ohdeardrea header
home button food button home button “natural “travel “advertise “cookbook

I Like To Call This One, 'I Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder'

How do you write a post about these sorts of things? Do you start with a definition? Do you start by explaining why you don't like the title, because you don't like labels on these things? Or do you explain that the title just rolled around in your head for minutes, or hours, or however long you spent lying there. Over and over it rolled, while you tried to pinpoint the exact cause and reason of the heartbeat spike you've experienced this week. Do you start by explaining, how you think lots of things in this medical field are misdiagnosed or over-diagnosed--- but really that's opinion over fact--- because maybe we're all somewhat anxious and maybe some are just more anxious than others. Maybe no one actually has disorders, maybe we're all just different... but then again, maybe sometimes you can or should label these things, because sometimes symptoms are chronic enough to affect your whole life, or major points in your life.... or maybe not your life, but someones life. Maybe your best friends life, or your child's, life, or a strangers life--- and without the person saying anything, you would never really know. Is there a beginning or a middle of even an end to a post with a title like this? Or will this ramble on like all other random thought posts on this blog. Listed question and after question, with no purpose and no answer.


I just thought, "maybe I should open up." About every symptom of anxiety is running through my veins right now, and yesterday, and maybe slightly the day before. To be honest, I don't remember when I started this post, but it's been a day or two now, and as I open up this white box to type again, my heart races, still.

Am I anxious and tense everyday? Not anymore, but I was, for a long time. It's gotten better. Or, I've gotten better. And now, it's usually a situational trigger (if it happens at all). I think my over-shyness, my social uneasiness, my whatever you want to call it---- is (or was) a lot worse than even my closest friends or family know (or knew) about. Sure, my family and close friends all know I've suffered from anxiety, some of my dearest friends have seen me in full on panic attacks (a never occurrence anymore, thank god), but I don't think many know hard I've really struggled.... or that I still sometimes struggle now. I've struggled to get to this point... to a mostly, almost completely, worry-free day to day life. But I can't help and wonder does anyone know that even now I struggle? I do. I am strained and nervous, but always composed.

Ask my friends and they tell you, I'm social. I like to go out. I meet people all the time. I do things, often. And it's true, but never, not for a second, does it come easy. In between the nerves, I'm easygoing, but when a new situation strikes, the tension hits. I'm laid back in my self established comfort zones, but comfort zones can only get you so far. With everything else, I push on, because I know I can't move forward by standing still or stepping back.

There was a full good year in college where I struggled to even leave my home. Not because I didn't love class, because I did. Most of the courses I took were amazing, but regardless, there were days where I found it near impossible to step out of the house, into my car, drive to school, and walk into a classroom by myself. The very thought of it made my whole heart want to beat out of my chest. Even now, ten years later, my heart pounds. It's one of those things... a superficial appearing, a seemingly silly---in however inoffensive way you can use the word 'silly' to describe a serious problem-- thing to think someone might actually suffer from some condition enough to feel paralyzed and unable to leave their own home. I think most people assumed I as uninterested in school, but in reality, I tore myself up each day with panic, wanting (and needing) to be there--- unable. If I could, I'd ask or offer a ride to ease the trip. I'd take classes with friends as often as I could. &Sometimes, no matter how hard I tried, or how many deep breaths I took, I could't make it. It took a toll on me in every part of my life. Silly.

I grew up like this. Not that I was raised like this, but you can say, this is who I am. Maybe not the full blown panic attacks, those came in my late teens, but I grew up shy and nervous. I remember being as young as seven years old and needing my younger brother to speak to people for me. Phone calls, couldn't happen. Strangers, forget it. Pictures, no way. I never, still to this day, want the spotlight on me. I've mentioned this before, don't sing me happy birthday.

I've come along with my anxiety. I've gone from weekly (sometimes daily) panic attacks and being unable to leave the house by myself, to.... well... this. Whatever you want to call this. No medication, no self medicating, and no halting panic. I've just been able to get to this place where I can manage and live happily without it. Changes, one day at a time. If you remove the bad and lessen the stress, it's much easier to find a calm. I've built my own world around what is positive, what makes me happy, and what I can handle.

