Personal Anxiety Tips

And to go with this article I just accidentally deleted my whole post. Let me try this again - remember people SAVE YOUR WORK! *Tears* (Please note: There are products I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Just to be absolutely clear.)

Many years ago (I was probably 20 at the time) I starting having amazingly painful chest pains, specifically heart pains. I just thought I was dying, seriously (there were other extreme bodily issues I would go through but I don't want to gross anyone out so I'll pass over those issues here). They wouldn't last long, 5 minutes tops, no lingering pain and didn't happen often - maybe every few months to once a month. They would strike with no warning, anywhere, anytime. I was okay with the idea of dying, always have been. Call me morbid but it just was never a big deal to me.

However once I got married, my husband wasn't so thrilled with the idea. When he got his new job with great insurance it was demanded that I get it checked out. Through the years of yearly gyno check ups I never asked anyone about it. It just didn't occur to me - hey everyone dies, right? So when I did talk about it I made notes to make sure I went through everything I'd had happen to me, which wasn't a lot but I want to make sure I'd give my doctor as full of a picture as possible. I know absolutely nothing about anything medical, but this person is supposed to. The first thing that was said (after all my tests came back) was that it must be anxiety. Now this I was not prepared for. I was at a pretty low point at the time (my husband being the singular bright point) but all my life I had been a pretty type-A personality, good with public speaking (I hate it just like everyone else but you gotta do what you gotta do), taking everything a little too seriously, keeping everything together all the time. It hadn't been till the couple of years prior that I felt my life begin to fall apart. Once I was told I had anxiety I started to feel it. I'm not a hypochondriac, but as I started seeing psychologist, therapists and talking about everything that had happened over the years and I found myself getting (in my opinion) more common panic attacks. The kind where it feels like you can't breathe and can only be grateful I wasn't working during this time, as the smallest things would send me to tears. I suddenly became fragile. Something I never considered myself to be. It hurt to see myself in this light. I was put on different daily medications - many of which made me more anxious, more fragile, less and less able to handle even the simplest things without unbearable self-doubt. I was pretty stable with Paxil and Xanax. But I started to notice my liver/kidney area start to ache. I told a friend of mine in the medical field and he was concerned about the strain on my system, and I agreed. Never have I been comfortable with the idea of being on any daily medication (also I'm TERRIBLE at remembering to take anything daily), but knew that coming off anything like this is like detoxing. Not pleasant. But we found a few things that helped me - the main one was trying edible pot. I tried smoking it and had a TERRIBLE experience because I didn’t really know what I was doing even with supervision. We found a local guy we know who was able to help us obtain some gummies which I was able to portion in very small amounts to better control my intake. It helped but again, I didn’t want to be on something long term and that would prevent me from ever obtaining a job.

Some things that calm me:

I enjoy gardening and playing video games. On days when I felt up to it I would find small projects outside and do as much as I could. Some days that was just filling a pot with soil or moving a plant to a better spot in the yard. I'd play a game for a few hours - nothing stressful!

Can't get out of bed? Favorite TV show time: mine is still Gilmore Girls, no matter how many times I watch it, when I have it on I feel a bit better. Thank you, Netflix. Something you can fall asleep to and not feel like you're missing out on important plots lines. During most of my bad times I couldn't/didn't listen to music, it didn't resonate with me. But everyone is different!

Favorite foods: I get into phases where one particular food is a must have staple in our home. Snyder's Delights White Creme mini pretzels (this is the only quick link I could find for these on Amazon and the amount is quite large, Walmart often has these as well) are amazing, garlic rolls with dipping sauce, pizza from your favorite place in town - something that makes your mouth water. Food is a big thing for me. I don't believe in over indulging, everything in moderation. But since I have days where I hate the idea of eating, that it’s just too difficult to figure out the simplest tasks having things I love to eat helps with motivation.

Some days it was just sleep. Having a partner who understands what's going on (as much as they can) is more important than anything else in the world. If I couldn’t get up for a couple of days, or if all I could do is a single load of laundry, he was okay with it. The only thing that truly bothered him was the inability to make it better. My easy response to this was "if I can't fix it, how can you?" if I had a solution I would be implementing it. He understands that some days I really can't do anything, and it makes me feel like crap because he's working and the least I can do is something, anything - but that's the type-A in me and I'm learning to let that go.

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