Tag Archives: Anxiety

At Least I Haven’t Lost My Sense Of Humor

Looking for something entirely different, I came across this t-shirt:

lllll

I cracked up. Because I can completely relate. So I went a little crazy and found this:

bumpanx

And this:

183169909814282062_Us1cjlA0_c

And this one:

Anxiety

I had my first panic attack, almost two years ago, while I was driving my son to swim practice. Because my anxiety began while driving a car, that is where I am most uncomfortable. It is a major undertaking to get behind the wheel. My husband wants me to text him when I leave the house, when I arrive at my destination, when I leave the destination and again when I arrive home.

“I’m at Target. Pretending I’m a normal human being.” I text him when I arrive.

I clench the handle of the cart, forcing myself to move forward, just waiting for the anxiety to subside, trying to be interested in the items on the shelves. I watch other women, calmly choosing items, comparing and dreaming. Cooing at their babies. My heart is pounding out of my chest. My head feels light and starts that all familiar lean as I struggle not to pass out.

Breathe. Breathe. Focus.

Eventually, the worst of it subsides. But the lightness in my chest and the hyper-awareness is still there. I remember when I was that calm woman, weaving through the aisles. A time that I took for granted. When real, logical events caused stress in my life. Now it can be a light sprinkling of rain or a motorcycle cutting me off or a semi-truck passing me.

And the most frustrating thing? I am the woman who would drop the kids off at school, slip through the Starbucks drive-through and then take a new, out-of-the-way  route home – just because. To see another part of town. Or to check out a street I’ve never been down. Or to check on “Wilbur,” a pig on a nearby farm, who hangs out in his pen, watching the cars go by.

Now, my husband takes the boys to school. (Mornings are my worst.) They ride the bus home. And I only venture out once the meds or herbs have kicked in. And then? I’ve only been able to drive about 5 miles away from home with any success.

I am the woman who traveled 800 miles with a 2, 3 and 12 year old to surprise her sister for her 40th birthday. I am the woman who drove 500 miles with her 6 and 7 year old sons to spend a week at Disney World. Just me and the boys. Now, I’m already anticipating panic as baseball season and swim season are about to begin. I’ve convinced my swimmer son to switch teams, a closer team, to cut down the driving distance.

It, this evil “it,” has changed who I am at the very core of my being. And I hate it.

It.

keepanx

My latest t-shirt find. I ordered it today.

Ahhh.

At least I haven’t lost my sense of humor.

(Thank you, all of you, for your comments, emails and even phone calls of concern. I’m hanging in there. I have good days and bad days. But the good days are becoming much more frequent. I miss feeling like myself. I miss being here. But most of all, I miss all of you. xoxo)

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I Need A Support Team. A 24/7 Support Team.

Suffering, as I do, from panic/anxiety disorder is a very lonely thing. First of all, it has taken me almost two years to admit publicly that I am a sufferer.

Hi. I’m Jane. And I have …….

It’s so hard to say. Because the name means nothing to me. Okay. That’s a lie. I can’t say it because the label is so loaded in my mind.

There. My deep dark secret is out. Now, why don’t I feel better?

My panic and anxiety makes me feel weak, crazy, unlovable, a burden. Never one to ask for help before, it’s even more difficult now. And while it would also be a lie to say that I don’t already have a support team, I can say it isn’t enough.

I am suffering. I am struggling. And I dream of 24/7 support.

A nurse. To check my vitals and tell me I’m okay when I’m freaking out. But she has to be knowledgeable of Eastern Medicine and be on board with the methods I’m trying (both Western and Eastern) under my husband’s care (a doctor of Oriental Medicine) and my Western Medicine doctor.

A dietitian who doubles as an amazing chef. To feed me when I can’t bare to make the food myself. To make sure I’m eating well. To make amazing meals for my family that don’t come from the freezer or a take-out box.

A yoga instructor. To guide me in my workout and take away the anxiety I feel that I’m going to pass out every time I exercise.

An assistant. To mail my daughter’s Valentine’s care package (Yes. It’s still sitting on the counter) because I’m afraid to drive a car.

A housekeeper. To pick up the slack. I don’t mind the housework. In fact, sometimes it helps to do repetitive chores. But other times, I’m in the middle of something, I find it hard to concentrate so I move onto something else. My home is then filled with half-done projects. Or I spray Windex on the dining table or leave the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the hall, forgetting where I left off. (Don’t judge. You can’t see those pretty vacuum lines on Berber carpet.)

The perfect sleep husband. A man who doesn’t snore when I’m sleeping so lightly already. Someone who is cheerful and wide awake when I need comfort at 3am because I’ve just woken up in terror.

But most of all, I want someone to inhabit my body and take over so I can morph into the old me when my kids are around. I want to make them breakfast and listen to their joys and troubles without a pained expression on my face while I try desperately to keep it together. I want focus to be able to play a board game or read to them or have the energy to play catch. I want to be the mom I was meant to be, not this blob who shuffles through, doing the bare minimum.

Don’t get me wrong. My husband is more than understanding. His medical knowledge invaluable. The closest friend that I’ve felt comfortable sharing this struggle with picked me and the boys up when I had a panic attack out on the highway and couldn’t drive another inch.

In desperate times, people come through.

I just want 24/7 support so I never have to get to the desperate point.

Because all those times in between are such a struggle.

And difficult.

And oh, so lonely.

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Filed under Confessions