an anxious life//the anxiety blah-fest

Who wants to talk about anxiety? Not me. Not really. Ugh. But I'm going to. I just read this:

I'm the ill ease that you feel when you walk into a crowded room.

You know, I'm the hot and cold flushes that confuse you when you're already confused enough.

I am the one that raises the whip to your already racing heart.

I am the tightening of your chest, the snowballing worries that feel like they might become an avalanche and just bury you in an instant. I am the obsessive, and I'm the compulsive. I'm the voice, you know the one, it's always questioning questioning questioning

And I am every single staring eye that watches you.

The other day I had an anxiety attack because I had to put clothes on. Seriously. Everything started to go black and I became dizzy and nauseous and couldn't breathe. I felt trapped under the weight of my bra and kaftan and just wanted to slip back into my pyjamas and flop onto a soft surface and hide away for a bit longer. And sometimes I let my anxiety win in that sense but it wasn't the time. I called for Husband who consoled me by running his fingers through my hair which allowed me to focus on his movements. He talked me through it, didn't call me silly or downplay anything and just let me be. I breathed, let it overwhelm me for a bit and then I got up, changed out of the claustrophobic kaftan and threw on another and away we went.

And when I got home from all that needed to be done I let myself take some time to sit in bed and read until my brain stopped racing. The next day, of course, was a bit emotionally draining and I wasn't quite me but I was okay and that was okay. Progress is being made people.

You know what bothers me? - aside from anxiety feeling so damn stupid all the time - is that the general consensus seems to be that you can "just get over it" and if you don't, you aren't trying. The thing is, and I obviously can't speak for everyone with anxiety, but if we could just get over it we would. And guess what? We aren't hearing anything new. My head tells me everyday to "just get over it", "get over it and stop being pathetic" and all manner of other things that aren't helpful.

My Husband pointed out an article to me the other day - read the piece from the age here - where beyondblue has found that most Australians are ignorant of anxiety disorders. I get it and I don't blame them for not understanding anxiety. I don't think you really can until you go through it either directly or indirectly. Beyondblue has relaunched their anxiety campaign and I'm glad that anxiety is going to get some much needed attention.

When I was first diagnosed I was ashamed and grateful at the same time. Ashamed because it's mental and I didn't want to be a mental case thank you very much. And grateful because I knew that there was always something wrong, in that way, since childhood and to have it given a name and hearing that's what I have and everything else, well that's nice isn't it? Now? I'm no longer ashamed {though can still be found calling my medication "crazy pills"} and I'm still really bloody grateful. And I'm still learning and now I can look back and see things that happened years ago, before Bailey, or even, while I was pregnant was because of this mind of mine and now things that happened back then and my personal failings make sense and I can work through things much easier.

Also, this...

perfectly me

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