Me… Anxiety… & Gratefulness…

Posted By: on April 25, 2019
stressed young adult

Have you ever felt like you have everything under control? It’s the best feeling, right? I’d like to think, that for the most part, that’s me. I see myself as being pretty resilient and someone that can cope with the curve balls that life seems to keep throwing my way. I work hard, enjoy life and focus on the things that matter. Like most people, I just take life one day at a time.

About four months ago I had my first anxiety attack and it was completely unexpected. Prior to that, I’d felt confident that something like this would never happen to me. I was obviously wrong. This may sound odd, but even though it was horrible to experience I felt a deep sense of gratitude. It gave me a tiny glimpse into an illness that’s impacted the life of someone I love very much and given me the chance to say, “I get it.”

After having the first anxiety attack, I began to take steps to improve what was causing the initial worry. Weeks later I had another one and realized that I still had work to do.  My second experience was so powerful that I called my mother-in-law in tears and asked her to accompany me to the Dr.’s office. I’ve never reached out to her before for something personal and like most people I hate crying in front of others, but I had no choice. I was overwhelmed and felt a huge need to not be alone. I needed support.

The realization that my life was being impacted by this, more than I had anticipated, was taking root and all I wanted to do was yank it out. After a couple of months of doing well, I was shocked last week when I felt the initial signs that I was having another one. It was triggered by a phone call, of all things, a voice and a memory of the night I had my first anxiety attack. I was baffled. How in the world could I be perfectly fine one minute and then just like that, feeling so off balance?

I was fortunate that my husband and I were sitting down having dinner together and he was able to reassure me right away that I was going to be ok. Having someone that I could reach out to was incredibly comforting and helped the anxiety not to spiral out of control. Looking back I’m grateful I wasn’t alone, but always being around others isn’t a realistic aim. I’m mentally preparing myself for the fact that unpredictability is the one thing I can count on at this point.

I’ve now taken many steps to fix the initial worry. I also know what my trigger is and that reaching out to someone right away helps tremendously. Knowing all of these things helps me feel reassured that I’m in a better place, but I know that my journey isn’t over. I’m considering joining a support group or beginning therapy sessions with a professional. I’m also doing plenty of research, and reminding myself daily that it’s ok to not have all the answers.

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