It's strange finally writing about this, three years into this open and public blog. Not that I haven't mentioned anxiety and other worries, because I have, but it's weird, finally coming out, publicly labeling, and saying, "I have this, it is real, it affects me."

I rarely post things straightaway, it's usually a few day process. I like to start and finish things, start something else, go around again, come back to things.... okay, maybe I don't always like to, but that's what works for me. Life, mothering, husband time, friends, it all comes first, and this space comes next. Live first, blog later. I'm four days into this post now, though I probably could have written it all in one shot if I had tried. Today I feel better, not that I felt bad before, because I didn't, but I'm not anxious anymore. It's like I went to bed and woke up with a calm over me once again. 

The thing that started this thought was walking into a room full of mostly strangers. A party. Jump out of a plane to try to overcome a fear of flying? I did it. Move across the country twice, to places where I've known no one, a scary adventure. Travel across the united states on three planes, 6,000 miles, a 24 hour trip, by myself with a toddler in my arms to a place I've never gone? Did that, it was awesome. Have and raise a baby by myself? I think that one turned out pretty well. But a party filled with people I don't really know? And my heart races in panic the whole way there, and during, and after, even days later. Silly. 

It's not that I was surprised to feel myself anxious again, I just really haven't in a while. I don't fall into the normal definition of social anxiety. I can now (almost easily) leave the house without a second thought. I can talk to strangers. And apprehensively be in front of a camera. And when the moment hits, and if I have prepared mentally enough to go, I'm ready and out the door in minutes, without second guessing how I look or what I'll wear and I don't worry about the room closing in on me feeling in social situations. I'm just nervous and I'm tense, there, in the moment... and before... and after. I'm (very obviously) not closed off person, I'm not a hermit, and I'm not a bad speaker. I don't think I'm better than anyone. I'm not trying to be short or impolite. I'm not angry or unhappy. I do want to meet everyone everywhere, have small talk and big talk. Chances are I have a great time wherever I am, I just struggle to show it because I have very cautious anxiety, and high anxiety socially, especially outside of my experienced comfort zone. 

Anyway, that's my story. I am finally the happiest I've ever been. And finally, after 28 years, I've surrounded myself with enough good and I've placed enough pieces down to build my world in a way that I could thrive, with anxiety. And now you know. 

Happy Wednesday, friends. 

65 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us! I have anxiety too, but I haven't told anyone really maybe one close person. It's hard to admit there's something "wrong".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have anxiety as well but I haven't told anyone apart from a couple of friends. I dont talk my mum about anything anymore so...I get what you mean by admitting something's wrong x

      Delete
    2. It's a common disorder, I would like to say, I also have anxiety disorder, but I don't care, if I will start thinking about my anxiety and worries then definitely it will affect my daily life. I don't care I have any kind of disorder or not, I just want to be courageous and hopeful person and don't want any kind of hopelessness around me, that's my simple story about anxiety. I agree with zee deal's thought "really so courageous"

