Today’s Friday Thoughts post is a little different than usual because there’s only been one major thing on my mind this week- anxiety. I had a rough few days last week, and it really threw me. It’s been a year and a half since my last extended bout with anxiety and panic so I just wasn’t expecting it. In recent years, my anxiety has manifested around sleep- or, rather, the lack thereof. I’ll lay down and suddenly those irrational voices in my head are telling me I’ll never sleep again. You know what makes it hard to sleep? Intense, obsessive thoughts about “how” to fall asleep.
As I sit here writing this, I’ve actually had a really good few days. Everything seems back to normal, and even I have a hard time processing or recalling how I felt last week. I think that’s why it can be so hard to talk about anxiety and what it feels like. If I can barely explain it, how do I expect someone who’s never dealt with it to understand? I tend to hide how I’m feeling while I’m in the thick of it because it’s just so hard to put words to. It’s like an all-encompassing monster that convinces you life as you know it is over and every fear you’ve ever had is true. At its worst, you feel like you’re choking, and the simple everyday things are suddenly too much.
I’ve been frustrated with myself this week because I wanted to get so much blog content up, but I just couldn’t do it. I find with anxiety that I’ll sit obsessively thinking about everything I want to get done, but I can’t actually execute anything. So, instead, I just kept myself busy with barre classes, errands, and long phone calls to my mom. I’m trying to give myself a break, but it’s still frustrating that you felt too stuck to accomplish what you wanted.
I’m extremely lucky that I’ve had a great support system around me for the past 10 years (when my panic attacks started). Anxiety and panic run pretty rampant in my family, but that means we have each other to lean on. I’ve been on medication for a long time, but I’ve been playing around with the dosage since I’d love to cut back. However, that also means I already have a tool at my disposal if the symptoms increase or just become too much.
Every person’s experience with anxiety is different, but I’d encourage anyone struggling to seek out help- a support system, a therapist, a doctor. It’s terrifying enough to deal with, but it’s even more terrifying to do it alone. I’ve been surprised by just how many people struggle with it when I have opened up. It’s a bummer, but it’s also a relief to connect with people who get it. I’m always here to talk so shoot me a DM or email if you need someone to listen. We’re all in this together.