Inner Demons

Anxiety, the quiet demon in my life which keeps my body in perpetual fear.  It’s the uneasy feeling in your chest, the lack of strength in your legs, the nausea in your stomach, the lack of confidence, the tightness in your throat as you choke back tears and the fear of judgement!

Anxiety is a daily struggle.

Anxiety isolates you.

Anxiety makes you question your abilities.

Anxiety makes you weak.

Anxiety is a confidence killer.

Anxiety is fear of the unknown.

Anxiety is lack of control.

Anxiety is hell.

I will not let anxiety define me.

For every step backwards I will push forward two.

Failure is okay because failure is where success begins.

Every day is a gift and a chance to start over.

Strength comes from within.

Love and respect are earned.

I am a survivor!

 

Overshadowed Joy

I received a letter in the mail today…

It was a Christmas letter Meg had sent to me from her school media center.  It was riddled with typos, but her message was clear, she was excited about Christmas and being able to send me a letter from school.  Her eyes lit up as I read it and I found myself tearing up as I gave her a great big hug.

20121218_152234-1

As she skipped off to show the letter to her daddy I couldn’t help but think of the parents at Sandy Hook Elementary who lost their children.  God how would they feel if they were to receive something like this in the mail now?  How would I feel if I were to never see another letter like this or if I were never able to hold my daughter or hear her laugh again?  The thought is unbearable and chokes me as I type…

I don’t think there is a family that hasn’t been impacted by the loss of these children.  It’s not easy to send your child to school in the wake of such a tragedy and it’s hard to swallow when you receive a phone call from the school telling you they’re locking the school down and if you’d like to come in you need to call ahead of time so someone can meet you at the doors.

How did we get here?  How do we change?

We have to step away from ourselves, our stubborn natures, and re-evaluate everything!  We have to look at our laws and the types of weapons we’re allowing to enter our society.  We have to do away with stigmas and stop criminalizing mental health so people who need help seek it out.   We have to examine how we’re raising our children, the time we’re spending and the values we’re teaching them.

I feel as though we take a lot of things for granted when the truth is we should celebrate and enjoy every moment we have in life because those moments aren’t always guaranteed to be there!  Something my brother-in-law said at our wedding keeps playing in my head and while it may sound cheesy there’s truth to it… yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift!

Hug your children a little tighter, be respectful and try to put yourself in the shoes of those parents who will have to bear the weight of a child’s casket over the next few weeks when you’re thinking about what changes need to happen.

An Anxious Mind (great name for a book don’t ya think?)

 “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”  Arthur Somers

I’ve learned a lot about myself  in the 10 years I’ve lived with anxiety.  I’ve learned that although I have moments of weakness I’m strong in the face of adversity.  One would have to be  in order to endure the daily struggle that goes on in the mind of a person living with anxiety.  I’m often intrigued how it can, on one hand, completely imobilize me,  yet on the other, unveil an amazing determination.   

The last couple of weeks have been really tough, my anxiety has been coming on strong and staying awhile.  It’s crazy, irrational, annoying and exhausting!  I live my life in a constant state of fear and stress! I’m sure there are certain people in my life who’ll read this, eat it up and use it as their next gossip session, but so be it. 

Everybody has their own theory on how and why my anxiety started, but I can only look at some of the things that were going on in my life at the time and how I reacted to them.  However, I often think if they’re what triggered my anxiety and I know this why do they still happen?  And what do I have to do to make them stop?

I’m aware my anxiety is all fear based and is exasperated by a lack of control of those fears.  For example, I have a fear of dying, so when I have palpitations or feel a little dizzy that fear is intensified and my mind floods with hundreds of other fears like “am I having a heart attack?”,  “will I see my family again?”, “what will happen to my daughter?”, “I don’t want to die”, “am I going crazy?”, and it sends my body into a fight or flight mode which sometimes will lead into a full blown panic attack… can’t breath, palpitations, sweats, nervousness, gotta get outta here, etc..

A panic attack is very scary, once you’ve had one, the fear of another is sometimes just as scary as the panic attack itself.  In the beginning I found myself avoiding places where I had an attack and the thought of revisiting those places made me extremely anxious.  Over time it seems to have dominoed into lots of little irrational fears making it much harder to do simple things like going to the grocery store, driving long distances, or just being in social situations in general.  The fear of having an attack in public and the possibility of someone judging me was and still is scary.   Will they think I’m crazy? is one of the first thoughts that comes to mind or what if I pass out?  What’ll happen to Meg? Anxiety tends to make me think of the worst case scenario’s and I haven’t quite figured out how to rewire that process yet.

Sometimes anxiety make me lonely, depressed, angry and frustrated, but I know I have to keep moving forward and pushing myself to do the things that make me uncomfortable, some days are better than others, but as long as I try I’m making progress right?!

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

to be continued…..

 

 

 

 

 

An Anxious Mind (great name for a book don't ya think?)