      Delete
  2. I thrive with anxiety, too. It's a lifelong thing. I got it from my mother. <3 you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everyone just thinks I'm shy but I'm not. I couldn't have a wedding reception because the thought of walking around talking to people and everyone talking to me made me shiver and cry. Weddings still make me have the worst anxiety - so strange! I get all itchy and just want to cry panic-induced crying, not happy-for-the-couple crying. Its hard to explain to anyone else but I like how you described your feelings and its cool you opened up about it. Congrats *back pat* for overcoming your struggles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooof. I hear you. When we were planning our actual wedding is was just going to be close family and we were only going to invite maybe 3-4 friends each max... so I think I mostly would have been okay... after champagne or two :| And I def. get anxious at others too. And the itching thing? It has been bothering me like crazy. I dont remember it happening before, but now I get this HOT itch that drives me bananas. So yeah, I hear you man. NOT FUN.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have anxiety too. And depression. I take medication that treats both in one pill as well as taking Xanax as needed and natural remedies like lavender. It took me years to admit I had it and I needed help to control it. It took a nervous breakdown after my grandfather's funeral (the same month I almost had to put my dog down) to get me to see a doctor and find treatment. It's been about two years and while I've had my ups and downs, the combination of the medication, my dog (who provides me with unending support), and my family and friends, I'm finally in a good place. It's mostly genetic and I can't control it but I can treat it and live a relatively anxiety-free life. I've also become more open about it. It's amazing the people I've opened up to who have it as well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for this. I also suffer from anxiety and had an incredibly hard time leaving my house for a while. I do not medicate either, but try to use other calming techniques. I have not had a full blown anxiety attack in over a year, but it's always there, just under the surface.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like Johanna commented above, maybe try lavender. I actually just got some today... going to try out a few essential oil mixes to calm my nerves. Might be a nice add on to our day :)

      Delete
  7. I was officially diagnosed with general anxiety disorder about three years ago (after I had a nervous breakdown) but I believe it’s been something I’ve had my whole life. I can tell you, after three years, it’s definitely gotten more manageable. When it first because a “thing”, I was having panic attacks once a day. I could hardly force myself to leave my house because I was just so. scared. I went to counseling for it but I never let my doctor put me on anxiety medicine because I told him I wanted to work on it myself, not under the pretense of medication. I never would have thought three years ago that I’d have ever “gotten better” but I have. It’s amazing how you don’t even realize how much time goes between “attacks” until you have one. I actually had one last night and I was crying, not because of having an attack, but because it made me feel like a failure that I had gone so many months without my anxiety even phasing me and now I’m back at 0. But it’s a part of my life and the people that I surround myself with know it and know how they need to help me in those times when I get “stuck in my head”, if you will. I am open to talking about it to anyone because I feel like not only is it not understood, but people often use it in the wrong context too. It makes me mad when people joke about panic attacks or anxiety because as someone who has and does have anxiety, it’s not a “funny” topic. I appreciate you talking about anxiety because, as much as there are so many people who have it, it still feels like you’re alone in it. I’m happy you’ve gotten to a place in your life where it’s few and far between and you’ve figured out your triggers and what not - I like to think that I am 3/4 of the way there as well (however, I am graduating college in 4 weeks and my husband and I are possibly moving out of state in the spring…so those things are kind of freaking me out!). :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. as my health coach told me, "tell yourself you're getting better and better every day!" when a panic attack happens, it's okay - because you're getting better!

      Delete
  8. I've dealt with anxiety my entire life. I had years where I felt like I couldn't leave the house either. I was crazy shy and blushed if someone even said my name. It took me 5 years to start college after high school because I was so nervous in class everyday when I was in high school, and I couldn't bear the thought of going to another new school. I didn't fly for years because I was terrified, didn't go to the mall because I was too nervous. So many irrational fears that have kept me from experiencing things my whole life.

    However, things are better. I'm almost 25, have talked to a therapist, and I couldn't be happier these days. I still get nervous and have irrational fears, but it's nothing like it used to be, and I'm so grateful.

    I so appreciate this post, Drea. Anxiety is something that makes people feel totally alone and it shouldn't. Lots of people struggle with it, and honestly, what helps me the most is just saying my fears out loud, realizing they're irrational, and replacing them with a rational thought. Your willingness to talk about your anxiety is awesome, and think it's fucking great you put it out there for everyone to see.

    Lots of love your way. xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for your words.
    I've been living with a mood disorder and feel that labels do help. They give you words to explain that what you feel is more than 'normal' sadness/ hopelesness/ stress.
    I congratulate you for being at such a good place in life. I am doing really well as well, after years and years of doing not well at all and feel like stories like yours are important to let people who are still in the depths of a disease like that, know, that it actually can get better!

    You are one brave woman and I send you a thousand hugs from Germany!

    Love,
    Bambi

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have this too. It's been about 20 years since my first panic attack and about 48 hours since my last…doh. But there has been long stretches (sometimes a year!) without a lot of troubling symptoms. I try not to get too depressed when I slip back into it. I just ride the anxiety wave and know that the feelings aren't permanent. It can be a little tiring having to keep my brain in check, but it could always be worse. Take care, and thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What do you do (or did) for a living? Could that be a contributing factor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's possible. I know when it was at its worst, I was in college, having to meet new people, go to out with friends, walk into large classrooms. My job was retail, but quiet, so it wasn't bad. But I've always had more quiet office jobs or managed small stores, again quiet and easy. I did try to waitress a few times... that wasn't my best job haha. Things are much better since those days :) And this, well this is great. The hardest thing for me is actually being physically present somewhere, theres not stress for that here. And I don't have to be in front of the camera unless I choose too, which I usually dont :)

      Delete
  12. I don't have a diagnosis but I have finally, after a series of panic attacks, started seeing a therapist. I feel these feelings and I am grateful to you for a variety of reasons. For being honest and for showing that there's hope and that it's okay to have this issue.
    So thank you so much for taking the lid off and for showing us that we can, too. Blessings to you and to your daughter and husband.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You've put feeling into these words. You've described, perfectly, the struggle. I've tried to explain it and have failed many times for years. Thank you for giving me the words to describe how I feel.

    ReplyDelete
  14. thank you so much for sharing your story and your struggle. i can definitely relate to social anxiety, but i can even more because panic attacks are a big problem my husband faces on a regular basis. how amazing that you were able to overcome them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been almost exactly two years now since my last one... I've been anxious as hell at time, but an actual attack, it's been good. Def. helps to get rid of all triggers and as much stressors as possible.

      Delete
  15. Dear Drea,
    I’ve been reading your blog for two years now, but never commented. This topic, however, goes close to my heart. I felt relieved and encouraged while reading your post.

    I’ve been struggling with anxiety for the past five years.The first anxiety attack I had, was when I thought I was getting a migrene (I had a very bad migrene in my teens, tying me to bed with terrible headaches and several throw ups. Needless to say, I was always scared of getting a migrene in my daily life…) Although I didn’t get a migrene that evening, I was so scared, that I couldn’t calm myself. Here goes panick attack number one. I’ve actually just had two real panic attacks within these five years. But over the months and years I developed a fear of anxiety attacks. That sounds strange. I guess I was ashamed of losing control over myself that I desperately tried to hide this side of me to everyone.

    I was just starting to work as a teacher at a High School. I had lots of people look at and grade my lessons. It was very stressful and a challenging. I knew I had to get a good grade in order to get a permanent teaching position. So with the pressure and the need to be perfect, it all got worse. Suddenly I felt uncomfortable in teacher conferences. I felt claustrophobic and thought: What if I want to leave the room? I cannot stand up in front of everyone. They are going to stare at me. Then the same feeling struck me while sitting in the cinema. Then I felt anxious going into town shopping or in the supermarket, because what if I had a panic attack right there. Everyone would watch me. Who would help me? How would I get home? Getting on a plane? No way! The thought of sitting in a small plane with so many strangers. Not being able to get out when I want to. Again everyone watching me while I might have a panick attack.

    I went to a therapist to get help. I didn’t get medication, because I wanted to deal with it, not push it away. And it got much better. I did some big changes in my life. I broke up with my boyfriend after 8 years of being together and found a new love. Everything was great.

    Then last years I got problems with my back. Chronic tensions in my lower back. Getting through the work day, standing for longer than five minutes, on some days even sitting became an impossible task. Pain relievers did’nt work AT ALL. One day I went to a football match with my boyfriend. I had to stand in the stadion for over 2 hours. My back hurt really bad. And then I passed out. It had never happened before. It has never happened since, but it freaked me out. And it made things so much worse.

    Where I am now, every day is a challenge. My back is better but the fear is still there. When I stand in front of the class or in line at the supermarket panic rises. Waiting means time to think. Thinking is not good. What if I faint again, right here in front of everyone? Heartbeating, sweating, dizziness, the pressure in my chest, it’s getting hard to breathe. It all feels like fainting. I know avoiding these situations will only make it worse. So I force myself every day and hope it will get better again.

    Thank you for sharing your story, Drea. I think everyone knows what a cold feels like, but only few people know what mental issues feel like. That‘s why it is so hard for them to understand. If more people shared their problems, it would help people understand and help us or at least me to realize that nobody is perfect. We all have our problems and it’s good to know that I am not alone with mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, I just read your comment and felt compelled to reply. I do not have mental health issues- other than being slightly off-center and neurotic, ADD, and a tad OCD (does that count? I'm not sure. Some days yes, some days no I'd say ;)) but I can very much empathize with what you have described and I wanted to offer my tiny suggestion to you. This may sound bizarre coming from a stranger, but I truly believe this method is life-changing.

      I have been a student of the Feldenkrais Method for several years, and recently began training to become certified as a practitioner. This method can help ANYONE. It is a very complex form of bodywork, and encourages one to interact with themselves on a deep and philosophical level that no other form of bodywork can do. It deals less with the muscular system, and more with the skeletal and nervous system (and the idea that our brains wired our bodies loooooOOONG before we were even capable of self-awareness, therefore creating physical and mental habits that may be of no benefit to us over a lifetime, and may perhaps be harming or hindering us). It is great for chronic pain (or unexplained back, neck, or any joint pain), stress and anxiety, nerve disorders, and it is often used by dancers and actors as a way of unlocking creativity.

      I have wrestled with ADD my entire life, and feel that it has become even more prevalent of a problem in my adult life, and through Feldenkrais I have unintentionally (I initially began Feldenkrais to treat hip pain, and had NO idea how important it would become in my life) found a way of not just quieting my brain, but engaging with it, and learning to be much, much kinder to it. And that, in turn has changed so much in my life. My relationship with my fiance and my family, my experience within my body (no more pain), my sex-life, my creative life, my personal pursuits, my sleep patterns- you name it, it's benefitted from Feldenkrais.

      The Feldenkrais Method offers a very gentle and authentic approach towards living within your own self and your world. It can help to teach your brain that it has options to behave differently. It is very profound work and I believe it will find a more prominent place in the world, as it deals with the brain and the central nervous system in a way that no other modalities or therapies do.

      It is difficult for me to explain this all in a comment. If you are at all curious, I would urge you to do some research and perhaps seek out a practitioner or group classes, depending on where you are located. I am not claiming to know everything about Feldenkrais, or anything about anxiety disorders, but I know from experience and from observation that this method has profound life-changing capabilities, and can really and truly help connect oneself to their more authentic self- which can be a crazy, but comforting journey.

      Best of luck to you. Please let me know if you would like me to share some articles or information about Feldenkrais. I would be happy to. Or, just plant this recommendation as a seed in your brain and perhaps at another point in your life it may be beneficial to you. All my best :)

      Delete
    2. Ah, thank you for sharing your story. You're so right, I never thought about it really, that not everyone knows what it feels like. You can only describe it so much, but the actual physical and emotional symptoms are really something you have to experience to understand. I admit that even I myself, when I'm at my best, almost forget how bad it can get. I just completely shut it out, but once it hits it's always an "oh shit" moment. It's hard, but can def. be manageable. I wish you all the best my dear <3

      Delete
  16. thank you so much for sharing this. it really makes me feel less alone. i'm currently in college and i've been struggling with anxiety since mid-high school but this makes me feel at least a little better. best wishes!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I can relate to this so well. Thanks for sharing your journey. I am still struggling with finding a way to cope. Having a big family, the distractions and daily life make my anxiety soar because I can't just sit and work things out for myself, everything is just go, go, go with kids screaming at me from all directions. I love people, going out and doing things but this anxiety makes it hard to get going, especially when things don't go as planned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, I completely understand that. It's hard to pick up and start somewhere, isn't it? It like you want to go out, need to go out, and once you do, its usually fine, but the actual act of getting up and going is the hardest. <3

