Taking Care of my Anxiety

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If you’ve been around for a while, and I mean like at least a year because 2016 has the year that I don’t blog really, you know that I have struggled with anxiety for quite some time now. I got back to school this year and I couldn’t sleep through the night. I didn’t have too much going on yet, but I would still wake up in a panic thinking I had slept through my alarm or forgot to do an assignment but really I had handed in the assignment the day before and it was 3 am so I obviously hadn’t slept through my alarm.

Seeking Help

It was interrupting my life in a way that it had never done so before. My school (and I believe most schools do) offers a free counseling center for students. Since I am a senior graduating in May, I figured this was the time to start going while I still had the opportunity to go for free. I got in nearly right away and had an appointment with a woman who is now my therapist. On the first day, since I had gone so longer trying to regulate it myself through giving up caffeine, breathing techniques and a variety of other solutions I had found on the internet that did not work, she said I should consider talking to the psychiatrist.

Considering Medication

For the longest time this is something that I heavily opposed. I did not want to be medicated, I didn’t want a medicine to regulate my mood, but I wasn’t sleeping and that was effecting me as a person and I couldn’t do it that way anymore. So alas, I decided to pay him a visit. At our first session he said that I was a good candidate for medication and to be quite honest, I was really just tired of fighting my anxiety on a daily basis. The way he explained it to me is that my brain is like an accidental bicycle path. One person ran through the grass, so another person did, and then another, and eventually there was no more grass there and that’s what my anxiety did to my brain. The medication he said would be like the grass seed, helping the grass to grow, it would help my brain to return to its original form almost.

Going into the appointment I wasn’t really sure the route I was going to take. It was a lot to think about, but the exhaustion I felt from being anxious all the time was overwhelming. By the end of the appointment I decided to try medication to see if it would change anything in me.

The Battle in My Brain

I kept going to therapy, every week like clockwork. I would talk to her about my issues with newspaper, friends, and other concerns and fears that I face in life. It has been extremely beneficial to have a third-party listen and give input to what I have to say without bias other than to make me feel like I’m not crazy. However, there was still that little voice in the back of my head telling me everything I was doing wrong, making me feel like I couldn’t do a lot of things, and really just messing with me still. I have a very busy schedule right now and it has made it easier to push to the back of my mind, however, it was still there. The panic attacks lessened and I was less anxious, but any downtime that I had, I reverted back to my old ways of anxious feelings and emotions.

Back to the Psychiatrist

After a month on being on my medication, and not having the improvements that should have occurred while taking it, the psychiatrist suggested that I up my dosage. While I was hesitant at first, I am so glad that I decided to increase it. The past few days, I’ve barely felt anxious and I’ve been very happy. With the last dosage I was inexplicably happy when I would forget to take my medication which really made me want to go off of it. However, by increasing it, the past two days especially, I have been on cloud nine. I have felt extremely positive about my life. Of course it’s not perfect, I still get anxious and annoyed when I’m in a situation that I’m uncomfortable in, but it is light years away from where I used to be even just a few weeks ago.

The Take Away.

Please talk to someone if you are suffering with mental illness. My own anxiety kept me from going for so long. I was afraid of what they would say, but at the end of the day they aren’t there to judge you, they’re there to help you. If you are in college, chances are it’s probably free and it will be extremely beneficial to your mental health. Don’t wait until you are at your breaking point to go. If you in any way, shape, or form feel like your mental health is suffering– talk to someone! Chances are you will feel so much better.

I’ve decided to share this because I can only hope it will encourage someone else to do something about their mental health situation. At the end of the day, I don’t want this to be a secret, everyone close to me knows, I put it in the newspaper, because it is an amazing resource that we have readily available as college students. Medication is up to the individual, I hope that this is not a lifetime thing I need to do, however, if it will keep me from being anxious, at this point I don’t care. I want to feel better, and I want everyone suffering from mental illness to feel better.

At the end of the day you need to surround yourself with positive people who care and love you. A strong support system will really help you get through anything, even if that’s a little encouragement to talk to someone. So to my personal support system– online and off, thank you.

Take care of yourself.

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What To Do When You’re Anxious

Anxiety is something that can strike at anytime, here are my tips on ways to handle anxiety and what you should do when your anxious.

  • If you can, leave the situation that’s making you anxious. This won’t always be the case, sometimes you’re at work or school or whatever else, but if you can leave. Remove yourself from the situation.
  • Take a nap. Anxiety attacks are physically exhausting. Your body releases adrenaline, which after an extreme release that can make you just exhausted. take a nap, it’ll help you feel better.
  • Take a shower. It’s very easy to not take a shower when you don’t want to do anything, however, you will feel so much better once you wash all of the anxious feeling right down the drain. It also is one step closer to getting yourself and life together.
  • Make a to-do list. I know this won’t help everyone, it might make some people feel more organized. Personally, I can better evaluate my life when I make lists, it helps me feel better, and as I cross things off the list it makes the anxiety lessen with each check mark.
  • Go on a walk/run/jog or do some exercise of some sort. A lot of people find yoga really helpful. Personally, I am not an athletic person at all, but I do find it very therapeutic to sprint as far as I can just to get all of my anxious feelings out.

What do you do when you’re anxious? These are really just some of my best tips on what to do when your anxious!

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Anxiety and Traveling.

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Anxiety and traveling for some people aren’t a good mix. For some people who don’t suffer from general anxiety like myself, they can suffer from travel anxiety. The act of traveling alone can cause anxious feelings and can even result in panic attacks which can seriously make a vacation turn sour.

One of my biggest fears since I deal with anxiety is letting it ruin things I want to do, and one of the main things I want to do in life is travel. Because of this I do try to take my traveling as relaxed, simple, and as smooth as possible. So here are some tips so that you can do the same!

  1. Keep mental list of where all of your important documents are. If you’re going international be sure to keep your passport and boarding pass together, as well as any other documents you might be. For example in the fall when I get off the plane I’ll make sure to have my passport and entry note in my hand.
  2. Have a plan for the travels. If it’s a new airport, look up where your terminal is online. Know where you’re supposed to go and be. Have print out directions and use your phone or GPS to travel. It often helps if you have various sources to ensure you’re traveling to the right place.
  3. Have a plan for the arrival. If you have something to look forward to it can make the traveling process seem more worth it. If you have anxiety about being away from home, you can do a countdown of day until you get to leave, just don’t forget to enjoy your time away. If the journey makes you anxious looking forward to what the reward is can really help to relax your mind.
  4. Bring comforts. For some the unfamiliarity of traveling can cause anxiety, if you have something that comforts you and you have the ability to bring it along, do it. It’ll definitely make the journey easier.
  5. Know things can go wrong. I honestly go into everything expecting the worst. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you travel, if you’re prepared for them it won’t make them seem as bad.
  6. Be early. I know this is like my life motto, if you aren’t early you’re late, but when it comes to travelling it’s true. I would rather sit in an airport for three hours and people watch than trying to rush through security and running to my terminal. Same goes for driving, you can’t always plan for traffic. Leave early. Always be early. Rushing can cause anxiety, so the less of it you can do the better.
  7. Plan ahead. When you set an agenda and plans months in advance you can start to prepare your mind for the travels. If you have your mind prepared you will be prepared and less anxious. This really helps for just keeping a sound mind.
  8. Be ready for panic attacks. Be ready to calm yourself down. If you can have exit strategies, if you can’t try to have someone with you who understands. If you can’t do that either, make sure if anyone notices they understand what is going on. The last thing you want is a lot of attention because it will only fuel the anxiety. If you’re on the plane take a little walk through the aisles so you feel less claustrophobic. If you are in a car, pull over. Know how to slow down the panic or stop it, or know techniques that work for other people. It really is the worse case scenario that this would happen, but it does, and helps if you are prepared.
  9. Create a happy place. Make a distraction from whatever is stressing you out. Try to focus on something that doesn’t fuel the anxiety. Make a happy place in your mind where you can go when you close your eyes.
  10. Take a break. When you feel anxious sometimes you need a break. You just need to take a step back and breathe. Walk away, refresh your mind, don’t forget to drink lots of water. Take care of yourself. If you have to remove yourself, do it. You know your limits, don’t forget them.

Don’t let anxiety ruin adventure and travel for you. There’s so much to see and do in the world, and if you don’t want to see it that’s okay, but if you do, don’t let anxiety take that away. I am so afraid of that, but it also helps me be aware. You can travel with anxiety, it doesn’t have to stop you, I refuse to let it stop me.

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An Open Letter to My Anxiety

To my anxiety-

You are the worst part about me, and I’m not enjoying your late night visits.

You’ve been gone for a while, only making visits at normal times, maybe just give me a few surprise attacks here and there, thanks for that. I know you’re a part of me, that little messed up part of my brain that doesn’t like the rest of me for some reason. The part of my brain that makes me think everyone hates me, the part of my brain that picks at every insecurity, the part of the brain that makes it hard to move some days, the part I hate the most.

You are the secret I’ve been keeping recently until now. No one really knows your back but me. You are becoming overbearing again. You are trying to take over my life. No matter how often the people around me validate their feelings for me, not matter how good of a job I’m doing on something, you are the part of me that destroys that.

Thank you for constantly reminding me of the B- in philosophy and belittling it even though I should be proud of because I worked so hard for it. Thank you for reminding me that even though I put forth so much effort that people who did less still did better than me. That had to be your favorite class because that is where I felt you the most, preventing me from raising my hand, preventing me from sharing my opinion, just in case it was wrong. Thank you for making me feel worthless for being unemployed and making me question my marketability. You get inside my head and make me feel as if there is something wrong with me because I can’t even get a call or an email about a job.

You have yet to start to interfere with relationships, but that won’t last long. You come out in an angry fury at the smallest things that drives rifts into the strongest of relationships. The longer you stay, the sooner this will happen. You ruin everything you touch, which leads me to believe that I will ruin everything I touch.

Thank you for making me feel as if I’m undesirable. Thank you for ruining any potential crush of mine by letting me know that no one could want someone who cries when there are too many people in a room or shuts down when one little thing isn’t where it’s supposed to be. You not only remind me of every imperfection that my body unfortunately has, but make me feel as if I am crazy too.

You belittle me until I feel hardly anything. You make me not even want to post this because you are the voice in my head that tells me that people will judge me, they won’t want to be around me. They don’t take you seriously, they think I make you up. Because you are the voices of the people who claim “you’re faking it” or the people who say “you’re being over dramatic” or “you can’t have anxiety when you have no problems” “You just need to calm down, and you’ll be fine”. You are the voices of those who don’t believe in you which is one of the most ironic things of all. The voices who don’t take me seriously, the voices who don’t even believe you are a real thing period. You are the judgment I receive anytime I try to be open with my anxiety because it is a discussion that society needs to have and try to better understand, not for me, but for the millions of people suffering.

Even after you subsided for months, letting me feel as if I’m in control for maybe even a week, you take it all away from me. You are the worst part of me, the most controlling part of me, the part that I just wish would go away.

To my anxiety- please go away.

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Healthy Hobbies = Probable Progress

A Collaboration between gettingthroughanxiety.wordpress.com and Mary at marysaverageadventures.wordpress.com

While many of us struggle with anxiety, the ways in which we struggle vary. While certain issues may not apply to everyone, I think a major issue that is usually attached to anxiety is overthinking and focusing too much on irrational fears. Along with practice and exercise, an important step in getting through anxiety is finding a way to get our minds on something other than our fears. While this step can certainly be difficult since fear can be a very powerful force, there are ways to turn negative thinking into positive energy by concentrating and working on things we enjoy instead of fear.

It can be hard to focus on something other than our anxiety when it is so strong. However, there are plenty of positive things we can focus on. There are so many hobbies in the world to choose from; healthy ways to get into action and be productive instead of spending all your time and energy on something that holds you back and makes you feel limited.

Hobbies. Hobbies are employed not only by those of us who suffer from anxiety, but by almost everyone in the world. Hobbies have the ability to take our minds off of the things that slow us down.

Boredom is one of the worst things for anxiety. Oftentimes, when we are bored, our minds begin to wander. Unfortunately, for those of us who suffer from anxiety, most of the time when our minds wander, we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Hobbies can help us change our thought process, they can give us something entertaining and healthy to do.

I’ve always been someone who is often bored. I was always telling my parents when I was younger how bored I was and I still find myself saying it sometimes. However, I have found that hobbies are a great way to keep busy and keep focused on what we are doing instead of how we are feeling. Here are some of the hobbies I have started to do. I will explain just how they help get my mind off of my anxiety.

Puzzles- Working on a puzzle that is challenging helps the person working on it focus on the task at hand instead of what is bothering them. Puzzles take a lot of attention to detail and hard work and because of this, puzzles are a great way to get your mind on something other than your usual negative thoughts. Puzzles, much like being successful in getting through anxiety, also enables a person to feel successful when they find the piece they are looking for. Seeing that you can do a challenging puzzle may also help you realize that you have the ability, with hard work, to get through your anxiety. Puzzles, while not as challenging as fear, show that just because something is hard, does not make it impossible! Puzzles are also colorful and can cheer you up simply by staring at the vast amount of colors!

Reading- Reading a good book that you can really get into can help immensely with anxiety. I’ve read books before that don’t quite do the trick but when a book is really interesting, I’ve found reading helpful. Reading a good story helps us fall under the spell of another world, a world where fascinating things can happen. Even if there are parts of the story that are stressful for the character in the book, the stressful situation is part of the character’s life and not ours. Also, while we need to deal with reality, there is nothing wrong with taking a break from our own lives and diving into the fictional life (or non-fictional life) of a story and a character.

Movies & TV- Watching calming TV shows (or at least ones that aren’t too anxiety inducing) is a great way to get our minds off anxiety. While we shouldn’t watch too much TV (sorry to sound like a parent), watching TV can be a great way to concentrate on what’s going on in the show instead of our own hectic lives or situations. The benefits of watching TV to get our minds on something other than stress is similar to that of reading a book. However, for those of us who may want to visually see something distracting instead of having to make up our own images in our mind, a TV show is a great way for almost all of the senses to lose themselves in something entertaining. By hearing people talking in TV shows, we get distracted from our fears. By watching TV, we are able to visually see something which in turn, helps us focus on the show instead of anything else. Movies do the same thing!

Crafts- For me, hobbies have always revolved around being creative. I’m no artist, I can hardly draw a stick person but, that doesn’t stop me. One of my favorite things to do is paint pottery. The simplicity of just doing basic painting strokes really helps me feel at peace and forget everything that makes me anxious.

Writing- Whether I’m writing about what’s going on in my head or about something to distract me, it can really help. Words are an escape whether it’s through writing or reading. Writing helps to put negative energy into something more positive that helps you get it out. When you want to get your feelings out without actually talking about it.

Writing- Writing a story or book also helps you create your own world. You are able to focus on something that you created, but in a positive way. Instead of focusing on anxiety that you may have created, you can focus on something you are good at: writing. When you are working hard on your writing, it’s hard to focus on your fears. Also, not only does writing stories or poetry help you get your feelings out, but if you share your works, you can also feel good knowing that you are sharing your feelings with others and possibly, even connecting and helping them.

Sports- Sports are a great way to get out your frustrations in a more physical way. I know when I’m really anxious I run, I sprint as fast as I can for as long as I can. It’s almost like physically running away from your problems, without actually hiding from your issues. In most sports, like soccer, baseball, any type of hockey, tennis, or several other sports, you can hit things, and that physical release can really help to get out anxieties. Using sports as a hobby is a healthy release of our fears or anger, instead of an unhealthy way.

Exercising/Stretching/Practicing- While perhaps not always considered a hobby, exercising and practicing facing your fears should also become a habit. By consistently exercising and stretching, you prove to yourself that you can get through your anxiety and other issues. Also, by facing your fears, you are allowing yourself to make progress and you can begin to see that you are capable of doing so.

While anxiety may seem all consuming and unbearable a lot of the time, hobbies can help to be a distraction and a relieving way to release some of your built up anxieties. All of these hobbies distract you from the negative energy your body is holding against you. Whether it’s running, puzzles, yoga, or painting, you can find a sense of security in a hobby. I really encourage the use of hobbies as a way of handling anxiety. While it may not be entirely distracting, it is a good way of releasing those bad feelings that anxiety bring you.

Planning

Lately I’ve been very anxious which is annoying because the past three months have been fairly well with few panic attacks and just feeling more chilled out about life in general. I’ve been shaking and crying a lot lately, but not full blown panic attacks except for a small one when I was driving the other day which made the icy roads even worse for me. I contribute the lack of them to being comfortable in my place in life and it’s not that I’m uncomfortable here it’s just that I keep finding myself in more uncomfortable situations which my body decides is intolerable and decides that it just needs to freak out about it a little bit. The worse part about being home is that when this happens there are few people who understand and they think I’m being dramatic, I’m not but what can you do other than move on? Nothing. Anyway, my sense of ease with this fresh set of onset anxiety has been to plan every detail of my life. I mean that’s why I freaked out and decided that my planner wasn’t good enough last week and had to go to Target in my ‘I give up pants’ because I needed to get my shit together. For some reason planning everything to the second is giving me a sense of ease.

My friend Logan (click on the link) is very involved is SGA (I can’t remember what exactly her position is so I’m just saying involved, but don’t take that as not important because she is very important) so she has been sending out emails of upcoming events and I’ve been writing down every single one in my planner so I don’t forget to go, because that’s something I typically do. I’ve also have been checking to see if my syllabi are up every day since the grades for last semester were due so I can print them out and put the dates in my planner. I’ve literally been obsessed with planning, a complete turn around from last year when I wouldn’t even use a planner, and I found that my hand was the best source of information for anything that I needed to do.

Planning is obviously a major piece of life and like how to go about things. Like I have always been really good about being early, one of my many mottoes is “if you aren’t early you’re late” which is both good and bad. It’s kind of bad when I plan on being a half an hour early to everything and then it’s like super awkward for me. The only time I’m ever late is when I either get lost (happens more frequently than I would like to admit) or I used to be late to dinner at school when I was just starting to get to know people because I was afraid of being there with just one other person and not knowing what to say. Anyway, I’m over that now and I’m usually early again.

I think this probably stems from my extreme need to constantly be in control of everything around me. It’s a real problem that I seem to have, whenever I am not in complete control of any situation I kind of freak out.

So planning is my new hobby for 2015 it seems. What do you guys use to plan/organize? I think that’s my next thing to get into- if this is what being a grownup is, I guess I’m ready. Just kidding, still not ready.

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I Worry.

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I’m a worrier. I don’t know why, it probably it has something to do with anxiety or maybe it’s just the way I’m wired and part of what makes me who I am but it’s just something I do all the time. Every time I go anywhere I worry. I worry about myself, about my family, about my friends, about random people I don’t know.

I saw this quote today and I wasn’t sure how I felt. I want to think that I can be both. I see it this way, worrying is a part of my nature that I can’t really change. I’m always going to think of the worst possible outcome in any situation and I don’t think that will ever change.  This isn’t always a bad thing.

Due to my worrier nature I like to think of myself as an asset rather than a hinderance. While I’m sure I can be a nuisance in some social situations in which people want to have some reckless fun and I of course have to be the voice of reason, but in other situations I’m sure it’s a good thing that I’m the voice of reason. I believe that everyone needs a voice of reason whether they think so or not.

I worry whenever anyone leaves the house that they won’t come back. I worry about my friends drinking too much and not realizing it, then not getting to the hospital in time. I worry that I’m going to go blind every time the little black spot shows up. I worry that I’m going end up back in Lancaster post graduation. I worry that people I love are going to forget about me. I worry that I’m going to forget about someone important. I worry that I’m going to fail every time I try something new. Yet, no matter how much I worry it’s not as bad as I think it’s going to be *knocks on wood* (a worrier’s worst and most frequent habit).

Worrying prepares me for the worst but I like to still expect the best. It’s just how my  brain works and I don’t know why I had to write all about it. I guess it’s that just because I worry about every little thing it doesn’t prevent me from doing things. It doesn’t make me any less of a person, it just means that I put a little more thought into things before I do them.

You can be both, a worrier and a warrior, you don’t have to choose.

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It’s Hard to Explain

The thing with suffering from major anxiety and panic attacks like I have been for the past several days it’s hard to explain to people who don’t get it. I’ve been emailing with someone who does, and it’s so much easier talking to them than it is talking to someone who just doesn’t get it. Trying to explain you hardly understand yourself is really hard.

There are times where I just sit and sob for no reason. I’ll be in the car and I’ll just start crying. I can’t help it and I wish I could. People don’t get that. People don’t understand that I can’t control my anxious emotions and what comes with them, because trust me, no one wishes that I could more than me. I wish I could do certain things without panicking but I can’t. There are many times that I just collapse in fear of literally nothing but my own thoughts and that’s the hardest thing to explain.

It’s a struggle to leave the house or get up some mornings, yesterday for example. I’ve been finding peace in crafts, especially painting pottery. Yet, hanging out with other people is just not something I want to do, I don’t want to try and explain my sudden desire to leave. It’s hard to be with people and talk to people and be out and about when your mind is constantly looking for an exit plan. Whenever I leave my house I’m developing an exit plan as soon as I’m out the door. If I’m in a situation that involves sitting for any amount of time, I sit on the end, unless someone can approach me from the end, then I sit only one seat in. If I’m going out to eat, I have some sort of plan in case I have to leave quickly, and if it’s a rough day, I’m not going to order any food incase I have to leave and I don’t even have enough time to pay. How do you explain this to someone?

How do you explain that you don’t want to leave the house? How do you explain that before you go somewhere new you have to look it up so you know what to expect? How do you explain to a friend that you need to go home because you think you can’t breathe? These are the questions I ask myself as it gets worse and worse. It’s even harder when it comes to family sometimes because you see how it affects them. You see how they struggle trying to understand when you can’t even explain yourself. You can’t tell them what’s going on in your own mind and it’s frustrating. In my case I yell because I’m frustrated with myself, but yelling doesn’t help anyone. I yell because I don’t know what my mind is doing and it drives me crazy. I hate having no control over myself and that’s how I feel about 99% of the time. When you can’t explain how your mind works to the people you love the most it’s really frustrating for everyone.

There are times where it’s hard to do anything and I don’t know how to handle myself some days. On Friday it got so bad I just turned everything off. My phone went off, my laptop went off and that’s why I wasn’t around. Yesterday I didn’t want to write that’s why it was shit. It’s painful to get online when things make you anxious on social media. I don’t need to see tweets about stupid things (even though I tweet stupid things half the time) that’s not stuff I need to concern myself with when I spend half of my day crying.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to write all of this out. I just felt like I think people need to know that it’s hard to explain yourself when you don’t even understand what’s going on. My head is a mess of thoughts and I can’t distinguish things I should and shouldn’t be afraid of. It sucks but that’s who I am. I’m trying to cope and lately it’s not working. I’m just sharing it here so people understand why it’s hard for people like me to do a lot of things. I know that sounds dumb but I literally have no idea what’s going on in my head the majority of the time.

XOXO,

Mary.

A Collaborative Article- Everything Anxiety

Life isn’t easy and I doubt if anyone who has been around a while doesn’t know this. For those of us who suffer with anxiety, we especially know what it is like to struggle and often times find ourselves in emotional pain over the fact that our fear seems to stand in the way of success.
We who have experienced either rational or irrational fear, often see ourselves knocked down and often wonder if we can manage to rise above the obstacles that we ourselves may seem to create. While not purposely creating friction for ourselves, it often times seems as if we are standing in our own way. At times we may even feel stripped of our pride; feeling unable to do simple tasks in life due to our anxiety taking over.

For those of you who suffer from anxiety there may come a time in your life where you are in a situation that you can’t really get out of and that might make you feel anxious. When I was in New York for a Model UN conference we weren’t allowed to leave the room during voting procedures and that made me really anxious and nervous, because my first thought was “What if I have a panic attack? I can’t leave.” I was only a little bit anxious before that because of the huge crowd in the room in addition to feeling extremely socially awkward, but that thought really increased my anxiety levels. I had to help myself remain calm though, because there comes a time where you can’t remove yourself from a situation no matter how much you would like to sometimes. When I get into these situations I try to take my focus off of how anxious I am, even if it’s really hard, I try to focus on something else. In this case I was lucky enough to be sitting with someone who was
hilarious, she made a joke out everything and that really took my focus off of how anxious I was. It can be focusing on something as small as a fly buzzing around, music, or a movie if you can, focus on anything but the thing that seems to make you anxious and the anxiety itself.

There are times, however, where we need to get better and fast. There are times when we must summon all our strength to pull through the dark clouds of worry. This can be hard when our minds so deviously seem to convince our bodies that we have physical ailments, even though we are actually quite strong. So how do we do this? While we may have supportive friends and family, there will be times we will need to depend solely on ourselves. In fact, most of the time we need to depend on ourselves. What do we do? What do we do when we are so afraid that all we feel we can do is cry and hope that somehow this draining of tears will make us stronger?

We remember our times of success, we remember we are strong and that we are just giving into the symptoms of anxiety, and we find the strength to carry on. We focus on our goals, on plans. We think about TV shows or movies; playing them out in our mind. We try to focus on work or on school. Most importantly, we try
to focus on what we are doing and not on our feelings of fear. This is not always easy but giving up is not an option.

Sometimes you have to face your fears, the things you know in the bottom of your heart that will most likely make you panic, there might come a day where you’ll have to face it. If you have such extreme anxiety to the point of being unable to leave your house, that’s definitely something you have to face. If you never face fears that are stopping you from doing things, that’s no way to live a life, in my opinion at least. I’m afraid of public restrooms that are just like the single person rooms, to the point where I have to have someone else check it for me first, but I’m not going to pee my pants because I’m afraid of the bathroom. I’m also afraid of flying but I remain calm on every flight I go on, I put in my headphone, pull out a book, and pretend I’m in the car. I’m not about to let my anxiety stop me from seeing the world and I don’t think anyone should. For me if I plan everything to a tee, it takes away a lot of anxiety for me, there’s not much
unknown then. I have one life, and I’m not going to let my brain stop me from doing everything I want to do, and if everyone has that view I think the barrier will become a little smaller. There may be times when it doesn’t work out and you freak, but the times you don’t will be so rewarding.

If you experience panic attacks often you might try to pinpoint what triggers the worst of them. For me I find crowds a huge one, however that doesn’t mean every time I’m in a crowd I have a panic attack and it also doesn’t mean the only time I have a panic attack is in a crowd. I thought for a while if I can avoid my triggers I can avoid a panic attack, well that doesn’t work very well because sometime triggers are unavoidable and are tricky to pin point. For a while there was a time that every time I went to church I would feel incredibly anxious and sometimes I would have a small panic attack, but I couldn’t not go to church even though I thought it was a trigger. Triggers can be hard to pinpoint and even harder to avoid the most of the time. At least in my own experience after trying to find these only cause me to stress out way more than I should about it, which also causes me to have more anxiety, the opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish.
While it may be helpful to know what your triggers are, it might not be worth the struggle to try and identify.

With how many people suffer from anxiety it is likely that sometime in your lifetime you will encounter someone suffering from a panic attack and this is a piece of advice that anyone can take away from this post, help them. Don’t let them be or ignore them, ask them if they need anything. Sit next to them wait for them to say something. Unless they stop breathing or pass out, you really don’t need to worry, what they need is a calm person, so stay calm. It is so crucial that you stay calm so that they know that everything is okay, if you start panicking it will not help them at all. Get them what they ask for, if they need water get them water, if they need a tissue, get them a tissue. Find them what they need and they will start to calm down. It might be weird to you at school or at a restaurant that someone is experiencing a panic attack, well it’s probably common for them but they still might need some help. A lot of times someone suffering from a
panic attack can’t get out of the situation, and in this case, please never look at them like they’re crazy because chances are they already feel that way. If you’re at a restaurant and someone is sitting on the floor do not stare, in case you were unaware social anxiety comes from being out and about and people staring at you, it’s only going to make things worse. Offer to help them if you look at them and if you don’t want to help them again DO NOT STARE. If someone is in the hall at school (a common stress for many) offer to help. They are your peer, and they aren’t weird or crazy, they’re anxious. Chances are you’ve probably been anxious in school to, school is a stressful place and even more so for someone who has anxiety and then again even more if they suffer social anxiety. Don’t assume someone else will help them, don’t think that a teacher will stop because they might not, you can actually make someone’s day if you help them out. Most
people are not pretending to have a panic attack for attention, and if you do that screw you, never ever “want” anxiety because it’s “cool” it’s not at all trust me, I know. Most people are genuinely having a panic attack and need help, don’t just pass it off because you think they’re looking for attention. Chances are they aren’t. Panic attacks may seem like they last a really long time but I’m pretty sure that I’ve read the longest they can last is 20 minutes, so if you have to sit with a stranger for 20 minutes I don’t think it will kill you. And you might be helping someone out a lot more than you think you are.

Anxiety shouldn’t be taken as a joke ever. It’s a mental illness (even though I hate saying that) and thousands of people suffer from it, some more extreme than others. While everyone experiences day to day anxieties such as work stress, homework, finals, money problems, people who suffer from anxiety deal with all of that plus more. They may feel anxious by doing something as easy as driving, going to the grocery store, or even out to eat with friends. I don’t take it lightly whatsoever when people joke about anxiety because they have no idea what it’s like. While most people will experience a panic attack or two in their lifetime, they will never know the pain of washing their hands at work and having to run out of the building because for what seemed like no reason, they panicked and couldn’t stop. It’s not funny and it never will be funny to make fun of someone with anxiety or even joke about anxiety. This also goes into pretending to have anxiety.

This seems to be some sort of trend now, like pretending to be depressed. Well it’s not cool and it’s kind of insulting to people who actually suffer from it. Please don’t do that, I wouldn’t wish something like this on my worst enemy and I don’t know why someone would pretend to have it.

