Anxiety Girl

I am now & always have been what I call an anxiety girl. What I mean by this is that I, for so many years in my life, allowed my anxiety problem to run & control my life. Let me explain a little better.

For the first 30 or so years of my life I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I researched insatiably for reasons that might explain my intense fear of EVERYTHING, allowing these fears to run the way I lived my life & found SO many ailments, both mental & physical that could explain these horrible things I was going through, which turned out to be SEVERE panic attacks, many different kinds, that constantly made me feel like I was dying.

I used to also be a serious hypochondriac, as a result of the crippling fears of most things that I had developed, due to my undiagnosed anxiety issue. It took until about 7 years ago that I was able to pinpoint my underlying issue. I had thought I was depressed, physically ill, SO many other things, but not having a complete understanding of anxiety, what it was or how it affected & eventually overtakes a person’s life to where IT controls YOU.

Since that time, I have learned SO much more about anxiety, but that didn’t keep me from continuing to give in to it. I just didn’t know any better. I spent more than one period of time in an agoraphobic lifestyle, not leaving the house if I could avoid it & when I did it brought such terrible anxiety & panic that I would usually take myself out of whatever situation I found myself in, work, social settings or just out taking a walk, so I could go back to my “safe place”, being whatever place I happened to call home at that time. I made up any excuse, no matter what it made me look like to others & believe me, it turned me into a very unpopular girl for a long time.

I still learn everyday new ways to cope & try to calm the anxiety. For all I know this is permanent, but I do still hold out hope that I can overcome this chokehold I continue to, although it’s much smaller now, be a reason in my life. I have to say that being an person without health care coverage hurts me tremendously, due to the fact that I can’t get the amount of help I could use to overcome these things that hold me back. I certainly don’t have the money it takes to see a physician regularly & I also believe that therapy helps a lot, but I can’t afford that either. It’s a viscous cycle for me & it frustrated me everyday, when I allow it to.

I have tried multiple “medications” to help me in shedding my fear, phobias, anxiety & panic attacks, which have, in some respect, allowed me to live more, to mix with others more comfortably & to secure a better job & lifestyle. The funny (ironic) thing about me finally giving in to these drugs is that I have, since the age of 17 (when I OD’d & had to fight to keep myself alive, because everyone around me REFUSED to help me or even just drop me off at a hospital) I have had a HUGE drug phobia. I guess sometimes we just reach a breaking point, where regardless of the phobias surrounding it, one has to turn to medications to see if it works.

I hope that in sharing this, it helps me to really face the reality that I may not allow anxiety to run my life, I do still allow it to be involved in it, my decision-making, my choices. I think it’s a lifelong learning experience & I do still hope to beat this.

I also have to say that of all the medications I have tried to help treat this, there is only one that truly controls my anxiety & allow me to be a more “normal” member of society, meaning it allows me to function better, interact with others, etc without the fear & desperate need to rush home, because the fear was screaming inside my head.

I will admit here that I do feel guilty at times for using Xanax to live my life outside of fear. I know exactly where this guilt comes from. It comes from losing SO many people to drug abuse. I feel if I am “relying” on a medication to bury the anxiety, I may not be any better or in a better place than the addicts in & around my life that I ride SO hard.

I don’t know….but I can say that I am tired of feeling guilt for using (not abusing) something that truly does help me get through each day better than anything else I have found. Still, though, I know SO many people struggle with addiction to this drug, hence the uncertainty & guilt.

I stated in another blog that there have been times in the years since I’ve started taking Xanax that I have used it as more of a crutch than a tool. I am fully aware of that & every time it happened I checked myself & cut the Xanax completely out of my life for weeks, just to get it out of me & see how well I can function. The sad reality of it is that I can’t live or cope as well when I’m off the stuff. That REALLY pisses me off. All I want is to feel normal, to cope better with life & all the pitfalls & disappointments that come with it. I would rather do that without the aid of drugs, but I may not ever be able to do that, but I always have hope.

I can’t even list here the bad experiences I have had with anxiety ruining my life, taking things away from me that I had worked SO hard to achieve & just flat-out FREAKED OUT in public settings. I have left my friends at concerts, couldn’t ride in cars for a time without the panic setting in, leaving work at different phases in my life due to almost debilitating anxiety. I have had panic attacks where I was certain I was about to die…fainting, having my legs just give out on me, not being able to breathe, throat closing, dizziness & light-headedness, you name the symptom, I’ve had it. What I wouldn’t give to get rid of all that. I don’t even know how many times in my life I have run to the nearest restroom to splash cold water on my face, just to help me start breathing again.

I have a lot to learn still, better coping mechanisms, better ways to breathe, as I am a shallow mouth-breather. This makes meditation difficult for me, as well as yoga & any calming or breathing exercises. This does not mean I am not willing to learn. I am. I have been on a journey of discovering practical & not medicinal ways of working through this challenge. I will continue to fight this, as hard as it is. I know I’m worth fighting for damn it, because I want to live happily for at least half the amount of difficult or bad years that I have. I don’t this to be all there is in my, I won’t accept it!

It feels SO good to get these things off my chest, as every step, every fear & issue I face, it brings me one step closer to living a fuller, happier life & that’s all I have ever wanted!

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5 Comments

Filed under Family, Life, Opinions, Real Life, Writing

5 responses to “Anxiety Girl

  1. I will make you a deal. I will take you on on a no fee basis. I will coach you on the phone or on Yahoo IM.

    I am a marriage, relationship and sexual coach. I can also help you with your phobias.

    What do you say? Here is your chance. You can even talk to me for a while to see if I am a comfortable fit for you. I would like to help you and am doing it for pro bono work.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  2. Suzanne

    I wish you luck, strength and perseverance.

  3. diana

    Hi Jenn
    I came across this blog through your other anti gossip blog, which I cam across through Jordan’s site LOL (DianaLovey was my name there)
    I was just reading this and it is like my own story. I have dealt with the occasional panic attack over the years, but last september it was so non stop and severe that I had to leave my job, thought I was going crazy and called the emergency room asking if I should check in…I was also agorophobic within a few days…Couldnt drive, couldnt go into grocery stores, malls, and would come home and sob on my bed thinking if this was going to last I wouldnt be able to take it much longer… After some vitamins, meds, time,reading and learning it got better and just now I feel it coming on again, maybe not to the same degree though….Would love to talk to you when you have time, see what has worked for you, what you find helpful, etc….I typed my email in the field, but just in case I can be reached at dianalovey@hotmail.com …Hope you are doing better now, or at least better able to manage daily life with it.. 🙂 …diana

    • Diana~

      I am SO sorry it took me so very long to notice this comment, but my life has been insane, both being busy & moving across the country & in fact just insane generally, lol.
      Thank you so much for sharing with me & I’ll be sure to email you this weekend so we can talk some more about this.

      Thanx again!

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