Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anxiety

I have struggled with anxiety issues for a long time now. Pretty much since high school or I think maybe even middle school. The manifestation of my anxiety has changed over the years:

At first I had problems breathing during anxiety attacks. That lasted through college basically.

Sometime during high school, I also would lose my appetite when I got anxious. I remember there being times when all I would want to eat for days at a time was orange juice.

In grad school, the breathing went away and my anxiety caused all kinds of stomach problems. Acid reflux. Gastritis. Those combined to cause a big lack of appetite. And they were painful.

After grad school, my anxiety made me have hypochondriac tendencies. Whenever I would get anxious about something I would suddenly become intensely worried about getting cancer or something. The fact that Phil still married me even after seeing me go through this phase just shows how amazing he is. I was probably the most embarrassed about this anxiety phase. Phil, my mom and Joanna were really the only ones I really talked to about it.

I have been doing pretty well lately with my anxiety. I have a hard time on planes but even that has been all right. The hypochondria tries to creep back in but for the most part I have been ok. I have really been trying to work on the anxiety. I still have days when I get anxiety attacks but they are much fewer.

I had an anxiety attack today out of the blue. I think it started because I felt like I had forgotten to do something at work. I am pretty sure I didn't actually forget anything. But I couldn't shake the feeling. And then things kept making the feeling worse.

Thankfully tonight there wasn't much hypochondria. I was even able to watch Grey's Anatomy (which had been banned because I thought I had every weird disease presented on the show). But I wasn't hungry. We didn't eat dinner until late. Even then I didn't eat much.

Over the years I have found different methods of calming down. Crocheting seems to be the best one. I didn't really feel like crocheting tonight though.

But I am feeling better now. I think what got me out of the anxiety tonight was the idea that I could go get hot chocolate in the morning (I have the same motivation as my 3 year old nephew).

And I have rambled. :)

I thought I would share a little about something I have really struggled with for a long time (and today included).

Have you struggled with anxiety? What helped you cope?


Love, Mrs. Janney

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