August 5, 2015

I'm Trying To Deal With My Anxiety

I feel that anxiety is a common word these days. When I experienced an anxiety attack for the first time I had no idea what it was. I was walking in to work several years ago, and as I walked up to the front doors I couldn't breathe. I felt like everything was collapsing around me and I had to sit down on a bench to try and calm down. I felt sick and I was sweating. Finally a coworker walked past and saw me and was able to help me get back to normal.

I went about my day and little did I know that this would come back a few years later. The next time I experienced any form of anxiety it was again centered around work. I had a very demanding job at the time and often worked many hours of the day, from home, on the road on top of being in the office during standard work hours. I received several e-mails a day from my boss and it got to the point that I would have anxiety attacks in the morning as I was getting ready for work. I would see an e-mail come through my inbox and the next thing you knew I was on my bathroom floor sitting there for 30 minutes or more having a breakdown and avoiding going in to the office.

I could never pinpoint what was happening or why I was experiencing this. I finally went to a doctor and it took several unfortunate situations. I would snap if my house wasn't clean and I didn't feel in control. I would cry when I was in a large crowd, such as a sporting event, when I didn't feel safe. I needed everything in my life to be in order or I had a breakdown.

My doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and a mild form of OCD when all was said and done. I was given a prescription to take at the onset of an attack. I also instructed to take the pill if I was going to be in a situation where I already knew I would be very anxious, such as a crowded event, or  getting ready for large family functions.

I can't explain why I become anxious, but I do know it takes over my body. It's so hard to explain to someone that your heart feels like it is going to pound out of your chest, that things around you feel like they are collapsing in, that you zone out and start sweating, and get incredibly overwhelmed. I am not currently on medication, and I want to find a remedy without taking a pill.

When I get anxious and can't calm myself down I usually snap, and say mean things as a result of not being able to relax. I feel so tense and as if things won't get better, even though they always do. I hate that I do it, and yet, every single time an attack comes on I end up saying or doing something I regret. I feel like a child, and I don't like it.

I'm trying to find things that will help when I'm in the moment. Anxiety hits me like a ton of bricks, usually it's in an uncomfortable setting as I mentioned such as a large event. When we go to football or basketball games at a stadium I literally hold Chuck's hand, put my head down, and walk. I can't look up or look around me or I freak out. At work, each Christmas we hold an open house and a ton of people enter our doors at once. The conversation alone describing the event to me for the first time by my boss set me in to a panic.

I am very comfortable standing in a room of 500 people speaking or a crowd of strangers, but the other situations put me in a complete panic. I am trying to find more ways to deal with this on the spot besides having to leave the room or situation I am in.

Anxiety isn't easy. Please, the next time someone is experiencing a hard time- don't tell them to calm down. Just being present and non-judgemental makes a word of difference for someone with anxiety.

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with anxiety?

Check out some tips I found and pinned.

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