Mildly serious post here, peeps. like the adorable Easter candy… you know the marshmallow birds and rabbits that are brightly colored and covered in sugar. AKA the most disgusting, but adorable seasonal candy ever! Ok, well I guess that wasn’t serious. Can you tell I’m sugar deprived after making it to day 11 of the challenge?!
I could be the poster child for GAD as of late. When I was 19 it hit. I had ALWAYS been a serious worrier and anxious person. I just thought that everyone felt that way… but then I couldn’t ever understand why people didn’t seem as nervous about anything. I was diagnosed after the worst semester of my life. I got sick, which ended up turning into pneumonia while I was living in the dorm, I got behind in classes, I was working part time, on the executive board of my sorority, had gained lots of weight, was dealing with a bad breakup, and I just ‘cracked’. I spent about two weeks in bed before my roommate made me go to the doctor. I hyperventilated on the exam table.
I remember calling my mom and telling her what the doctor said in disbelief, but she responded, “Well, I’m not that surprised. You’ve always been very anxious, and it does run in our family.” Say WHAAAT?! It runs in the family? You’ve always known I was anxious yet you never told me that regular people don’t feel this way? I was just keepin’ on with my bad self thinking I was ‘normal’. It turns out, I’m not normal.
UCA, where I was a student, had the BEST plan for students diagnosed. They have a great counseling program, and in order to get medication, you are required to go to counseling. I have never been more impressed with a program. My counselor was great, and she helped me to really find the cause of what had put me over the edge. It was excellent to be able to talk to someone that didn’t now people and didn’t have an opinion about anything I said. It was her job to listen to me, and to react based on my interpretation of the situation. She really pushed me to find out how to control my own anxiety so I didn’t have to rely on medication. I feel this was the turning point in great care. No doctor should look for the easy fix of you just taking pills… they should look for the root cause and teach you how to handle the situation if you can. *Obviously, this is MY EXPERIENCE. This doesn’t mean that I condemn anyone for their path, and if you’re doing something that works for YOU, keep doing it. We are all different.*
I went on a daily medication and was on it for about 6 months when I really felt like I had it under control. I didn’t want to be the girl that was taking pills every day to be ‘normal’, I just wanted to be NORMAL. I quit taking the medication, and everything was fine. There were days that I was at a 10, but I was teaching myself how to deal with it and manage it. I’ve been managing since then pretty well. Like I said, good days and bad days, but nothing unmanageable.
THEN THE WEDDING HAPPENED.
Planning for the wedding almost killed me. My resting anxiety rate was a 12, and at a heightened state, which was 90% of the time, I was off the charts. I put off going to the doctor and tried to keep exercising to manage it (which usually works wonders) but it didn’t help. I knew the anxiety had an end date, so I thought if I can just get to June 8th-it’s all going to be ok. I made it to June 8th, got married, and began my happily ever after, and I expected the anxiety to go away.
It didn’t. It certainly wasn’t as bad as it had been, but it was still there. Now I’m attempting to deal with it, but I’m failing. I can’t keep it in check and my house is a DISASTER AREA.
I’ve decided that I’m taking three days off work next week, mental health days, and I am going to put myself back together. My goal is to have posts scheduled so that you don’t miss me, but to turn off my phone and disconnect.
Advocare has a product that is supposed to naturally help anxiety, (you’re probably sick of me saying Advocare, aren’t you? ;) Haha!) and I’m going to try it before going to the doctor. The problem I have with traditional medicines to treat anxiety is that they will eventually stop working requiring you to go on a higher dosage, and try different options. They are also addictive. I don’t want to be addicted to anxiety medicine in my twenties. There’s too much life to live. I’m very lucky that I have been able to manage my anxiety without medication thus far.
*Disclaimer: This is MY opinion, and MY experience. I am not a doctor, counselor, health professional, and I cannot offer solutions to you. I can only tell you what worked for me, what I’m doing to manage my individual anxiety. If you feel that you have a problem with anxiety I urge you to see help from a medical professional to find the correct solution for YOU. It’s a journey.
Do you have problems with anxiety?
What works to help you feel less anxious?