I Have Anxiety

I’ve come to realize that a lot of people don’t understand anxiety. They don’t really understand what it is or the people who deal with it on a daily basis. About 40 million people in the United States (18%) suffer from anxiety.

People with anxiety:

  • Often feel out of control of their health and life
  • Experience higher levels of overall stress
  • Often struggle with low self-esteem
  • Feel nervous in many social situations
  • Have difficulty managing pressure
  • Have higher expectations of themselves and others
  • Feel returned love is performance-based
  • Often have unhealthy boundaries
  • Are often workaholics
  • Are more often sick
  • Often have unhealthy relationships
  • Visit the doctor more often
  • Tax the medical system (with frequent trips to their doctor or emergency rooms)
  • Are more likely to take medications
  • Are more likely to have other health problems
  • Are overall more unhappy
  • Experience erratic emotional behaviors
  • Often quick to get angry
  • Regularly feel unsettled
  • Regularly feel overwhelmed
  • Feel disconnected or detached from reality and life
  • Often feel they are just on the edge of losing control
  • Often aren’t reliable (because their symptoms may prevent them from following through)
  • Become inward focused and dwell on their health condition and personal problems
  • May jump from relationship to relationship in search of perfection
  • May jump from job to job because of higher levels of stress
  • Live a restricted lifestyle (within their self-imposed “safe zones”)
  • Feel life is passing them by
  • Question their faith and God’s presence in their lives
  • Feel at a distance from God

For more on anxiety, visit here. It’s got a pretty good lot of information.

Recently I have had to really try and open up about it to my boyfriend. It began to get between us and cause unnecessary problems that he couldn’t understand. Small and unimportant things to him, yet big and detrimental to me. To avoid my problem with confutation, I left a paper that i had written exactly what was going on in my mind. Basically a paper of jumbled nonsense. But never the less, my mind at work. I think it really opened his eyes to how I really feel and the never ending process going on in my mind. I feel 14 from the above list on almost a daily basis plus many things not listed. Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions? So, here is a  little note from my anxious mind to a conventional one.

I have Anxiety.

I fear situations that aren’t happening and may never happen. I stay up late at night just listening to sounds to make sure I don’t sleep through a tornado siren or an intruder. I stay up mapping out a plan of execution in the case of every possible situation. I may even get up a couple times a  night to make sure the doors are still locked and the everyone is still breathing.

When I don’t hear back from people in a “reasonable” amount of time I assume they’re dead. Andrew can contest to that. It drives him crazy. When I was little living with my parents, I always assumed the worse if my mom took too long at the store. I always fear that anyone who drives my kids is going to get into an accident and I’m not going to know because no one would know who’s kids they are. What if I never found them?

In crowds or large places I fear being lost or hurt. I start sweating and feel dizzy. My throat may begin to feel like its closing. Breathing becomes difficult. I’ve called a friend crying because I was scared i’d never find my car in a Wal-mart parking lot. I’ve nearly passed out in a mall, unable to find the store I entered. Family will warn me of the large amount of people that will be at certain events before I walk in. At events with a lot of people Andrew will tightly hold onto my hand or pull me close to remind me I’m not alone. Because I fear being alone, yet being around people at the same time. I fear places like Chuck E Cheese because I fear I’ll lose my child or someone will take him. At theme parks such as Stone Mountain I fear of massacres. Especially after all the racist bullshit everyone wants to fight about and shootings. I’m afraid to go on walks with the kids because if something happened to me, what would happen to them?

At work I have a manager who thinks I can’t handle my job because when we get crowed or busy I get a blank look on my face and walk at a fast pace, ignoring co-workers. What he doesn’t see is what I see. which is a lot of strangers. Ones that might be crazy and decide to shoot the store up. I start sweating, heart starts pounding, to avoid a freak out or over thinking a nonexistent problem I can only focus on the people I’m responsible for making happy.

After dark I absolutely hate making any stops. The walk from and to my car is the worse. Anything could happen and who would help me? Who would know? Someone could easily stuff me in their trunk.

Anyone who knocks at the door unannounced is assumed to be a danger. One time I almost tased a man delivering flowers to me…

If I have to call someone other than a friend or family member I may call and hang up several times before actually speaking. I get too nervous. They may think I’m stupid.

In a restaurant walking from my table to the restroom is a struggle. I have to really need to pee to make that walk. There are too many people to bump into. Or they might be looking at me. What if they’re laughing at ME?

I cry when disagreeing with authority. I like patterns and predictability. I enjoy sitting in silence with someone. It’s being alone without actually being alone.

