It’s something that I don’t talk about too often. To be honest, it’s something I’m still not completely comfortable with sharing. But with everything that has been going on lately, I thought sharing this part of my life would be a good way to cope. I started this blog wanting to be pretty transparent. I want to be able to openly share parts of my life with you whether it be good or bad. There are parts of my life that aren’t so great and anxiety is one of them.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for a while now. I’ve always been pretty anxious, even as a child, but I usually dismissed it as just being a worry wart. It got worse as I got older. It really hit me around the time I was in my late teens/early twenties. I was in nursing school and in an extremely toxic relationship. I would get so stressed out that it started affecting me not only emotionally but physically too. It was during that time that I experienced my first anxiety attack and that’s when I knew it was much more than just worrying.
For anyone that has experienced an anxiety attack, I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re the absolute worst. They’re different for each person. For me, they can be mild or they can be debilitating. When I feel one coming on, I get this sense of impending doom. A little dramatic, I know, but that’s literally how I feel sometimes. If it’s pretty bad, my whole body just tenses up, my jaw clenches, and I get palpitations. My chest feels heavy and I feel like I can’t breathe. I start having all these thoughts racing through my head. I know that they’re completely irrational, but I can’t stop them. It just feels like I’m losing control over myself. It’s scary, to say the least. What makes it worse is that sometimes when I’m having an anxiety attack, I look perfectly fine on the outside but on the inside, it’s a completely different story.
So what exactly triggers my anxiety? Everything. I constantly have irrational thoughts and worry/over-think EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Day-to-day things like taking care of Jax, walking our dogs, car rides, the news, and even the relationships I have can trigger my anxiety. Even things I have zero control over like life and death can freak me out. Writing about this is giving me anxiety right now. It’s hard to really understand unless you’re struggling with it. There are times where I’ve been told, “Don’t worry about it” or “Just relax”, and it just kills me because they have no idea. Whenever somebody downplays my anxiety, it just makes it a hundred times worse. They don’t understand that sometimes, I have no control over it.
While there are still periods where my anxiety is through the roof, for the most part, I’ve been able to handle it a lot better than I used to. I don’t currently take any medication (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but I do have other ways that I cope. Talking about it (with a professional or a loved one) has helped me tremendously. I’ve only shared my issues with anxiety with a handful of people but talking about it with them has been a huge weight lifted off of my chest. Positive affirmations have helped me a lot as well. There’s one in particular, “I am in control of my life and my thoughts..”. I also make sure to practice self-care. I’ve talked about my self-care habits in my previous post here. Another thing that has helped me with my anxiety is just spending time with my little family. There’s no better way to get rid of all the worries than just playing/laughing with my dudes and the pups.
This post ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would be. I honestly didn’t think I’d share so much but if it somehow helps somebody out there, then great! For those struggling with anxiety, I hope this resonates with you. I hope that this post give you comfort knowing that you’re not alone. Just be strong and remember that you can get through it.