Anxiety runs in my family. I have had anxiety since I was as little as three years old. I remember being anxious about being away from my parents when they where having my little sister. Yes, my first memory ever is of been anxious. I wanna be clear that being anxious and being worried are two different things. Anxiety is a physical, bodily feeling and worry is just in your head. Anxiety is more general than worry too. I wish I had the words to explain what its like. This is the best I got.
Anxiety is the feeling of ‘something is going to happen’ good or bad. That anticipation and riled up heightened senses, raised blood pressure and heat rate, sweaty palms and butterflies in the stomach feeling. Usually, it’s uncomfortable and annoying feeling that is extremely draining. It’s a stress on the body like your body is preparing to act when nothing is coming, nothing is going to happen but your body is in fight of flight mode getting ready.
Anyway, I live with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
I was formally diagnosed with Anxiety in about 2013-2014. I always knew I had it and what it was in about 2012, but choose not to seek diagnosis because I didn’t want to be on some psych med for anxiety. Plus I thought I was able to handle it okay. (Jumping forward: really I didn’t know life without anxiety, so I thought I was managing it, I wasn’t.)
Symptoms of Anxiety that I Experience Daily:
I wanna preface that I am on the autism spectrum so some of the symptoms are exacerbated by that.
- Over thinking/rethinking the same thought again and again
- Twitchy, nervous wiggling.
- Irrational worries. Like I know they are okay but I worry anyway.
- Did I lock the front door?
- Are the kitties safe?
- Trouble with sleep
- Falling asleep/staying asleep.
Dealing With It:
At some point in all the diagnosis’s and psych meds and frustration. I had to realize that God made me this way, and he doesn’t make mistakes. That helps me deal, a lot. I am a big believer in that everything has a purpose and so I am inclined to believe that I have a purpose in being anxious. Is it annoying/tiring/frustrating of course. I have been so anxious that I have have a panic attack, I have been so anxious that I cried (not a big crier), I have been so anxious that I had to cancel plans with friends/family. There are days where it’s worse than others, like all things. Being around a lot of people or what I call “peopling” a lot can lead to high anxiety for me.
The important thing is knowing how to handle it. Usually, for most of my anxiety I can talk myself down. Logically reason that my anxiety is what is causing this feeling and not something else. If that doesn’t work, I isolate, and listen to music or lay in bed, or sleep. If that fails, then there is one key trick I have learned that always makes anxiety go away. Give it to God. I am still learning that that should be my first plan, not my last resort. Sometimes just singing a song of praise in your head is all it takes.
I know many people are again taking a medication for anxiety. Honestly, I think there are a lot of cases where people can live with anxiety disorders and never need a med. However, I think there are situations where a person is living with such high anxiety that it’s taking away from their ability to live life. Thats where I think a medicine is needed. You know so many people think it’s a weakness to be on a anxiety med. Yet its the opposite. It takes strength to admit it when you need help and it takes even more strength to get that help.
In 2014 after some incidents of drinking more than I should have, (and drinking because I was anxious) I decided to give an anxiety medication a go. It was meant to be a temporary fix so I could get the stressors in my life under control and then go off the medication.
I’m still on an anxiety medication. I went though about 5 or 6 different ones till I found one that had the least or most livable side affects. Then about a year of finding the right dose.
The med I am on now only side affects are it makes me tired, and it makes my mouth dry. So I’m constantly thirsty. I don’t want to go off an anxiety med. I thought I would want to but I don’t. Its helping me right now and at this point in my life I need the help. So I will keep taking them.
Well, that’s my anxiety in a nutshell. I am happy to go in to details about it with people or even talk more about it here. Just say the word.