      Delete
  18. I have generalized anxiety disorder too. Only my husband and two best friends know, though many people have noticed through the years that I have anxious times. I don't like to come out and say it because I feel like people will have preconceived notions of what it means.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much for such an honest and open post. It's brave and it makes me like you even more than I already did :). This may be hard to believe, but things only get better in your 30's. I'm as calm as I've ever been, worry free and generally happy. There are still "moments", but they don't rule my life.

    www.brasshoney.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I believe that. I said it to someone recently, I forget which friend. But growing up my mom always told me my 30's would be the best years. I think she's right :)

      Delete
  20. I too, would want to comment, come back to it to revise it and write something sensible. It's not really practical so I'll just say I see myself in you - I had to achieve the impossible to overcome the worries, had to leave my family, my country to re-build self-esteem. I'm glad I did, after 9 years abroad I am a different person, yes a little older and hopefully wiser, trying not to stress over things of low importance but taking that foot out the door (comfort zone) each day is the best way to fight my demons. They still rumble to be let in at times but I've learnt to deal with them.

    You're a wonderful woman, Drea. xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh Drea, I recognised so much in this post. And so have many others too I see. I really cannot face being the centre of attention, even in a room with half a dozen friends. I never go to the last day of a job because I couldn't bear a presentation of gifts etc. and having to speak. I have always been shy. Thank you for this post, it helps to know that you have battled anxiety and that you are happy. I am so glad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh CJ! I totally get this. I hate the goodbyes and attentions. I cant open presents in front of people. I didn't go to my high school graduation. I played "too cool" but the idea of it all was mortifying. You're not alone. I wont ever sing you happy birthday.

      Delete
  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for this post. I'm not really sure what to say because I've never never commented on a blog post before. (I don't talk to people well.) But this post made me feel better, as this is where I've been for the last few years, and especially badly this last month, and reading something like this makes me feel less scared and alone. I'm too scared to make my own blog, and I wouldn't know how to start, but I've always wanted one where, among normal fun stuff, I could talk openly about anxiety, etc. and maybe make someone feel a little bit better, like you made me feel in this post. So thanks, and sorry for getting all ramble-y.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For blogging, start with the things you like and go from there :) As important or unimportant as things seem, as you like what you're doing, thats what matters!

      Delete
  24. You may have just helped me figure out what the hell has been going on with me. Since having Jack, I haven't been the same person. I feel off, like something is wrong, I'm just not the same me. I have a panic attack every two months or so... usually right before my period. I have considered all types of "issues"... postpartum depression, anxiety, etc. but nothing seems to add up. I'm a pretty social person. I love to go out and be with friends and family, but lately, it's been a struggle. --- I recently started working for a vegan product line. When I have to give presentations, I nearly pass out... I never use to be like this. I use to pride myself in being a good public speaker.. now I'm nervous and awkward. I also recently went to a bloggers event in my city... I only talked to one person and again, I thought I was going to pass out. (NOT me!?)

    Thanks for sharing this Drea, it helps me think maybe I'm not crazy and it happens to others. Sometimes your posts are like you got inside my head and wrote it down here on your blog. :)

    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm nervous for you when I hear "giving presentations". That's honestly something I'm putting on my goal list/bucket list, I want to be able to get up and publicly speak. You're doing good tho! The fact that you even do it at all! AND that you went to a convention! :)

      Delete
  25. Thanks so much for posting! Reading through the comments I see there are a lot of people touched by your words... me too! I have a very important (to me) doctor's appointment tomorrow after going off meds for the first time in 8 years for similar things. Your post reminded me that I CAN DO THIS, no matter how much I want to retreat back into the pills. Thanks-- your words helped a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I wish you all the luck. You can!

