Anxiety

A weekend with a reminder.

I haven’t had an anxiety attack in months. And I know for certain I haven’t had a panic attack in a LONG time. I’ve been feeling super down and trying to cope after my decision to go off anti-depressants. But no anxiety or panic attacks. Just a lot of anxiety and depression.

Well that all changed yesterday. After talking with my doctor last week, I decided that going back on medicine was best for me. People with diabetes wouldn’t stop taking insulin and people with high blood pressure couldn’t stop taking their medication. So why should I fight that I needed medicine to have a better quality of life? It was a decision I’ve thought about and prayed about for weeks and decided it was time.

Since I’ve only been on it since last Thursday, it’s not fully working yet. The sucky thing about medication for anxiety is that sometimes, your anxiety gets worse before it gets better. It takes your body time to recognize the medicine and take effect. So yesterday, for no apparent reason, my body decided it was going to have an anxiety attack.

My body started to tingle from head to toe.

My face felt numb.

My hands started shaking.

My heart was beating rapidly.

I started crying for fear that I was going to die.

Everything was building up in anticipation that something was going to go wrong.

Now to a “normal” person, this may seem completely ridiculous. Take my husband for example. I called him crying because I was scared that something bad was going to happen. And I was angry that my body was “tricking” me into feeling like this. When this happens, he tells me that I’m a young, healthy 30-year old and that nothing is going to happen. That I’ve had chest x-rays, EKGs, you name it. And that it all checks out okay. And he’s right, on paper everything seems fine.

But it’s not that easy. My mind doesn’t work that way when the anxiety is attacking full force. And I’m not upset that my husband or anyone else without anxiety doesn’t understand how real these things feel. And how hard it is not to worry when you physically feel symptoms. Because anxiety is really hard to understand if you don’t have it.

So my aunt (bless her heart) asked me if I wanted to go on a walk outside to get some fresh air. And once I started walking, looking at the waterfalls around me, and focusing on my breathing, I felt 10 times better. But on a Sunday surrounded by family while drafting for our fantasy football league, I was reminded that I do have an illness. And that it’s something that I have to live with and learn how to cope.

I’ve talked before about my search to find natural ways to deal with anxiety. And I’m not going to stop those just because I’m back on medicine. I feel like medicine may help me get over the hump right now but ultimately, I need to find ways to deal with it and control it. And that it’s NOTHING to be embarrassed about or feel like I can’t talk about. And if you’re struggling, I want you to know that. Mental illness is real. And you’re not alone, I can promise you that.

If you struggle with anxiety, how do you cope? What coping mechanisms have you found to be most successful? 

 

 

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13 COMMENTS

  • Sarah

    I always love when you post your struggles with anxiety and depression. It always makes me feel better and not so alone. Thank you for being so real throughout your process. Looking forward to following more of your posts 🙂

  • Marette

    Good for your for realizing what is best for you and getting the help you need. I find that being outdoors is best for my anxiety as well. I also find yoga class helps immensely!

  • Liane

    I’ve been dealing with anxiety,depression & panic attacks since I was 13. It’s a daily struggle & I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this too. You’ve had so many changes lately so that’s probably not helping!

    Remember that you are an amazing & beautiful lady! If you ever want to chat then feel free to message or skype me 🙂

  • cara

    Anxiety is a beast and it’s very difficult to live with, but learning those small ways to cope to anxious situations (like going outside for a walk) is so important! Just remember that you are stronger than you know and you’ve got this, girl! 🙂

  • ChrissyAdventures

    I completely understand and support your decision to go back on the antidepressants. I don’t like taking them either. I started having the anxiety attacks, depression and PTSD episodes after my husband of 14 years died while I was doing CPR. I fought all these demons alone for a period of months before I finally agreed to start taking the medication. You’re right, it takes a while for the body to recognize the medicine is helping you and sometimes it’s much worse before it is better.
    He died eight years ago and through the course of time, I have had the doctor wean me off of the anxiety medicine permanently. Then I had him wean me off of the antidepressants thinking life was just great and I could go without them. I fell into a very depressed state and I had to go back on them to save my life once more. It’s been a roller coaster ride of taking the medicine, going off, taking the medicine again for all this time. And I have finally decided that my quality of life is better while I’m taking it. I don’t care what people think or feel about it, it makes my life a little bit easier. I’ll keep you in my prayers dear!

  • Val

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I can totally relate – panic attacks & meds & the husband who doesn’t quite get it – and all. Hoping you find some relief SO quickly <3

  • Felly

    Aw, Samantha. I can’t imagine how horrible this was for you. With my anxiety and depression, I had to get on medicine and then UP my dose to cope. For the days that it gets bad, I find writing in a journal or reading poetry really help with me. Best wishes getting better <3

    Felly // http://www.fellybee.com

  • Tiara

    Amazing post. It takes courage to openly talk about your anxiety and I admire you for such.

  • Helen

    Anxiety is such a real thing. Good for you for realizing what you need and giving yourself the time and space outdoors that is necessary.

    • Samantha
      AUTHOR

      Took me awhile to realize it but it needed to happen <3

  • Molly

    I hate that you have this struggle, but I think it is amazing that you are so open about it. You’ve got this, lady!

    Molly // Miss Molly Moon

    • Samantha
      AUTHOR

      Thank you friend… appreciate it <3

  • Angela Fresne

    Samantha, thanks again for sharing so openly on such a taboo topic. Very real indeed. I shared my experience with you so you know I accepted that meds are sometimes and maybe always a necessary thing. Love that you are also exploring other ways to reduce anxiety and depression. Exercise, eating healthy, having a strong family support system are all important. Hang in there, there will be better days.

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