 “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”  Arthur Somers

I’ve learned a lot about myself  in the 10 years I’ve lived with anxiety.  I’ve learned that although I have moments of weakness I’m strong in the face of adversity.  One would have to be  in order to endure the daily struggle that goes on in the mind of a person living with anxiety.  I’m often intrigued how it can, on one hand, completely imobilize me,  yet on the other, unveil an amazing determination.   

The last couple of weeks have been really tough, my anxiety has been coming on strong and staying awhile.  It’s crazy, irrational, annoying and exhausting!  I live my life in a constant state of fear and stress! I’m sure there are certain people in my life who’ll read this, eat it up and use it as their next gossip session, but so be it. 

Everybody has their own theory on how and why my anxiety started, but I can only look at some of the things that were going on in my life at the time and how I reacted to them.  However, I often think if they’re what triggered my anxiety and I know this why do they still happen?  And what do I have to do to make them stop?

I’m aware my anxiety is all fear based and is exasperated by a lack of control of those fears.  For example, I have a fear of dying, so when I have palpitations or feel a little dizzy that fear is intensified and my mind floods with hundreds of other fears like “am I having a heart attack?”,  “will I see my family again?”, “what will happen to my daughter?”, “I don’t want to die”, “am I going crazy?”, and it sends my body into a fight or flight mode which sometimes will lead into a full blown panic attack… can’t breath, palpitations, sweats, nervousness, gotta get outta here, etc..

A panic attack is very scary, once you’ve had one, the fear of another is sometimes just as scary as the panic attack itself.  In the beginning I found myself avoiding places where I had an attack and the thought of revisiting those places made me extremely anxious.  Over time it seems to have dominoed into lots of little irrational fears making it much harder to do simple things like going to the grocery store, driving long distances, or just being in social situations in general.  The fear of having an attack in public and the possibility of someone judging me was and still is scary.   Will they think I’m crazy? is one of the first thoughts that comes to mind or what if I pass out?  What’ll happen to Meg? Anxiety tends to make me think of the worst case scenario’s and I haven’t quite figured out how to rewire that process yet.

Sometimes anxiety make me lonely, depressed, angry and frustrated, but I know I have to keep moving forward and pushing myself to do the things that make me uncomfortable, some days are better than others, but as long as I try I’m making progress right?!

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

to be continued…..

 

 

 

 

 

When Panic Strikes…

“You’re fine Kirsten just ignore it” I keep repeating in my head as a  feeling of fear comes over me and I start to tremble from the inside out. 

 “You’re watching  Narnia, Prince Caspian.  You’re not thinking about anything, don’t be ridiculous you’re not having a panic attack!  You have nothing to panic about WTF?”

 My husband is sleeping beside me unaware of the mental struggle I’ve been having with myself for the past hour.  The trembling is teetering on a fine line and I know if I give in I’ll start to shake uncontrollably, but I can’t get passed the fear.

 “Breathe Kirsten, just breathe”  I think if I can do that I’ll be okay.

 “Did the nurse say to count on the breaths in or breaths out?  Oh fuck I don’t remember”.  Panic is setting in, I can hear myself  breathing out, thr0ugh pursed lips, like a tire slowly letting out air. 

“Crap am I hyperventilating?  Not good, not good at all,  get it together Kirsten”. 

I’ve only had  this type of panic attack a handful of time in the 10 years I’ve lived with Anxiety, but it doesn’t lessen how scary they are or how  much I hate them.  They come out of nowhere and it feels like my whole central nervous system has gone haywire.   I tremble and shake like a drug addict going through withdrawals.

“Maybe just maybe I can fight this thing”.  I keep telling myself.  ” You’ve been through this numerous times before, it hasn’t killed you yet, nothing to fear”. 

I’m nervous but I feel angry ” Come on you bastard is this all you’ve got?” 

A flash thought “oh shit maybe I shouldn’t of said that, shouldn’t taunt it.”

I can hear my thought process start to change.  The fear wont let up and the shaking is getting stronger, I feel myself giving in to the fear. 

I get up and my whole body feels sluggish, every step I take feels like I’ve just pulled my foot free from mud, my body’s exhausted.  I know I need to take something, but I don’t want to.  I should be able to get myself under control.  Tears start to stream down my face. 

I’ve had friends and one family member be very cruel about my anxiety.  At first I really let it beat me up and get me down.  Now I realize they used my anxiety as a way to make themselves feel superior, kick me when I’m down so to speak and that they didn’t care about me or have my best interest at heart.  That doesn’t mean their betrayal didn’t hurt!

 I wake my husband who sits up and rubs my back until the shaking subsides.  It takes about 20 minutes for the medicine to work.  In my head I’m beating myself up for not being able to get my nerves under control.  My thoughts vary from “What the hell’s wrong with you?” to “Will this ever go away?”

My husband falls back asleep once he sees me starting to relax.   What he doesn’t see is my disappointment.  I’m feeling  defeated, empty, and exhausted.