      Delete
  26. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. I have bad anxiety, although it has improved a lot this year. I've always had it, always been this way since I was a little girl. I am just glad to see someone else sharing their story about anxiety because I think sometimes others don't really realize how bad it can get it. So, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is exactly me. I am social. I love to throw parties, but going to parties. Nope. Hate it. I couldn't have a wedding. The thought of all those eyes on me walking down the aisle. I got anxiety just typing that.

    ReplyDelete
  28. There's this Miranda July quote that I love: “In my paranoid world every storekeeper thinks I’m stealing, every man thinks I’m a prostitute or a lesbian, every woman thinks I’m a lesbian or arrogant, and every child and animal sees the real me and it is evil.”

    For me, this quote kind of sums up my anxious tendencies, and I really love it when I read things that do that - just like what you've written above. So I just had to share that I know what it feels like to suffer in it, through it, and mostly out of it *on the good days,* which come much more frequently these days, thanks to the little human who depends on me to be strong.

    So, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  29. There's this Miranda July quote that I love: “In my paranoid world every storekeeper thinks I’m stealing, every man thinks I’m a prostitute or a lesbian, every woman thinks I’m a lesbian or arrogant, and every child and animal sees the real me and it is evil.”

    For me, this quote kind of sums up my anxious tendencies, and I really love it when I read things that do that - just like what you've written above. So I just had to share that I know what it feels like to suffer in it, through it, and mostly out of it *on the good days,* which come much more frequently these days, thanks to the little human who depends on me to be strong.

    So, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It's so positive to see all these comments. I am at university at the moment and I go through exactly the same thing. The fear of walking into my lecture room, in front of 300 people, and taking my seat, is too much to deal with sometimes and, like you, I can't face leavng my house and going in. It sucks :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny, I almost preferred the bigger lecture halls! It seemed like nobody cared about anyone. But then stick 25-30 people in a small room and it feels like people are looking around figuring everyone out. I always tried to get there early if possible.... it's why I like to be early for things in general. <3

      Delete
  31. i so get this. i felt like my family never realized my struggle with anxiety because i behaved and got good grades so they assumed everything was fine and concentraed on my more outgoing siblings with more obvious problems like failing classes. i've worked through it, and its definitely not as bad as it was when i was younger, but i still feel anxiety clench me from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm right there with you. I've always had anxiety, ever since a child. The loud yelling and screaming my parents did back and forth when I was little, while I hugged my little brother tightly, wound me up. So very tight, that I had a really hard time letting myself loose after that. I became a very controlled person. Because in a controlled setting, I could prepare myself for what was to come. But there was the occasional uncontrolled setting that would happen, and I had a hard time handling it.

    It's kind of a "my secret" kind of anxiety. I use my inner voice to comfort myself and try my best to "hide" things. Not that I'm keeping it from anyone, I'm just trying to function in the daily world without letting it hinder my life. But it does, from time to time, appear.

    My teen years were hard. I spent a lot of time hiding from friends or at home "sick". I just didn't want to push myself through it. It was overwhelming and emotionally draining. So why leave and fight boughts of anxiety, when I could just stay in and watch old movies?

    Then I got tired of sitting and waiting. And I owned myself and started living. I used a quiet inner voice to calm myself and started using positive thinking over negative thinking. I praised myself for getting through social situations or awkward moments. I met my now husband, got married and had a care free, anxiety free life for a number of years. Promising myself I wouldn't have a relationship as tumultuous as my parents helped. We kept things calm and simple and filled with love.

    Then we welcomed our daughter into the world in May of 2012. It was love at first sight. But again, those feelings from a decade ago started creeping back. The newly found motherhood awakened my pits of anxiety and I felt panicked all of the time. I was afraid to leave the house with her and normal feats, like checking out at the grocery store made my skin burn with heat and my head start to spin. I felt out of control, and out of body.

