I Just Want to Move

I hate getting anxious over nothing. When you’re minding your business and feel like life has been treating you well, then out of no where it hits you like a bag a bricks straight to the chest.

When breathing feels like a work out because I just can’t seem to catch my breath. I try to calm my self down, but I don’t even know where to begin when nothing seems to be causing it but me.

When leaving my bed is like an endurance test because the thought of beginning my day in an already negative space is horrifying. The thought of people having to see me in a state of such high anxiety keeps me laying still in bed, avoiding moving.

I wish I knew what was causing it, so I could try and stop it; but it’s just me. It’s always just me.

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Unbearable

Have you ever sat in a room full of people and just felt utterly empty. Where people are laughing, talking, having a good time and you just can’t get yourself to join in the fun.

Where you repeat in your head what you want to say over and over and over because you don’t want to sound stupid. Where you can’t stop shaking and fidgeting because the presence of other people makes you uncomfortable. Where your heart is beating so fast that your breath can’t catch up.

You try to share a smile or a laugh when you can but it just feels painfully awkward when you do. You feel like you’re bumming everyone else out because you can’t bring your mind back down from the furious web of negative thoughts it has spun.

It’s almost like you can’t hear what everyone else is even saying, like the words are just sounds passing through your brain, with no substance. It’s unbearable to just be sitting in this room.

You just want to leave, hide your face, find your comfort. But you just can’t.

Be Proud for Little Moments

I think life comes at us so fast that sometimes we forget to appreciate the little victories we win. It’s important to stand back, take a look at your life, and be proud of yourself.

For me, today was a victory. Today, I did things I’ve been putting off for months because I was too scared or anxious to do them. I conversed with new people, I asked questions, I got information I needed, I turned things in.

I never give myself credit for doing “big girl” or “adult” things, when really I should everyday. It’s not easy to think about my future and how I need to do things to better prepare for it; so when a moment like today comes around where I get up and go it’s really a big step for me.

I got to check things off my todo list for the first time in a long time and it honestly felt great. Today, I am proud of myself.

Fearful

What makes you scared?

Is it the feeling of sitting in a lecture hall where you’re just a half arms length away from a person. Where you feel like their eyes are watching your every move. Where you can’t get up and move freely, or even be free in general. Where everything you do is as if you’re being watched by a million people as you preform on a stage.

Is it when you meet a new person, when you’re looking for behavioral confirmation that everything you’re doing and saying is acceptable. That you’re body isn’t too fat, you face too red, your movements to severe. When you just want to be liked but feel you are self sabotaging everything.

Is it when someone does something embarrassing or out of the norm and you feel like you want to control their situation. When you wish they had said something else to make the conversation less awkward. When you just want to control something you’re not even part of.

Is it when you’re having a good day and you have a looming fear that something wil go wrong. That life has been too good to you lately, that you know it can’t last. That your happiness will fade.

What makes you fearful? Are they things you can change? Are they things that weigh you down?

Therapy: does it really help?

Therapy has always been part of my life; whether I would be going or actively avoiding it. Therapy can be very helpful when you have the right person guiding you. When you don’t, however, it can be very scary.

I currently go to my therapist once every other week and we’re working on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which has to do with rewiring how you think. I love my therapist, she’s like a big sister to me and a best friend.

My journey through therapy has never been an easy one though.

I started therapy in 8th grade when my depression and anxiety were at their peak. I was bullied by friends, teachers, and myself. I was a complete and utter mess at the time. I went to therapy and had the worst experience imaginable. Everything I told my therapist she would repeat word for word to others. I wanted someone to confide in, not someone to tell people what was going on in my mind.

My next experience with therapy was when I had just started anxiety/depression medication during my first year of college. She was more helpful than the last, but would talk about her personal life more than mine (and therapy is supposed to be all about you). I was already hesitate going to therapy for a second time and began to avoid going. This went on for 2 years.

Finally, after realizing my mental health was not something that would get better on it own; I decided to try therapy one more time. That’s when I found Kina, my all time favorite therapist. She has helped me through so much and continues to do so.

So if you’re having difficulties with going to therapy or finding the right therapist it gets easier. It’s like going to the doctors: it may not be fun, it could be uncomfortable, but it will help you in the long run.

Love is power

Love is such a powerful thing. It keeps you going when you know you have support from the people in your life.

For me, I have love from so many people; my wonderful boyfriend who is my rock through my life, my family who has always been there for me countless times, my friends who remind me it’s okay to be the way that I am.

Yes, I would say I have a lot of love in my life from all kinds of people and I am so greatful for them.

My boyfriend, Jaylen, is always there when I have a panic attack, a depressive episode, a burst of hyper energy. He soothes me and reminds me it’s okay and that this will pass. He loves me unconditionally. He is my rock and I am so greatful to have found a boyfriend like him.

My family reassure me constantly that I am special and that I am not alone in my troubles. That they will be there when times get hard and that I can make it through whatever life throws at me. They love me unconditionally.

My friends, who are going through similar things as me, talk to me about medications and the feelings we are too familiar with. We love and support each other and remind ourselves we’re not alone.