Clutter stresses me out. Stress stresses me out. I over analyze everything. I don’t trust people because everyone will lie and hurt me at some point. I don’t like talking about my problems because they sound dumb and people wont understand them. Won’t understand me.

Anxiety is living in dark even though your life is full of light. It’s feeling alone, yet being surrounded by friends. It’s being loved, but feeling like a burden. Anxiety is having so much hope, but feeling hopeless with the inability to control your own mind and thoughts.

This is just a short insight into my daily life. As crazy as it all sounds, this is Anxiety. I know I have some friends who experience it as well. To loved ones of someone with anxiety, all i can say is continue to love them even if they reject it. Remind them of their beauty and worth even when they refuse it. Try to understand them, be patient. Never belittle their problems when they do open up!

Thank you Andrew, Mom, Hannah, Lennon, and Courtney for loving me when i’m unlovable!

What is your anxiety story?  

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Once Upon An Intruder

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentines Day! I have enjoyed seeing how my friends celebrated on Facebook. My love and I certainly enjoyed. We celebrated on Friday. Our Son stayed with his Mimi and our Daughter stayed with her Aunt. The house was all to ourselves! I sent Andrew on a scavenger hut to find clues to the romantic, private spa I set up in the comfort of our own home. The room was lit by the light of burning candles. We each gave and received massages using a special hot wax ( which was amazing and I definitely recommended). We finished by rinsing off in a large bubble bath for two and a sugar scrub. Needless to say we both were relieved of our day to day stress if only for a night and it was GREAT.

That’s until the moment we realized we were not actually alone.

While we soaked in the warm bubbles, sipping our wine, and taking in the silence, we heard a male voice call out “Someone up here?”. We quickly dismissed it when we figured it must have come from the outside. We had a window open to air out some of the heat. The dog was going crazy downstairs, but she always does when someone comes in hearing distance of the house. We brushed it off and finished our quiet time.

After we drained the water, wrapped ourselves up in towels, and walked into the hall of our upstairs we were hit by a very cold gust of wind.  A glance down the stairs revealed the outside, our front door wide open. I can’t speak much for Andrew but panic swiftly took over all feeling of relaxation I had just felt. We took a minute to listen and heard nothing. We quietly walked down the steps to shut the door and called for Ada (our dog). She was acting very strange,cowering. Not like her. she followed us room to room and cleared them for us, nose to ground. Nothing was missing or out of place. So we dismissed her and went back to our room to get dressed.

Not too long after we heard the same male voice AGAIN underneath us. Andrew rushes for the shotgun in the next room and I silently listen for anymore noises or movements. I hear nothing. which is almost scarier than hearing something, anything at this point would have been nice. My mind of course was going to worse case scenarios. I was so very thankful in those moments that the kids were else where.

I hear Andrew cock the shotgun, my eyes her wide, heart pounding outside of my chest, praying that the next sound I hear is not the gun firing off.  What I do hear is a car screaming down the road and coming to a halt in front of our house. I peek out the window to see Andrews dad running up to our door, I called down the steps to warn Andrew his dad was coming in. From there his dad, retired military, did a sweep through the entire house and found nothing.

To this moment we still have no idea what went on that night while we celebrated our Valentines Days together. We don’t know if our door somehow was opened by wind and a man walking by hollered up to see if anyone was home and was frightened by the dog. We don’t know if a man opened the door himself, planning on taking stuff but was frightened by the dog. Nor do we know if the voice we heard was just a neighbor talking outside.  But I do know I’m  sure losing sleep listening to sounds. Last night I even shot up out of a dead sleep and darted down to the front door to make sure it was locked. Needless to say our Valentines Day was certainly one we won’t soon forget.

What encounters or close calls have you had with an intruder? 

Bullies Accountable

I know that some of my friends have already seen this video as it has been passed around on Facebook. If you have not seen it, I STRONGLY encourage you to watch all seven minutes of it.

This is Daniel Briggs. For nine years of his school career he was bullied and taunted for being different. By that I mean having different interest than most kids. He enjoyed hunting and trapping which was something kids at his school weren’t particularly in to. He was kind and always helped others when he could. But he truly suffered from the daily bullying and taunting from the other kids. When it first started he would tell his parents and they of course would take it straight to the school officials. From there a kid would get suspended or minor consequences here and there but it also gave the bullies more to play off of. From there he was called a baby for running to his parents. At that point what good is it to tell anyone? What good could come from asking for help?

On Daniels last day on earth, he received a text message from an other student that read

  “Why don’t you take one of your precious guns and do the world a favor and go kill yourself.”