    I was hard on myself. I couldn't give myself any time to heal from my very still raw birth experience to the idea of being a new mother to a new tiny human who just needed me. I was pushing myself to heal emotionally, and physically, from a scary cesarean birth. I kept telling myself I shouldn't feel this way. I should feel "normal" or "better", quicker and sooner. But I didn't and I wasn't and I went through a lot of beating myself up.

    Until one day, I just stopped beating myself up. I brought back those old helpful tricks of positive thinking and calm inner voice techniques. I started praising myself again when I made it through the grocery store without an "attack". And when I did have an "attack", I would tell myself that it was alright, and I'd do better next time. I started to understand that I was just human and that I went through a fucking hell of a lot to get my daughter on this earth and that if I wanted to feel goddamn anxious, then I was going to just have to let my body do it's thing.

    And now, she's 1 and half and things are simpler again. It's ebb and flow with anxiety. I don't think it ever goes away, really. I think it comes and goes and how we handle it, is what makes us the person we am.

    That you can recognize it, and handle it, and move on from it, is powerful and brave. And knowing that you're not in this alone, none of us are, is even more powerful. Thank-you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I can relate to this in so many ways. It's so easy to feel like something is "wrong" with me when really, who gets to be the judge of that? This is who I am, and I didn't choose to be this way. Of course it's something I constantly work at because I can't always be nervous to ask the drive-thru employee for a new soda when mine tastes awful (ridiculous, I know). What is really difficult is being an actress and suffering from anxiety/excruciating shyness. But it's reassuring to know I'm not alone with these struggles.

    ReplyDelete
  34. oh, I could have written (the sentiment) of this post or something very similar myself. that idea that 'this is who I am' is a strange one isn't it? well, it is for me.

    congrats to you on everything you've accomplished today and nice one on being honest and open about it here. I always love your blog but this post is especially good :) sending you my best from sydney x

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wow, what an awesome blog-post... And I too, suffer from anxiety... Things mostly turns out good when I'm well prepared... Like for meetings, job interviews or even going to the mall. But when I'm surrounded by to many people for too long I start to feel panicky. I currently use an aromatherapy pulse-point oil behind my ears + wrist to calm my nerves. I will definitely look into the Feldenkrais Method, thank you Erin and Drea... xoxo

    adventuresofvictoriafolksy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I admire your honesty so much; it's one of the things that first stood out to me when I found your blog. I can relate to so much of what you've written here. As a photographer and business owner I have to push through it each time I meet a client or even pick up the phone. Thank you for being brave enough to share; I know that there were probably so many who needed to hear that they aren't alone.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I really admire your honesty also. I also wanted to mention that a great natural remedy is to take Glycine (the amino acid). A capsule or 2 really stops the anxiety in it's tracks, and it's something you get anyway. It's nice to have in your back pocket :) Thanks for the post, you are not alone!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for Posting ! first time I have found a genuine post related to Anxiety Disorder


    ReplyDelete
  39. It's great that u can admit it. I didnt tell anyone, not because I ignore it but (I think) Im ok with it, or try to accept it. A friend who saw me at time I got it, he said I had a mental illness. It made me shocked so I tried to find out. Then I think I will let it be just like before someone told me abt it. Oh yeah, I have left my pills behind. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  40. You are so courageous. I deal with anxiety too, and it is "silly" that some small little things can cause so much anxiety, when the big things are totally fine. Thank you for sharing. Its always helpful to acknowledge that im not the only one

    ReplyDelete
  41. You are so courageous. I deal with anxiety too. Isn't it "silly" how the smallest things can cause so much anxiety, when you can just glide through the big things without a problem. Thanks for sharing; its always helpful to acknowledge that i'm not the only one

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love that you shared your story, It is so nice to read another story of someone dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It takes a lot to share and I am glad you did! I have dealt with Anxiety my whole life. I love that all the people who suffer from Anxiety can come together and share their own experiences so no one feels alone! Thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Excellent post. As someone who's generalized anxiety turned into agoraphobia I tried everything in the books. I learned that sharing my struggle was the greatest healer. I'd be honored if you'd check out my blog sometime. Pursuingmercy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete