Anxiety – familiar like an old friend
When my anxiety is at it’s worst like today – it feels familiar like an old friend I have known forever. But I feel all alone in the world and instead of reaching out for help, I push everyone around me away. I should call a friend but I don’t. Instead I yell at my husband and kids because of little insignificant things. I have no patience and even the slightest little conflict with the kids or if they don’t do as I say I loose my temper, I yell. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me. I know this is just today because my anxiety is very bad but still…
I have to own that the way that I react when I am overcome with anxiety hurts the people I love the most. That is in a way, worse then the actual anxiety. That I am not just in pain, I also cause pain in my family by my behaviour. I don’t know how to stop it from happening when I am in the middle of the storm. I have tried a thousand times it feels and a thousand different techniques but it still happens when I am overcome by anxiety.
What are you scared of?
Yes I mean what am I scared of anyways?!. I don’t have an anxiety disorder that makes me scared of social situations, or spiders or public speaking. I am just scared – generalised anxiety disorder – it even has a ”cute” abbreviation GAD short for scared of life. Of death. Of being. I just am anxious all the time. It doesn’t come in panic attacks that last for a certain amount of time and then they pass. Then it’s over until the next time. I am anxious all the time. Sometimes more sometimes less but always anxious.
Obviously and thankfully there are periods when I am feeling better and I am not feeling anxious. Where I feel it coming on and I can stop it before it takes over. I have spent so much time and taught myself so many useful and good techniques to stop the anxiety from taking over and most of the time it actually works. Since I started yin yoga I rarely feel this bad but I guess I let it sneak up on me again….I want to be brave enough to say “Well hello again old friend” to my anxiety and I try. Because I know that I must stay with it. Lean into it because it is the only way to deal with it. There is no running away.
So what can I do
When I am disciplined and I only eat healthy, drink warm water, no coffee, no sugar, no dairy, no wine, only warm food. rise with the sun, go to bed at the same time every day. Meditate every day, do a long practice of Yin yoga every day.
When I completed my yin yoga teacher training in September and I felt like a completely different person. I can do it, it can be attained, this life of not being anxious all the time. It gives me hope and makes me go on when I feel like I can’t breathe for another minute. I know I can get better because I have tried it. And it’s only me that can do it.
I know why I am out of balance and feeling this way now. Isabel my daughter is going to have a CT scan and minor surgery on her lung this week and I am scared. Anyone would be in that situation but not everyone would react as I do I realise that. Realising that my anxiety disorder makes me more vulnerable when life hands you scary situations.
When we neglect to do what we need
I sort of react by becoming paralysed– I neglect to do my yin practice, I eat what the rest of the family eat or forget to eat altogether, I don’t meditate or only briefly. I just live like most other people…and for a while that is okay. BUT then it hits me. Suddenly I can’t breathe so well, my heart pounds, I get dizzy spells, I loose my temper, I want to hide, I can’t concentrate, I don’t want to answer the phone, respond to emails. It sort of sneaks up on me every time until something occurs that makes me wake up to the nightmare which is me being anxious ALL the time…again. And then it requires more strength then I have and yet I have to find it somewhere deep inside. It can be done, I just have to dig deep for the strength.
So here we go again
Be patient, I hear a quiet voice inside. Give warmth to yourself, love yourself, self care, do things that make you happy. I hear this voice whisper to me. It’s myself that knows better, trying to make me get up from the floor where I lie and weep, small steps but get up, breathe, gently get back to yourself, there is no one to help really, there is just me but I know this road I need to walk. I have been here before, it’s a long familiar road and so one step in front of the other and I just keep going.
Don’t confuse my bad days for weakness – those are actually the days I am fighting the hardest