Anxiety: worrying about being worried.

As a quick side note, before delving into something a bit more heavy, I just want to use this forum to congratulate my baby sister in her recent wedding to her beloved. It was a joyous event with much drinking, dancing, and frivolity, and the two of them had never looked happier. Love you, sister!

And to show you the transformation, here’s a “Before” pic:

(Don’t kill me.) (This is your own fault for making that resentful face at me.)

And after!

Gorgeous, right?!

Anyway.

So anxiety! It has been my companion for probably about the past five years, give or take. Most likely, it’s been there for longer than I’m willing to admit, but it has cropped up during the more trying times.

Superfun symptoms: dull chest pain, racing heart, a feeling of imminent doom, and the knowledge that zombies can and *WILL* attack me from under my bed, around the side of my apartment building, and worst of all, lurking behind the shower curtain in my guest bathroom. Okay, so maybe not so much “zombies” per se, but more like death, destruction, end-of-the-world, apocalyptic-type stuff.

The worst part? Anxiety just seems to hit mainly when I’m alone. And quite unfortunately, I sleep alone 3 nights a week due to both my husband and my work schedules.

I’ve tried turning on our ancient TV in the bedroom, but it seems that I just end up waking up from the sonic, high-pitched “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” noise radiating from it. I’ve tried letting the dogs sleep in bed with me, but they both snore, and how depressing is it to replace your husband with your dogs?! I’ve tried setting a gentle rain sound on my iPhone, and plugging that up to my iHome to play softly all night…. which, while somewhat comforting, is nothing in comparison to the sonic boom of my heart pounding in my ears. And throughout all of these different tactics, I’ve tried “meditative breathing”, which just flat out doesn’t work.

I’ve tried anti-anxiety meds before, which just made my worst nightmare a reality: I became a zombie. Someone without feelings, without any ups and downs, and someone who lost any creative juices. I had no desire to do anything but sit on the couch, sit in the car, sit on a bus, a plane, a bench…. you get the picture. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone, engage in anything, feel anything.

Working out does seem to help temporarily, but the real onset of anxiety seems to crop up right as I’m trying to go to bed. How does one run on the treadmill while sleeping, I ask you? (I feel like an invention like that could make me millions, I tell you, and not just for us anxiety sufferers.)

Relationship to PCOS? Women with PCOS almost always have heightened responses to stress, including full-blown anxiety and depression. While I don’t consider myself to be depressed, my response to stressful stimuli has always been a bit “strong”. My mother has always called me a “worry wart”. (What does that even MEAN?! Can I see somebody for that?!!?)

I am very lucky in that, for the majority of the time, I am a happy, healthy, emotionally sound woman who doesn’t feel anxious or upset. I like to bake, shop, bake, read, and bake! But there are definitely moments in life where I feel paralyzed in my own skin, which is extremely frightening.

Have you ever had one of those paralyzing moments of fear? How did you bring yourself back to reality?

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One thought on “Anxiety: worrying about being worried.

  1. Jayne Constant says:

    Beautifully written. I, too, suffer from anxiety.

    When I have an attack, it’s like I begin racing to accomplish something, anything…but everything I put my hands or mind to seems fruitless and pointless – I then turn these feelings on myself. A ticking time bomb of worry.

    The counselor I was seeing for a while, knowing that I was a creative soul, highly advised against medication for the reasons you touched on above: you become the living dead.

    In my experience, three things have helped me as mine appear to be triggered at no particular time: having Jim help me identify when I’m in anxious overdrive, investing in some quality essential oils from my dad (he sells them) to have in a vial handy to breathe when I feel onset and, I’ll message you the third, and biggest helper.

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