An Anxious Mind (great name for a book don't ya think?)
Posted Jun 16 2009 9:19am
“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” Arthur Somers
I’ve learned a lot about myself in the 10 years I’ve lived with anxiety. I’ve learned that although I have moments of weakness I’m strong in the face of adversity. One would have to be in order to endure the daily struggle that goes on in the mind of a person living with anxiety. I’m often intrigued how it can, on one hand, completely imobilize me, yet on the other, unveil an amazing determination.
The last couple of weeks have been really tough, my anxiety has been coming on strong and staying awhile. It’s crazy, irrational, annoying and exhausting! I live my life in a constant state of fear and stress!
Everybody has their own theory on how and why my anxiety started, but I can only look at some of the things that were going on in my life at the time and how I reacted to them. However, I often think if they’re what triggered my anxiety and I know this why do they still happen? And what do I have to do to make them stop?
I’m aware my anxiety is all fear based and is exasperated by a lack of control of those fears. For example, I have a fear of dying, so when I have palpitations or feel a little dizzy that fear is intensified and my mind floods with hundreds of other fears like “am I having a heart attack?”, ”will I see my family again?”, “what will happen to my daughter?”, “I don’t want to die”, “am I going crazy?”, and it sends my body into a fight or flight mode which sometimes will lead into a full blown panic attack… can’t breath, palpitations, sweats, nervousness, gotta get outta here, etc..
A panic attack is very scary, once you’ve had one, the fear of another is sometimes just as scary as the panic attack itself. In the beginning I found myself avoiding places where I had an attack and the thought of revisiting those places made me extremely anxious. Over time it seems to have dominoed into lots of little irrational fears making it much harder to do simple things like going to the grocery store, driving long distances, or just being in social situations in general. The fear of having an attack in public and the possibility of someone judging me was and still is scary. Will they think I’m crazy? is one of the first thoughts that comes to mind or what if I pass out? What’ll happen to Meg? Anxiety tends to make me think of the worst case scenario’s and I haven’t quite figured out how to rewire that process yet.
Sometimes anxiety make me lonely, depressed, angry and frustrated, but I know I have to keep moving forward and pushing myself to do the things that make me uncomfortable, some days are better than others, but as long as I try I’m making progress right?!
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt