Let me start by telling you a story.
About a month ago, I woke up for work and had this pit in my stomach. It had been a rough couple of days, and I was already on edge. By the time I got dressed, I knew the day was going to be a shit show. I couldn’t seem to slow down that morning. I was all over the place. I popped my daily Prozac, and then I ran out the door. My insides were in a knot. Driving has not been the easiest thing for me lately, and I could feel myself getting tense. I rolled the windows down and opened the sunroof. I put on some country music and pulled out the driveway.
I made it to the highway before things went sideways. Sweat began pouring down my forehead, and then my legs locked up. They were up under my steering wheel, and I could hardly press the pedals. People started to honk at me, and I realized I was swerving. My chest was so tight. I felt like I was flexing my entire body, ya know? Like when you are trying to flex your abs. LOL. Now, I’ve had panic attacks before but never like this. There was no way I was going to stop on the highway, so I became frantic. All the looking around made my eyes start to dart back and forth. My vision was so blurry. I knew I had to get somewhere fast.
So there I was…hardly able to move my feet, swerving into this Billiard’s store parking lot. I quickly put my car in park and just let it out. I screamed. I cried. I freaked out. It took me awhile to come out of that state. I called Tristan’s parents, and they quickly came to take me home. I called in that day, and took off a few days to recover.
Ever since the lockdown in 2020, I haven’t been able to escape it. I’ve been talking more to my friends about their experiences, and it’s been amazing. It’s nice to find those people who understand you. If you google anxiety symptoms, there’s so much shit. LOL. Everyone’s different. It makes me feel a little crazy when I talk about my symptoms regarding anxiety and Bipolar. But that’s why I started this blog, to be more open and to show people it’s okay to talk about these things.
My mind is constantly spinning. It can get to be so much sometimes that I want it to shut off. Growing up, I feel like my anxiety was only related to when something significant happened. Nowadays, it’s rare that I can find out what triggered me. Sometimes I get this feeling deep in my stomach like it is curling itself into a ball. I start to worry about everything under the sun…for absolutely no reason. It’s a real thing when people say anxiety can be debilitating. That day Mike picked me up; I know something could have happened to me if I had kept driving. That’s a scary thought. Even now, just typing this. My legs are starting to tighten thinking about it.
Now, anxiety can also be just a normal feeling. It’s right to feel anxiety or fear. But for some, it becomes more than that. I know it can be hard to help someone who’s having a panic attack; I’m not sure Tristan has quite mastered it yet. Haha. I know how scary it is when you are climbing to the peak of your anxiety…but know that it is the PEAK. Once you reach the top, the only place to go is down. For me, it can feel never-ending. I try (still working on it) to try to think of things that make me happy. I also like to find something to put in my hands. Shout out Mimi for knitting a yarn lion. Anxiety and fear can come like waves. They come, and they go. Never avoid it. EMBRACE IT. Avoidance is a friend of anxiety. Everything you avoid eventually comes back as more anxiety.
There’s so much you can do for help. Seeing a therapist or psychiatrist is always something I recommend. But, I’ve been going to therapy since I was little. So I’m ALL for it. Don’t ignore the way you’re feeling. I promise that does more harm than good. Lately, I’ve been trying to push myself to do things that make me uncomfortable. Like driving in the middle lane. I always keep my anxiety medication on me, and I always look for things that I know can ground me if needed. Figure out a game plan with your loved ones. Let them know the best way they can help you.
I don’t know why I’ve been on such an honesty kick, but I’m enjoying getting my voice out there. Manic Mama is my outlet, and I’m so happy with its progress. I’m almost twenty-five, and I think I have finally decided what I want to do with my life. I finally am feeling like there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Don’t let anxiety hold you back, get up and conquer it. I believe in me, and I believe in you.