Love is a wonderful thing, and I am so thankful for all the people that love me. I love you more than you’ll ever know.

Anxiety attacks

Anxiety attacks are nothing new to me, but it has been a while since I’ve felt one. For me, an anxiety attack is just one step before a panic attack. It’s a fragile state that can easily knock you over the edge in a second.

What does it feel like? Well, for me at least, I feel like I’m struggling to breathe, I feel light headed and dizzy, my heart starts beating faster, I want to run out of the room and hide my face. It’s not a pleasant feeling.

Recently I had an anxiety attack in my class and it was the first time in a few months I had felt that happen. The reason behind it was a sensitive topic we were covering in class: stress and the heart.

Back tracking to my freshman year of college my dad had to undergo open heart surgery (he turned out fine and is now happy and healthy). At the time however, that was an extremely emotional and difficult time for me and my family. Heart disease runs in our family so not only was I worried for my dad, but I learned I needed to take better care of myself so this wouldn’t happen to me in the future.

Fast forwarding back to present day, my medications I take now make me eat a lot and I’ve recently gained more weight than I would prefer. I have been worrying about my health as well, that I’m setting myself up for failure in the future and will have difficulties with my heart.

My class was covering these topics and this is where the anxiety attack comes in. Remembering everything that happened during freshman year and everything that could happen to me just set me off.

I did some breathing exercises to try and calm down before I had a full blown panic attack which did help. Now I’m on edge that I’ll be in that state again and that my medication isn’t doing it’s job.

If you care to share, what are some things that help you when you’re in this state? I’d love to find a way to prevent this before it gets worse.

Restless nights

Sleep is such a wonderful thing. To be able to not exist for a while, in your own dream world, blissfully unaware of what is going on in life. Yes sleep is wonderful. Unless, you don’t get to sleep very often.

My whole life I have had a love/hate relationship with sleep. I find it nearly impossible to fall asleep without an aid. What I mean by this is watching TV or listening to music to help go to sleep. If I don’t, my thoughts run wild and pester me all night.

Before medication, I wouldn’t go to sleep until 3 or 4 in the morning and then on top of that wake up at 7am! That’s roughly 4 hours of sleep which is definitely not enough.

Now, I manage to fall asleep easier but wake up countless times during the night (like now for example). Nothing I do helps with this, it’s simply how my body clock works.

However, I love to sleep. I love dreaming, I love feeling rested, I love not existing for a little while. Some days I can’t stop thinking about when I can go to sleep so I can enter a state of blissfulness and escape life for a while. But with me, it’s not always that easy.

So if you’re like me, here are some things you can try to help go to sleep:

  • If you like noise, put on calming music or a light hearted tv show and let your mind wander. Sometimes, the sound can be soothing for people while also distracting from rampant thoughts. Some good choices could be an audiobook, meditation/nature music, a childhood cartoon. The list is really endless depending on what you like
  • Aroma therapy/essential oils (diffuser or rubbing the oils on your skin). I cannot preach this enough, I truly love essential oils. They have opened my eyes to a new world of relaxation. They help me destress and sleep better. I definitely recommend trying it if you have difficulties sleeping!
  • Exercising in the afternoons, whether it be a light walk or hitting the gym. This is something that may be a little more difficult for some. If you’re like me, someone who absolutely dreads working out and sees it as an extra item on their todo list, I don’t blame you for wanting to skip this one. But, exercising helps a lot, it makes me feel happier, relaxed, and tires me out for bed! If you’re up for it, try going for a walk or a jog before it gets dark!
  • Meditation and breathing exercises in the morning and at night. Before I ever tried these for myself, I found them very silly and thought they would never work. But after finding the right meditation and breathing exercise for me, it became very helpful in relaxation! It’s definitely worth a try if you’ve never done it before!

Hopefully some of the list can help you get sleep if you struggle with it like me. There are so many more things you can do, but I picked the ones I find most helpful for me. Remember every body is different and that means different things work for different people!

If you have other tricks to going to sleep feel free to share!

Medicated

Medication has recently become a safe haven for me in my life. About three years ago I started my first year of college at San Diego State University at the tender age of 17 (going on 18). My anxiety had gotten so bad that I had decided it was time for a change. I went to a physicatrist, and for the first time, I went with the intention of getting medication.

My whole life my parents were reluctant about putting us on medication (for good reason). Medication for mental disorders can have bad side effects, withdrawals, and can be addictive. That’s all pretty scary!

But, once I started my first medication (for anxiety) I felt like a new person. I felt like I could actually be who I truly was, without an anxiety disorder.

Now, three years later, I’m on three different medications and they have opened my world to new possibilities. I feel safe from my self for the first time in my whole life.

However, my psychiatrist wants to take me off of one of my meds that helps with my depression and I truly am afraid.

I don’t want to go back to who I was. I want to stay where I am now. I have to get off of it because it can cause health problems in the long run.

I just hope that one day I can find a good medium between medicated and non-medicated. For now though, I want to hold onto my security blanket, where I’m safe and happy.

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