Anxiety

Friday, June 22, 2012

Outfit deets:
* Mexx bubble top (old).
* Winners crochet skirt (new!), layered over a (aqua) Costa Blanca gauzy skirt I've had for a year but hadn't ripped the tags off until this day.  The crochet skirt has a same-colour slip/lining but it's somewhat translucent so I tucked that under the aqua skirt
* Kelsi Dagger 'Genelle' wedges (new!) that I scored at Winners for half the price they currently retail for.
* Accessories:  J.Crew necklace & Joe Fresh bangle (these two seem to go hand-in-hand).

In all my life, I never experienced anxiety.  I knew people who had it, touched it, felt it, but not me.  I didn't understand how it felt or why they couldn't shake it or what was going on in their bodies, that is, until I went through my divorce.

In the months leading up to us separating, I was panged with anxiety.  A 'perfect' life turned upside down, being pulled in opposite directions and my heart fighting with my head caused major anxiety to ensue.  I remember being in the shower trying to catch my breath and being unable to.  I finally understood what people meant when they said they suffered from anxiety.

The shortness of breath and jitter-like feelings came and went.  Some days I would be fine, other days it would come on suddenly like the snap of fingers.  It was incurable, and it simply had to be lived through. 

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my mom on the phone, all teary eyed and upset, I couldn't shake my anxiety over whatever emotions were passing through my body.  I confessed to her that I had never had anxiety before and she said up until the separation, my life had been a fairly flat line.  Not a flat line that was boring or unexciting, no no, there were many happy, exciting, wonderful times, but there were no real devastating times that crushed me to the core and shook me like my divorce has.  In a way, I should be so grateful to have experienced this wonderful life up until the ripe age of 27, but at the same time, facing anxiety has been, well, interesting, to say the least (and to put an optimistic spin on it).

And now, although much time has passed and I have moved forward and am in a pretty great place, the anxiety still rears its' ugly head every now and again and it's funny how not alone you really are.  A text from a good friend the other day sparked this post as she wrote to me, 'Do you ever get an insane amount of anxiety for no real reason at all?'  My answer? Yes (in big bold letters!).  On top of that, I had been feeling anxious all morning for no real reason. 

I know I have talked about feeling anxious over the Internet and Social Media, and maybe you can bundle them all together, but sometimes I feel they are so separate and the worry that overwhelms me is simply hard to get rid of.  When I can't sleep, I try to make small notes in my iPhone; this 1) ensures I don't forget things come morning, and 2) allows me to let go of the things on my mind so I can sleep.  These notes are silly little things as simply as, 'Pick up tissue paper at the Dollar Store.  Clean the zippers on my OTK boots so they don't stick over the summer months.  Return the F21 top that doesn't fit.' etc.  They seem to help. 

The most recent thing I have come up with to battle my anxiety is to relax my knees.  Okay, I know this sounds a little bit absurd, but if you suffer from anxiety, I urge you to try it.  You need to really focus on your knees to relax them and in turn your whole body kind of exhales.  Our bodies get so tense throughout the day, especially if you're anxious, so to take even 15 seconds to relax your knees, will at least offer 15 seconds of relief.  Try it, I dare you!

Have you ever experienced anxiety?  Known someone who has?  Do you get what I'm talking about?

9 comments:

Katie said...

Yes. Yes yes yes. In my early 20's I had a lot of problems with anxiety. I really wish I could tell you some easy trick, but it just took a lot of time figuring out what was the root of it and how to deal with it as it came. Over time it got a lot better though. Making lists is something that has helped me a lot, too. I think it just clears out some of the things running through my head and that calms me down :)

Anonymous said...

Anxiety/panic attacks are more common than most people would think but are definitely extremely hard to deal with. I used to feel like I was hyperventilating and to this day I don't recall how I got myself calmed down and got my breathing regulated. Making lists definitely sounds like a good idea; doing any little thing that will let your mind loosen its grip on what it's focused on is a very good suggestion. I don't suffer from panic attacks anymore but if I ever do again I will try to remember to try to occupy my mind with other little, simple things so that I can relax a bit.

Don't feel alone. You have great family and friends to support you and many readers, and many, many people suffer from panic attacks or anxiety; it is a common, though very unpleasant, reaction to extreme emotional stress!

Anonymous said...

The fact that you haven't had anxiety until recently is great and a promising factor that "this too shall pass". I know some people who are just made/born that way.
I had a tramatic life moment a couple years ago and experienced anxiety for the first time. It takes time and patience but you'll overcome it. Take deep breaths and focus that energy into something (like your knees if that helps - lol - or an activity). And I think your social media anxiety is related - anxiety seeps into all areas of your life whether you realize it or not.

Anna said...

Totally understand the anxiety. It's something that I've struggled with for as long as I can remember -- and still have issues with. Sometimes, I just cannot calm down, and walk around restlessly, feeling stressed.
I wish there was some good trick or secret that I could share to help you out -- but I don't know one yet! Just know that you're not the only one -- and posts like this remind me that I'm not the only one either!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I definitely have a lot of anxiety, mainly about situations I cant control. I'm a highly neurotic academic, which makes me good at my job but bad at my real life sometimes. I'm also slightly OCD so that doesnt help. I also hate change, and am about to move to a new state for a job so I'm really trying to control my anxiety right now! I will try your knee technique. All I can do is think to myself when I get anxious that my life could be worse, and I actually have it pretty good. I know it's silly, but sometimes it helps.

Isabel said...

i get it. similarly to you i hadnt experienced anxiety until i was living in colombia w my ex. im pretty sure i didnt sleep all the way through a night for an entire year. and once it was over like a switch was flipped i could sleep again.

jennalynn_85 said...

Glad this topic came up, only recently have I experienced anxiety but its affected my sleeping and I feel like I cant be at ease anymore! It sucks but I agree that making a list of things clears the head a bit. And I too have tried to just tell myself whatever it is isnt the end of the world and I will be ok. I am going to relax my knees - good advice! Thank you!

Miss Caitlin S. said...

That's so intersting. it's so odd how your body can have a physical response to stress and wellness. Break-ups are hard enough, I can only imagine how much more daunting it is to have a divorce with the legal aspect as well. I'm glad you are donig well and I hope your ex is on the same "forward" path as you.

I don't suffer from anxiety like that (knock on wood) but I do have times where I get super stressed about a particular thing. It's so hard to shake the feeling!

Love the outfit, you look adorable as usual!

Jamie said...

I completely get it!! I've never been through anything nearly as life altering as you, but I've always had anxiety when I get stressed out. Usually it comes from having too many things running through my head and not being able to do anything about it - often this is in the car. I've had many panic attacks over the years. So NO, you are NOT alone!

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