Daniel responded with,  “You won’t have to worry about me anymore, I’m going to go home and kill myself.”

The bully replied,  “put up or shut up.”

Take a moment to let that sink in.

That day Daniel went around school and made comments to students, teachers, and even his bus driver that he was not going to be around any longer. His parents were at his brothers basketball game so he knew he’d be alone. He made one last call to his best friend. His friend kept him on the phone as long as possible and in the mean time had his parents in a desperate race to notify his parents to help him but in the end they were too late.

His death was an effect of bullying.

This mothers story is heart wrenching and no mother should have to grieve over something so preventable! Currently she has a lawsuit out on the school, Thousand Island Central, and many officials for the death of her son. Click Here to see how the officials have fought against the lawsuit. However, I think her blame is misplaced.

The child that sent that text message is 100% the reason why her son is no longer alive. I strongly believe that anyone that encourages another person to do harm to themselves should most definitely go to prison and be charged with some degree of murder. We need to hold the bullies accountable! If they cause a death by encouraging it they need to pay for it! Here you can read about a case where the girlfriend of an 18 year old boy researched and encouraged her boyfriend on how and when to kill himself. She is now facing murder charges, as she should!

If you are reading this please remember this and NEVER be the reason behind someones suffering. If you see or know of someone struggling from persistent bullying be their voice, friend, positive motivator. Anything to help them not feel like life is hopeless. If you are the parent of a child being aggressively bullied DO NOT be hesitant to remove your child from the school and enroll them in a new setting. It may seem silly to uproot your family but I’m talking about just trying a different district. I can assure you it is a much better alternative to losing your child. If you are the one contemplating suicide because of school bullying remember that this is only temporary. In a few short years you will graduate and never see those faces again. Also remember you can ALWAYS call the free suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for nothing more than an open ear. People are available 24/7 for YOU.

 I personally have had friends that have killed themselves at young ages. I’ve seen the pain on their mothers face, and closest friends, for not seeing the pain their loved one was in. One of my biggest fears as a mother is that I will not see the hurt in my own children. And that one of them won’t know how loved they are and feel that ending their life is the answer. Logan, Amelia- If one of you ever see this, I love you my babies. Always.

Sleep On This

We’ve all heard the Common saying “Never go to bed angry,” But should you?

I use to believe that going to bed angry was actually beneficial. When you and your significant other are overly heated things might be said that you don’t mean and unfortunately you cant take them back once they’re said. Much like Carrie Underwood sings in Little Toy Guns, I’m sure we all have been in a situation where we wish words were just a bang bang rolling off our tongues. No sting, to hurt, no damage done. Unfortunately that’s not the case and I know that when I’m angry enough things just come out. As immature as it sounds sometimes you want the other person to feel how they made you feel. So, instead of hashing it out in the heat of the moment I’d rather go to bed and calmly discuss the dispute in the morning after a nights rest. Once upon a time it use to be so easy to go to bed without resolving the issue. I’d wake up feeling refreshed and like nothing had ever happened.

However, After two kids and life, going to bed angry is nearly impossible now a days. Day’s will pass with nothing resolved putting a one brick a day between you and your significant other. Another argument arises. nothing is resolved. Add three bricks a day. This pattern will continue till you and your partner have nothing but a brick wall between you. And let me tell you that that wall is a lot harder to chip away than if the two of you would have taken five minutes to cool off in separate rooms and tried communicating through the problem again. It can really end a great relationship.

I read a few articles that either agreed or disagreed with going to bed angry. The common marriage myths is one that believes going to bed angry can be beneficial. The writer believes that couples should take six seconds to kiss and say goodnight, pushing the argument aside till after both have had a nights sleep and calm mind. He also says that to ensure he conflict doesn’t get pushed under the rug to set aside a “meeting” to discuss things you loved about the other during the week and things that bothered you. Now I don’t believe that I agree with his point of you on this. I understand and can appreciate his view, but that doesn’t always work for me. BUT he addresses many great suggestions on how to keep your relationship healthy and I encourage everyone to read it.

Another article that I read is on the five consequences of going to bed angry. This writer believes that going to bed with unresolved issues is absolutely detrimental for any relationship. He talks about the wall that is put between couples by not working through conflict as it occurs. Which is just what I previously talked about. He also talks about though getting a good nights rest may be beneficial in reaching common grounds, does it really do any good when you wake up feeling just as upset as the night before? That’s not a fresh start. It also sends the message that you would rather be right and win than try to understand one another. All of which puts a block on intimacy and though some may disagree, having an intimate connection it vital in a relationship.

What do you think? Does going to bed angry work in your relationship?