It’s been a rough week.
It shouldn’t have been. It should’ve been a great week, because it was my birthday week, but alas, the anxiety monster picked this week to rear it’s ugly little head.
It wasn’t until yesterday that I discovered that the trigger was probably hormonal, but by that time it didn’t matter. The collateral damage had been done. I had left a huge trail of destruction in my wake by the time it dawned on me what was causing it all. I was a complete utter wreck and an emotional basket case. The real me had been bullied away by anxiety several days before.
This is another bad side effect of not having regular cycles…I never know when the hormones are going to start surging, and by the time I figure it out I have a hurt husband and even my cats are avoiding me like the plague. When animals avoid you, you know you’re giving off some seriously bad vibes.
By God’s grace I kept it together for my birthday on Wednesday, but by yesterday afternoon I was done mentally and physically. I left work two hours’ early, took about an hour to chill at my favorite park then went home and went directly to bed.
Before and after my 3-hour nap I picked up my favorite book on anxiety. From Panic to Power by Lucinda Bassett. I read this book last year, and it really helped me get a grip on the anxiety that was plaguing me at the time. It’s a book I highly recommend. I have a feeling that I will eventually wear it out and have to buy a new one. It’s great for folks like me to read and re-read…especially when the anxiety monster attacks.
I know I am more predisposed to anxiety than the average person because 1) I have a strong family history of anxiety disorders, 2) I have been through a major traumatic life-changing event, and 3) I have an anxiety-prone personality type.
I tend to catastrophize (a hallmark of the anxiety-prone), and as my hubby puts it…see the glass as half empty or even worse…totally empty. Anxiety disorder is not a mental illness per se it’s more of a perception disorder. It’s not that I’m anxious over things or events that are not real it’s just I tend to make things worse than they actually are. When I start traveling down the emotional road of this anxiety it’s like a snowball on a hill…it just gets bigger and bigger until it runs into something. I either hit my tolerance wall, or I stop it by consciously…with great effort…changing my way of thinking and/or redirecting my anxiety into positive creative activity. Folks of my personality type are very sensitive and creative, and one way to drain the adrenaline that comes with an anxiety attack is to redirect the energy. It takes a lot of effort, because when you’re under an anxiety attack it’s really hard to focus, but it really works to lessen the effects of anxiety.
I really want the anxiety to be gone for good, but I know from time to time it will rear it’s ugly little head. I always have to be on guard and protect my mind and heart. It’s a battle that I will fight for the rest of my life.
Do you suffer from anxiety? Of course, everyone has anxiety from time to time, but do you have times that anxiety threatens to consume your life? How do you handle life when the anxiety monster rears it’s ugly little head?