Thursday, June 19, 2014

My anxiety part 2

It's about to get deep on Thursday around here. 

I have not held back in sharing with you guys my struggles. They are real, and we all have them. Some worse than others. I would probably throw myself in the worse category when it comes to my struggle with anxiety, and I've let that be no secret. 

I have had it for as long as I can remember. In high school, I recall right before every test my heart beating out of my chest and finding it hard to breathe. I would feel so relieved when I was done, but would clock watch the entire test and sike myself out.

I didn't drive on the interstate alone until my freshman year in college and the first time I did I had to pull over because I had a full blown panic attack. I had to call a friend at the time, and they had to talk me into getting back on the interstate and turning my car around.

Now at the age of 29 my struggles with anxiety are different, but are still very much there. There are no more test to worry about and getting on the interstate is a breeze. 

Some mornings I wake up and feel so overwhelmed to tackle the day. Todd likes to joke that I tell myself I am the busiest person in the world and in my head that's how I feel sometimes. I know that seems silly right? Obviously I know I am not, but convincing myself of that on that day is sometimes quite hard.

Right before any event I get sweaty hands, I sometimes have vomit of the mouth, and I say things that I later ask myself why did you say that. Usually what I said was just something silly, but I stress over it and wonder, did I just sound stupid? When I get nervous I get chatty, silence increases my anxiety.

I have anxiety about being accepted. For some reason I want to know that everyone likes me. I know that's not the case, nor will it ever be. But for some reason is bothers me, probably more than the average person. I am working on this, but it's still a struggle. 

Now that the kids are older and a little more self sufficient I don't get anxiety near as bad taking them places, but every now and then I can feel it creep up and I will notice my heart racing and I start to feel frazzled. I wish I had full control over it, but I don't.

I have, however, figured out how to deal with it BETTER. For me that is taking medicine to help. 

As I told you guys before I was on Zoloft from the time Carson was a week old until Taylor was 5 months old. It helped, it actually helped a lot. But suddenly I realized the negatives from the medication were outweighing the positives. I won't go into too much detail, but I just didn't have much "feeling" in  certain situations, I was just kinda of numb inside.

I weaned off for almost a year and half, but then I recognized I needed help again. That was 3 months ago.

Today I am taking 5 mg of Lexapro one time a day. I can definitely tell a difference, not a huge difference like I did with Zoloft, but it still helps. Plus, I don't have any of the negative side effects like I did with Zoloft. My doctors and I are still in the process of finding the right dose for me, but I wanted to start out low and see if I could work on some tools to help myself. Tools like taking a deep breathe, slowing down, smiling, focusing on the good, and exercising. These small things really do help so much.

All this to say, I am still a happy, bubbly girl who loves her life, family, and friends more than you could ever imagine. I am blessed, and I know this. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for my life and all the wonderful things in it. 

But I am human, a real person with real struggles, and that's ok. Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful! I am learning this more and more with each day.