I’m Not an Anxious Person, But I have Severe Anxiety

If you have ever suffered from any form of anxiety, you might be able to relate to my story.

If you haven’t, I am sure you know someone who has, and my hope is that maybe – just maybe – this could shed some light as to what they’re going through.SAMSUNG CSC

Monday I had a huge presentation I was going to give to the executive team in my company. I had been handed a project several weeks ago to develop a training program which  I worked tirelessly on.

Tedious editing, non-stop meetings, endless drafts.

But I owned it. I knew it inside and out, better than any manager, and was given the opportunity to present my work to the bi-wigs.

Of course, I was nervous.

The voices in my head were telling me everything I needed to hear to be confident and strong, but my body was having an entirely different reaction.

And I couldn’t help but think that I can’t be in this alone.

215695_1675608097441_6260600_n

This is not the first time this has happened. You might not be able to tell from reading my posts and looking at my pictures, but I suffer from anxiety.

Panic attack inducing, heart pounding, word crippling, pull-over-on-the-shoulder-of-a-busy-highway-to-keep-from-passing-out anxiety that I have little control over.

Let me start by saying, I haven’t always been this way. Those I grew up with would characterize me as an outgoing, center of attention, people person.

Non-surprisingly, I’m a Leo.

I danced and sang in front of audiences, made speeches in classes, performed in talent shows, acted in plays – all with no issue.

10400404_263484770363_7164155_n

When I gained weight in college, I noticed I had more anxiety in social settings. I didn’t go out for the dance team, I didn’t try to join a sorority, I didn’t even stand up for things I believed in or felt because I lacked the confidence.

329724_2785300426760_1053790850_o

Over time that lack of confidence snowballed into severe anxiety and by my junior year I had my first full blown panic attack.

I was driving on I-5 towards California with a friend and out of nowhere I started to lose control of my body. For no apparent reason my heart started racing, I got clammy, light headed and I couldn’t decide if I was going to throw up, pass out, or both.

I quickly pulled over to the side of the road, threw the car in park, and jumped in the back seat. I was ghost white and shaking so vigorously my friend was convinced I was having a seizure.

This was one of the most terrifying moments of my life (and my friends, who was a 1 away from having 911 dialed..), I literally had no idea what was happening to me or why.

My mom informed me it was something that ran in the family. While she herself suffered from anxiety, my aunt also had severe panic attacks like I had just experienced.

From that point on, they inconsistent but more frequent.

I would have to leave class.

Step away from my work to sit down.

Frequently pull over when driving.

Avoid flying at all costs.

While it seemed to come out of nowhere, and happen in some of the most random settings, it gradually got worse.

I am now aware of specific situations that are almost guaranteed to ignite a panic attack, as well as methods to prevent it, but I still feel like I have very little control over my condition.

I am very adamant in that [nearly] all conditions can be treated without medication. I understand that, for me, public speaking in a formal setting, driving [especially if  I’m not behind the wheel], confined spaces, consuming caffeine of any kind, alcohol, loud music, and even the smell of cigarettes will set me on edge and put me at risk.

It has gotten to the point where I can’t have coffee at all, I struggle with strong teas, and multiple times a week I spend my entire 20 mile commute fighting back light headedness just because I have to pass a slower vehicle.

Now, if I was naturally introverted and nervous, these behaviors might make sense. But the second I step out of my car I walk with confidence and certainty underfoot.

My inner monologue is almost always positive and up lifting. I have natural doubts, but for the most part I am my own biggest supporter with goals and ambitions that do not warrant a sudden on coming of anxiety.

In truth, anxiety even prevented me from creating this blog for almost two years because I would get so clammy at even the thought of someone being interested in me or my life.

So, how is it possible that in almost every fiber of my being, I do not feel I am easily stressed or anxious yet I can hardly ask my boss a simple question without hours of mental pep-talk?

My outward and inner portrayal of myself represents a person that no one would suspect of hardly being able to introduce themselves at a department meeting without wanting to run out of the room as fast as possible.

But I am.

340219_2785302986824_1690466924_o

I am the person sitting in the back of the room scratching her legs to keep from blacking out completely just because I was asked to explain what I do to my co-workers.

All the while reminding myself that I am in a room filled with friendship and support and in no way have anything to worry about.

10559916_998802336801770_6917204013425335785_n

Yet I do.

Without fail, I continue to struggle daily.

And that’s OK, because I have support. While I don’t always have a control of my body, I have a grasp on reality and my potential.

Whether or not I feel like a person with anxiety, I am and person with anxiety.

And I know I am not alone.

Advertisements

14 Comments

  1. You are certainly not alone hun, I suffer with really bad anxiety too. I’ve learned to handle it, but it isn’t easy. I hope you keep on having control on it because I know how bad it can get!

    1. Thank you, Edith! I truthfully don’t think it’s curable, only manageable. I’m glad to hear you have found ways to manage it, what are some of your tricks? Mine are abstaining from certain foods and drinks, scratching my legs (it helps me feel something so I don’t lose grip, of that makes sense) really cold air or water on my face or hands, water, and pressing on my collar bone. I know they sound crazy but I’ve tried everything and those seem to work! I hope you have found ways to keep it under control too😊

      1. Yes it is only manageable,sadly. I usually meditate before I start my day. It has really helped me out soooo much! The most common things I do though out the day is drink lots of water (very cold water), put my hand in a fist moving my wrist in circular motions and I try as much as I can to not stress because once I’m too stressed my anxiety kicks in. Your ways aren’t crazy believe me I heard really crazy ones like one of my friends had this little stuffed bear she would bite in order to help her anxiety. It was weird but it worked for her. It is all about finding your own way to alleviate the feeling of anxiety and I hope you continue to better your anxiety 🙂

  2. You are definitely not alone. It can be very frustrating for those of us that deal with anxiety because it’s very hard to explain to those who don’t struggle with it. Even confident, grounded people can suffer from anxiety, and man can it be debilitating. For me, exercising is such a great remedy. I’m sure you’ve found it to be of help too. And isn’t it funny that these comments are proof that sharing your story wasn’t anything to be worried about, and in fact has turned out to be a very positive endeavor? Thanks for sharing and much love!

    1. Thank you so much, Jessica! Yes, fitness has definitely helped. A general lifestyle makeover is all that’s seemed to help. I certainly hope sharing it can be positive, it’s taken me months to write! Every time I started it, the words never came. Today they did so I thought I was ready 😊 I hope all is well with you! Sorry to hear that you also struggle with it but SO glad you have found an outlet!

  3. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog
    and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information particularly
    the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for
    this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  4. Greate post. Keep writing such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by your site.
    Hello there, You’ve performed an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends.
    I am sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  5. Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up
    my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thank you

  6. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought
    I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though!
    Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Kudos

  7. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or
    copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either
    created myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know
    any methods to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  8. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped
    me.

  9. May I simply say what a relief to find an individual who truly knows what
    they’re talking about on the net. You certainly understand how to bring
    an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this side
    of your story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular since
    you most certainly possess the gift.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s