Yours isn’t like mine either…
I wanted to open up and talk about a taboo topic, anxiety.
This makes me feel vulnerable. Weak. Not good enough. All those lies that I tend to believe about myself. I don’t want people to think any differently than me. Or, think I’m crazy. But, I’m gonna keep it real. Anxiety stinks.
Some days are minimal and the monster is under control. Other days, it’s roaring like a lion. Honestly, at first, I struggled to find my triggers. I’ve started to pay attention to what brings on the wave and when it washes over me. Takes over every thought. My mood. It affects how I mother, how I act as a wife and how I treat people around me.
My Anxiety Triggers
1. Uncertainty – “I can’t take all this uncertainty!” – Rex, Toy Story. He’s my spirit animal. I like plans. Even down to simple errands. I like schedules. I like to know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen. I also like answers to things. I like to know which direction to go into and I want it to be clear. When things become murky, unstable, uncertain and unsafe I freak out. I’m NOT a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda gal.
2. Car rides/speed – This one seems so silly. But, highways are hard for me. Instant trigger. Semi-trucks, give me the chills. Bad weather while driving? I’m having an anxiety attack. It must be a control kind of thing, not really sure WHY this is an issue for me. Just is.
3. My worth – If someone criticizes me, I do take it to heart. Instantly. I mentally beat myself up over everything! It’s exhausting. I may look fine on the outside, but on the inside, there’s a battle going on. My mind will not shut the heck up. Unanswered text message? They hate me. It’s something I did. Did I say/do something wrong? I redo every interaction I had with that person. Are they ignoring me? This is just one example of how this affects me. However, this part is sooooo huge. It’s something I constantly work on and through. This effects everything man.
How Does it Make me Feel?
I know anxiety feels different for every person. For me? My mind races. My heart starts beating fast. Instant dread comes washing over me. I feel unworthy. I feel like a loser. I wonder why and how I let this anxiety happen again. I literally blame myself over having anxiety. I feel uneasy. I cannot sit still. Even if I am sitting still, I’m not resting. I go on cleaning crazy mode sometimes to rid myself of this feeling.
“Can’t you just get over it?” and “Grow up” are two phrases I’ve heard from someone in my life. Apparently, having anxiety makes me immature. I begin to disconnect from all my family. I become moody, snippy, angry and bitter. My attitude stinks, man. I become the worst person to be around. I do not even want to be around me! I become angry with God/my church and begin to want to distance myself from that love.
Eventually, I come down from my attack (some are worse than others). I’m usually pretty drained afterward.
The past year, thanks to a really good friend/mentor, they convinced me to head to the doctor for medication. It’s helped me so much! This doesn’t mean that I don’t have anxiety, but it helps ease some. They showed me a video of Kristen Bell talking about serotonin levels in your brain.
I’ve learned, too, that if I feel burned out, it’s okay to rest. Another huge key is to rest and NOT feel guilty about it. Mommy needs her Netflix and ice cream break every now and then to unwind from the stress.
My faith is also a huge part of my life. My faith in God keeps grounded. I keep myself in his word, letting it wash over me.
I came across this headline the other day.
Anxiety is not a choice (so please stop telling us to chill).”
Oh how this is so true, it makes me shake with anger. If you know someone with anxiety, please for the love, do not tell them to chill. Listen to them. Be there for them. Hug them. Sometimes, they may not even know why. Never belittle someone for feeling anxious. It will only make it worse.
Moms, my heart goes out to anyone dealing with anxiety. If you feel like you need help or someone to talk to, drop a comment below. I’ll be happy to chat.