Monday, June 10, 2013

Oh Breathe, Just Breathe

I've always wanted to be a fighter, a "go-getter," someone who from the moment they wake up can't seem to stop.

But the truth is, deep down inside, I just want to hide under my covers all day in my warm comfy bed.


I'm not lazy.  That's not it.  When something needs to be done I do it.  I worked hard all through high school and my grades show it, I worked hard at my work, and I work hard at home.  Ok, maybe except in my room, but that is beside the point.


I think my problem is that whenever I sense a high stress situation, I try it avoid it.  This is probably because recently I have been diagnosed with anxiety.  And it's gotten pretty bad.  I don't like shopping anymore, I don't like being around people at all really.  I've discovered that I think that I subconsciously believe that if I avoid something that might be stressful then I won't have a panic attack.  I really hate panic attacks. (And anyone who says that anxiety is all in your head and you just need to "get over it" and "calm down" and "quit thinking about it" is an idiot.  How about you go have a panic attack and then we'll talk.)


But anyways, I've discovered that when you avoid things and push them away, life just gets more stressful and then the anxiety gets so much worse.  Like you begin not being able to sleep at night.  When I push things away, the stress doesn't go away.  It just keeps building up and pushing me down.  I know it may seem like a "duh" fact, but with anxiety, it's sometimes easy to forget.


So I've begun to start a new goal.  A goal to embrace the stress, breathe, go along with it, and fight it.  I know its not going to be an over night change.  It takes a while to break a habit and start a new one.  But I will work diligently at it.  I know I'll probably have to live with this anxiety for the rest of my life, and I would much rather take over it than it take over me.


I've also found it helps to talk about it.  Now, I'm a naturally very shy person, so usually the idea of talking to some one about something personal makes me extremely nervous, but I've been blessed with a best friend who just so happens to be going through the same stuff and is super encouraging.


Also, breathing helps.  Taking deep calming breaths can help relax the panic.  And remembering to breathe when going into a high stress situation I've discovered can help stop the panic attack before it starts (that was an idea I got from someone else). And it works.  Not all the time, but sometimes it does. And the less panic attacks the better.


Also, I've found eating helps.  This is no scientific discovery that has been tested, proven to work, and doctor recommended.  I have just found this out personally.  (I mean, what good granola bar wouldn't help any situation?!) Maybe food just relaxes me.  I think I may need to find a new method of therapy though before I end up the size of my house.


I also have to constantly remember that I am not alone.  Sometimes when I'm having a panic attack I basically panic because I'm panicking.  I think something is seriously wrong with me, and I feel like it's just me.  But it's not.  I have to remind myself that there are many people with anxiety, and where I am sure that every person's symptoms are different, it's nice to know I'm not alone.  We're not alone.


So go out and soak up some sunshine or dance in the rain.  Whatever your weather is up to right now :)


--Mary

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