awful situation with relationships, doing counter-productive things, and disappointing everyone I knew (friends, teachers, my family). I thought it would last forever. It didn’t!
I’m not perfect now. and my life isn’t perfect, either (so there, people who think I’m too chirpy and perky!).
One of my children won’t talk to me, because I did something he didn’t approve of, and I’m not sure what that was. That hurts. But, I can’t change how he feels, only try to talk it through when the time is right. At least I’m not curled up in a little ball blaming myself for everything I might have said or done wrong during the past 28 years!
No, it’s a sad situation, but I have confidence it will pass and we’ll probably figure out that “blaming” won’t be necessary, because we all make mistakes. When you care for people, you can forgive them and move forward, once issues are cleared up to everyone’s satisfaction. That can take time.
As for right now…
But, it won’t always be this way. Whatever is causing my current anxiety flare up, with my tingling neck, numb mouth, head feeling like it’s being squeezed, chest pain, etc., I will get through it and cope. It’s not all bad. It’s just my little issue I have to handle. Other people cope with depression, ADD, bipolar disorder, or many other challenges. With help from friends, family, professionals, and kind people, we can be our best, flawed, and fascinating selves.
Yes, no matter how messed up you feel, you are not alone. And you are fascinating, just the way you are. Lean on us, your friends and fans! We’re all in this confusing life together.