I’d like to start off by saying thank you guys so much to all of you who filed out my questionnaire that I shared. The one comment that happened over and over on the form was that you want me to be more personal. So today’s post is for those of you who asked me to open up and share more of my life!
I have erased this first sentence over and over again because I just can’t seem to get myself to accept the fact that I’m about to talk about a secret that I have been hiding, openly on the blog. You see, I started noticing about a year ago that I just wasn’t feeling like myself at times. I’d have moments where I felt like my heart was going to explode. I felt like I got so worried about situations that seemed so normal to others. I’d stay at home for fear of certain situations. I’d over analyze what people would say or think about me. There would also be times when absolutely nothing at all was happening and I’d still feel this overwhelming sense pressure and fear. It’s something I just can’t explain. That’s when I realized that I needed to talk to someone. My secret? I have anxiety issues.
How did I know that I was having anxiety issues? At first I really didn’t, I just knew that something wasn’t right. I’d find myself just all of a sudden in a dead panic. I’d wake up in the mornings and have intense feelings of worry or dread. I’d start sweating in social situations for no reason at all and felt so nervous. I began to have an unnecessary and overwhelming feeling of worry all of the time. I should also note that there were plenty of days where nothing happened. However, I would start to feel back to my old self again and BOOM! I’d have another day of panic. I never spoke about any of this at first until one day I finally came clean with my husband. I had all of these bottled up emotions that I had been dealing with and basically told him I felt like I was going crazy. In fact, I thought I was going crazy.
The good news is that I wasn’t going crazy, but after talking to my Doctor, I realized that I was developing some anxiety issues. More in particular, Panic Attacks and she diagnosed me as having a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Hearing her say those words out loud really got to me. I felt like this was one more issue to deal with among everything else I was already going through and I had no idea why it was happening to me. I just wanted to feel normal again. I didn’t want to wake up in the mornings feeling that intense worry. I wanted to not fear being out in social situations, even with family and friends, and having my head make up these crazy thoughts that left me feeling helpless and so vulnerable.
Her suggestion? Try a medication and see if it helps. Also, a therapist might be an option and to also make some life changes. On top of being overwhelmed and anxious already, hearing all of this made it that much more worse for me. However, I listened to her, took the medicine and I’ve finally been slowly starting to see results. I was really hesitant to take the medication at first. I only allowed her to give me the smallest dosage possible and said that we’d go from there. When I read the side effects I panicked. They were scary enough to make me question even taking them, but I swallowed the pill and hoped for the best. I did survive and at first, just like my doctor said, I didn’t notice a lot of results. I expected that and kept taking the medication and just tried to be more aware of how I was feeling. Slowly but surely, I kept telling myself.
I had a follow up with my Doctor and we went over how things were working out for me. I still don’t feel exactly like my old self and I guess that won’t happen all of a sudden. The doctor said that she felt that as long as I was feeling somewhat better that we’d stay on the same dosage and that I’d check back in with her next time. I’d like to have to NOT be on medication at all if I’m being honest. I’m the type of person who doesn’t think that swallowing a pill is always the answer.
Other changes I’ve made to help myself?! To limit being around certain people and situations who seem to make my issues worse. Spend more time on ME and working on my happiness, which I’ve talked about in past blog posts like this one right here. Nothing is a quick fix, but I’m happy to not wake up every day with a feeling of doom. I just take each day as they come and keep working on myself. I also tell myself that I’m not alone in this and that I have nothing to be ashamed of.
I don’t know why this started happening to me, but it did for a reason and I’m trying to be aware of that! I know that my issues are probably no where near as bad as others, BUT it for sure made a difference in my life and I’m working really hard to get myself back on track. Healthy eating, sleeping more, working less. I figure small changes are bound to help! My biggest goal is to work on me and to make sure I’m living a happy life, without a lot of drama and negativity. It’s amazing what can happen when you try to really focus on your own happiness!
Talking about this isn’t easy at all. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by it, but admitting that I have a problem is never easy. Take it from me, if you suffer from anything I’ve mentioned above, do yourself a favor and go talk to someone. It can be anyone that you trust and I’m not encouraging anyone to feel that they need medication to feel better. Sometimes just talking about things and being open and honest are the right first steps towards a healthier life. Everyone is different and we all have a different story. Just promise me to seek help if you need it. Trust me, you’ll be so glad that you did!