No matter how hard it gets you really have to focus on your triumphs. There may be days that just suck, days that you think you won’t get any better and you might think that all of your days are just going to be that bad, but they aren’t because you’ve made it that far. There have definitely been times where I thought I wasn’t going to get better, times where I thought why leave the house again, talk to anyone, or do anything? But then I concentrate on all the good I’ve done so far. I missed a class once because I over slept, I could’ve caught the end of it, but I had a panic attack because I missed the start of it. I felt so bad that day, everything felt worse, but I still went to my next class and handed in my work and did a three hour lab. I knew I was through the worst part of my day so I could do the other crap too. Think about all of the times you were on the verge of a panic attack and you finally managed to talk yourself out of it.

Anxiety can be confusing. One day we can feel as if we have never faced the monster that seems to stir within us and the next it may seem as if we will never be okay again. As dramatic as this may sound to some, I think that all too many of us can relate to this statement. Some days, in fact, can be so hard that we feel as if we are defined by our anxiety; as if it is something that cannot be removed and will only continue to grow worse over time. The days described above can be cruel and they can seem to take us down with them, but the key is that we have to remind ourselves that the anxiety will pass and we will get through our anxiety.

But how? How do we get through anxiety? How do we get through the days where it seems that no matter how hard we try, fear is the one to win in the battle that tests our strength and often our confidence? For one thing, when we do have free time, we need to go out of our way to practice facing our fears. We need to take small but helpful steps; steps that we choose and that we are willing to spend time on. We need to give ourselves time to make ourselves better, to improve our lives.

The truth is that we are not powerless in the fight against anxiety and we are also not alone. Fear can be overcome; it just takes practice and patience.

This article has been written by https://marysaverageadventures.wordpress.com and http://gettingthroughanxiety.wordpress.com

My Anxiety Won’t Win

No matter how long you’ve been following me, you know that I suffer from anxiety. For whatever reason today has been particularly bad, I’ve had a few small panic attacks, but I’ve had this general feeling of anxiousness all day. Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, feeling anxious all day or having one bad panic attack, at least then it’s over with, but then I feel really sad just because I feel mentally and emotionally weak. I’m not sure if that makes sense that’s just how I feel.

However, today I had a meeting with someone at work who works does PR for the company I’m working a for the summer. I had two hours from the time I started to the time the meeting began and I felt so anxious. I was afraid I wasn’t going to know what to say or how to act. It turns out I had no reason to be anxious because we hit it off! We talked the whole hour without a single moment of awkward silence. I acted like myself, told her about myself and my interests. I think that’s a great thing to do in situations like that because anxiety only builds with lies and pretending, or at least that’s what I think. She actually has given me the awesome opportunity to write a press release which is an awesome experience to have at 19. I’m so excited.

This really great opportunity brought with it anxiety, well maybe not with it because it was already there. I had to find the information for the press release, which meant I had to use the phone that has been sitting on my desk, used once to set up my email. For some reason making phone calls to people I don’t know makes me really nervous. I think I would actually rather meet someone face to face or even like skype them over a phone call. I don’t know why that is, but it actually caused me to have a small panic attack. I set little accomplishments so that I could do it. I retyped all the information I was given into a way that it was easier for me to understand. I then took out the questions I had to ask and typed those all up. I practiced reading them so I wouldn’t stutter, and to make sure that they made sense. After a lot of deep breathing I picked up the phone and dialed the extension. Let me tell you five rings in cruel to a person with anxiety, he didn’t answer and I had to leave a voicemail. The rest of the afternoon I’m waiting for him to return my call just working on some more powerpoint stuff and I think I’m in the clear at 4:50, but no, at 4:53 the phone rings. It went well, I asked him my questions and now I’ll arrange all the information tomorrow.

It might take me a little bit longer to do some things, but I’m not about to let my anxiety to stop me. There are so many things in life that I want to do and I don’t want to stop because I’m feeling anxious. I know there are going to be times where it does get the best of me, heck it gets the best of me a lot, but it’s not going to stop me. Even if something takes a hundred tries, or if I have to pick up the phone and put it down a few times before I’m not going to let this win. Today just justified that I can accomplish something great  a simple everyday task that makes me anxious if I set my mind to it. If I can do it, so can you.

XOXO,

Mary.

 

Hello fellow bloggers or readers that suffer from anxiety. I’m trying to a post on how to explain anxiety to those who don’t experience it and how they should handle someone having a panic attack. If you have any advice on this I’m trying to compile a list, so if you want email me at marysaverageadventures@gmail.com please it would be really helpful! You can stay completely anonymous as well.