A conflicted rampage taking over every cell of your anatomy; conquering your trinity of body, spirit and mind. The irrational wave of self loathing and intrusive thoughts hits you and you can't breathe. As if being suffocated by a darkening mist your lungs feel tight and oxygen seems unavailable. Each wispy breath quickens the general pace of the movement of the rib cage expanding. The lightheadedness that follows is a normal reaction. Suddenly you feel like you're going mad; like you can't even control your own body as your heart rate throbs at an excessive rate. There is no peace to be found as butterflies surge through the stomach and tears pearce the eyes. Yet through it all you fake a smile; hide the pain and face the day.
Learning to take little steps is a huge step towards recovery from social anxiety disorder. Yep, it's true! Weird as that may sound. It is logical though, although it may seem as though you are simply enabling the anxiety for a long time. But think about it, if you constantly put yourself in the most anxiety provoking situation you can, and then panic, you are only building up a great evidence base that that situation Will ALWAYS make you panic. It took me ages to learn this, and I used to always beat myself up because I hadn't managed a situation as well as I 'should' have.
I hated the fact that I couldn't eat out. Couldn't go to parties. Couldn't sing in public. Because as far as I was concerned, I SHOULD be doing all those things, without ANY anxiety whatsoever!
This is simply not the case.
It works like this.
The more you force yourself into situations which you aren't ready to manage, the more evidence you have that you CAN'T manage them.
The littler steps you take, the less likely you are to panic.
The more little steps you succeed in taking without panicking, the bigger backlog of evidence you have to prove that you CAN manage your anxiety.
Once you have this evidence that you can manage your anxiety in little steps, then you can slowly move on to a bigger little step.
Keep doing this, until you finally reach a point where you are happy.
Sure, this can take years! But the moral of this blog is - Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
Don't let anyone push you into a situation you aren't ready to deal with!
Follow more of my own journey with little steps (which are becoming bigger) at www.jessicaclairemusic.com or @jessicaclaire85
When we get panic attacks, we all tend to deal with them differently. Mostly because we are all unique individuals and because of that no one persons anxiety or panic attack is exactly like anothers. This is neither good nor bad. Because of this, it wouldn't make sense for me to try and tell you know to treat your anxiety, because what works for someone does nothing for someone else. That being said, all I can do is talk about my experiences and hope that by reading them, someone can relate and find comfort in the fact that they are not alone.
You are not alone.
Ever since I knew my worry and symptoms had a name - anxiety disorder - I began searching for articles to read, treatments, and more importantly, people like me. I've been on many online fourms and websites looking for that reassurance that I wasn't the only one feeling the way I felt. I soon found out I was one of millions of people worldwide who suffer with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety Social Net is a great place where I feel I can really be myself. I don't really talk about my anxiety on other social media websites, so I am grateful I can come on here and feel 'normal'.
Let me start out by saying I am on medication right now for my anxiety and depression. I had been medication free for many years, and i was trying to cope naturally. Certain events in my life had made my anxiety unbearable. I was lost, scared and to be honest, I didn't know if I could fight anymore. It was a losing battle and I had lost who I was and what I was worth, in the fight. I did some research and decided to call my local behavioral health facility. They did an assesment and told me I would be staying with them for a few days. It was volluntary, and I knew I needed help, so I took the offer. I didn't know at the time it would be the best decision I could ever make. Once I got of the stigma of being in a "mental hospital", I starting taking every opportunity they gave me with open arms. In the hospital, they put me on medication and monitored me. like most people with anxiety, I get very nervous taking medication, mostly because everything I've been on has given me terrible side effects. I usually start by only taking a quarter of what the doctor perscribed. At the hospital I didn't have a choice, they sat by me with the new medication and a cup of water and urged me to take it. I swallowed the pill and withen 20 minutes I was knocked out.
When I woke up I realized I wasn't dead, and I should take this opportunity to trust the doctors. I did, and I felt better. When I got out (I stayed for 4 days), I felt like a new person. Things were looking up and I had a new look on life.
Until June 1st. On June 1st I got a call at 2 am from my dad. My parents were living about 6 hours North of me. I woke up to my phone ringing and I instantly got a knot in my stomach. Nothing good could be at the other end of the phone. It was my dad. I knew something was wrong. I picked up the phone and answered it by saying "What's wrong!?", my dad's voice was shakey as he told me my mom had had a heart attack. She was alive, but they had to do emergency surgery and they had to fly her 45 minutes to another hospital in Oregan. I hung up the phone and my world came crashing down. I got news she passed away around 6am. Her heart was not strong enough and they could not get to the blockage. She was not sick, she wasn't morbidally obese, it was a complete shock. I love my mom with all heart. I never really knew when people talk about heart break, that a piece of your heart litterly breaks.
Since then I have been battling my anxiety with a vengance. My armor is on, my sword is in hand and I am ready to fight this war. I know there will be days when I feel defeated. When I don't want to leave the house, when the thought of going to grocery store brings feelings of terror and when I'll be perfectly fine then all of sudden I feel like I am going to die. Everyday is something new, and that's my normal.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to be able to put all these thoughts in my head into words, and I hope I can make a difference in somebody's life who is battling anxiety. We are not alone and I am proud of every single person who wakes up everyday with anxiety and keeps living, keeps pushing, and won't let thier anxiety define who they are. We are people above all, we are not our illness.
Fear is a major part of my life. I’m scared to get up, scared to go to work, scared to come home from work, scared to go to sleep and also scared to do everything in between. It’s this fear that causes anger and pain. I know the thoughts I have are irrational and that my mind is playing tricks but the helplessness causes me to mentally “beat myself up” over it.
what is anxiety to me:
It is a pretty standard list, if you search anxiety and depression symptoms you are likely to find all of them listed; except two. Strength and Hope. The reason I have included these will become clear by the end of this blog.
When I have a panic or anxiety attack I always get a pain down my left arm and a crushing feeling in my chest. After being on this site I have found that I am not alone in feeling this pain. However, I am always wary to dismiss it as just an attack as it’s always in my mind that this time it could be an actual heart attack!
One of the main reasons I decided to write this was to push myself. If it embarrasses me, then so be it. There have been many times I have avoided doing things because I was scared of being judged, failing and making an utter fool of myself; but recently I made a conscious choice to do the things I would have shied away from regardless of what anyone may think.
It’s easier said than done.
How will I ever know if I am good at something unless I try it? How will I find something to distract me from being anxious and depressed without giving it a go? I recently saw this quote that sums up what I mean. It is from a man called Fredrick Smith:
“Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try anything.”
I’m often perceived as lazy. This is a tag that annoys me because I do not choose to be, motivation is not something I can control…yet! As sufferers will know, the effort it takes to get up in the morning alone, let alone the strength it takes to make it through the day, is something that many people cannot understand.
This leads me nicely on to Strength and Hope.
If you think of all the energy, strength and effort you put into fighting your symptoms and living a normal life (whatever that is!) shows how amazing we really are and with just a little self-belief we can take control of our lives and not live dictated by the disorder. The strongest people I know are the people who live or have lived with mental health disorders, and that gives me hope for the future.
Dale (profile name Megalatron)
Please feel free to add me or inbox me with feedback or just a chat. No-one has to suffer alone! Also thanks to user kevin88 for drawing my avatar!