Friday, July 26, 2013

The Anxious Bitch

I have had a little anxiety of late. It shits me, and I want it out of my life, but I know that will never happen.

You see I'm a naturally anxious person, I need to accept it and deal with it and move on. Like having any other affliction, it will always be there. Different shades of intensity and aggression, but always there.

My little friend "the anxious bitch." I like to refer to it as.

Anxiety has different degrees of intensity and nastiness for me. I'm so used to having it that i now announce it to my husband when its happening. I'm even having anxiety as I type this up, just by thinking about it.

Life has been difficult for me lately to say the least. So many dreaded miscarriages. Losing so many babies can only scar a person for life. Being pregnant, and having the feel good pregnancy hormones pumping through my body one minute, then having them bottom out so quickly after a miscarriage doesn't help. It's exactly like the moment you have your baby, all those delicious hormones coursing through your body one minute, the next, nothing! it is a big cause of the baby blues many women experience on the dreaded third day after having a baby, and why breast feeding helped me through it! Breast feeding always made me feel good.

I have been told so many times, just relax. Have a cup of tea, deep breaths, and my favourite is to lay down, or take a bath with calming lavender.
Most of the time these don't work for me. when my heart is racing and I feel trapped in my own body, not being able to take a decent breath, let alone sit still from all the adrenalin, I need to do something ASAP.

I have found some really effective ways of dealing with anxiety.

Singing. I cannot sing to save myself, but it is effective in helping those shallow breathes.

Dancing. Again, I cannot dance, but it makes me forget that anxious feeling, even for a moment.

Music. LOVE the radio. I put on a station that has lots and lots of music, I can sing and dance to. I also love podcasts. Love the diversity, and the fact you can listen to anything you can think of!

Walking. I'm not a runner, only sporadic, but if I was I would do that. Walking has an amazing effect on my anxiety. Even if it is short. The fact I can get out of the house is wonderful. I used to be paralyzed and stuck indoors permanently. So be out and enjoying the world is wonderful.

Chocolate. I don't like to eat buckets of it, or any old chocolate. I like it dark, smooth and slightly bitter. And it has to be good chocolate, I love a 70-85% cocao butter. I have to savour it as a way to help with anxiety.

Shower. There is something calming about water. But I hate sitting in a bath. It gives me the heebeegeebees! I think they are gross, sitting in your own dirt! BLERGH! I prefer to shower.

Baking. I love spending time in the kitchen baking, it is so rewarding. love creating something out of ingredients.

Smiling/laughing. For me cause I'm mostly on my own, besides my little toddler G, this means watching some trashy TV or movie, or even reading. I love nothing more than getting 45 minutes to put my feet up with a cup of tea and having a good laugh. Having a good sense of humour helps, and learning to laugh at myself helps too.

Crying. Sometimes all I need is a good old cry. It can work wonders, instead of always holding it in.

Tea. That brings me to tea. As most people know i love coffee. But I'm not a crazy have to have 15 cups a day. I like ONE. But one very good one, thank you very much. But when I'm feeling quite anxious I will drink tea, something usually caffeine free. Chamomile, peppermint and white tea are favourites of mine even when I'm not having an anxiety filled moment.

Distance. I try to distance myself from the thing very thing causing anxiety. Getting out of the situation if I can.

Cognitive therapy. This works very well for me. Most people with anxiety hate it. It is difficult and anything that is challenging is usually not loved by most. It seems to work for me. Basically you do the thing you fear the most. If it means driving somewhere new, you do it! Or even walking outside, you do it!

Talking about it. The best I find is to talk about it, finding a friend with it too helps greatly, but if not use a loved one that is understanding. This is something I'm very grateful for, I have a very understanding husband, that has seen some horrific behaviour that I'm deeply ashamed of. If you can't confide in anyone you know, for fear they will judge, and believe me people judge you, there are plenty of forums to use. Even silly fun things like Vogue etc. Which brings me to distraction.

Distraction. If I find myself in the middle of an attack, then I do anything to distract my mind and get it out of there. The more I dwell on having an attack the worse I get. I try anything from playing with the toddler and dog, to cleaning. Cleaning is a good one. It's soothing and you accomplish something at the same time.

Baby steps with anxiety, there is nothing worse than having months of progress to only push yourself so hard one day, to be back at square one the next.

No one is ever going to understand how I struggle with it, well not unless you suffer too. I find it difficult to leave the house sometimes, and to socialise. I've been working on my issues with anxiety and it is helping me deal with it.

Every moment that I don't have anxiety, is an achievement. But I now try not to dwell on that either. I have learnt the hard way it will pass. It always does, it never lasts forever.

Do you have issues with Anxiety? If so, what are your coping mechanisms?  

4 comments:

  1. Darling, you have fantastic coping mechanisms. To say crying is a mechanism too - YES it's so true, people discount it but honestly it's a great way to release stress. I have anxiety, PTSD that I cope with on a day to day basis. Depression did pop up a bit post giving birth, especially on let down when I was bfing. That overwhelming engulfing sadness but only on let down. My hormones must have been running wild. I just deal with my anxiety and PTSD daily, if I feel a little overwhelmed I just deal with it at the time. Sometimes I have to remind myself to just breath. Most days are fine but then you have a shitty day. Argh. Anyway, you're a great chick with a fantastic outlook despite your demons. xox

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  2. Anxiety has been my frenemy for over 20 years (I am 34 now). It has at times been so bad I was, like you, house bound. Whenever I feel it raise its ugly head I look around and try to work out what I am doing in my life that I don't need to do, learn to say no and take a step back.
    I also think it is important to recognise how far we have come. xx

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    1. Learn to say no hey? One of the hardest things i need to still learn, thanks for your comment Anon :)

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  3. Hi lovely, long time no read for me. Goodness your mechanisms seem so good! I've heard that dancing, walking and calling a friend are good. But you're right, you need to challenge yourself & make yourself actually DO it before the benefits come. All these hard experiences shape who we are, who we become & how we live our life, don't they? Even when they suck balls.
    Heidi xo

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