Feeling Better Does Not Equal Recovery

Over the past few months I’ve experienced anxiety in the form of panic attacks and migraines.

I have endeavoured to make sure I’m taking care of myself in a variety of ways which includes:

  1. Healthy food choices
  2. Massages
  3. Scheduled general and grief counselling
  4. Me time
  5. Increased physical activity

While doing these things has made me feel better, by no means does it result in my full recovery.

Why?

Healing oneself takes time, and I know that even using the methods above, the potential for reoccurrence is real even though reduced. I compare it to when you have a prescription for antibiotics for an ailment like strep throat. After taking the meds for a few days, some people start to feel better so they stop taking the meds only to have the illness return shortly thereafter. I don’t want to let that happen to me.

I’m not in control.


At least it doesn’t feel like it. I had another anxiety attack today while driving home, my heart was racing at approx 116 bpm. I started to freak out and reminded myself through self-talk that I was going to be fine. I pulled over and initiated the breathing techniques I’ve been learning about. I took time to focus and concentrate on happy thoughts. I was mindful of the unpleasant physical sensations I was experiencing and I did my best to minimize them.

Thanks to the suggestions of a few amazing readers, I have a few go-to meditation/anxiety relief apps to help calm me down.

What was today’s trigger?

I’m not really sure. I’ve had a great stretch of happy since the last episode. However, this morning I listened to some very traumatic and heartbreaking circumstances of an employee. I was emotional and in my role as an HR Professional it was hard to try to not “feel” anything as she spoke.

The minute I got into my car I felt the need to “release” what I was feeling, so I recorded a video.

The rest of the day seemed normal until I hit a stretch of rush-hour traffic. I thought about how I can’t be the one stuck in traffic freaking out in my car! You would not believe how many side roads I took on the way home today.
I seemed fine after picking up my son. We laughed and chatted about his day and upcoming field trip tomorrow but as I pulled up to the entrance of our neighbourhood, my heart started racing when I saw the long line of cars and I prayed to get the green light.

Shaking, I came in the house, changed into comfy clothes and laid down. I’m in the same spot as I write this post.

Anxiety is taking me on a journey.

It’s showing me a different side of Natalie; a less “in-control” Natalie, a somewhat vulnerable Natalie. While I appreciate anxiety showing me I’m not always Superwoman, it has definitely shown me enough! I get it. Now take a hike!

Day to day mindfulness is key

These feelings aren’t fun, they terrify me, even more so when I’m driving alone or with my son. I want to be free of this anxious shackle. Each day I have to be mindful of my environment and surroundings, regardless if it’s my job or not. I will take the time I need to be me again.

Better, but not yet recovered…

Natalie

**Update**

This morning (Jul 3) I woke up a lil nauseated, rumbly tummy etc but thought to myself that I just needed to eat and I would be fine. I made my lunch, poured my coffee, gave hugs and kisses to my son & fiancé, then headed out to my first employee meeting of the day.

When I arrived I still felt woozy but again felt it was a hunger issue and would get a bagel on the way back to the main office.

I never made it to the main office.

I sat in my car and checked my heart rate – hmm, over 100 just sitting in the car. Ok, time to breathe. After about 10 minutes I calmed down and started to drive towards the nearest Tim Horton’s. I pulled into the parking lot about 6 minutes later.

I never left my car.

Instead, I froze, heart racing again, and this time a lot of shaking. What the heck?!? I was just fine!!! I texted my fiancé and my cousin that I couldn’t drive and needed assistance. My cousin talked me through a few things and his wife, a nurse, also talked through symptoms with me.

My phone rang. It was my fiancé, wondering if I rested for a bit, would I be able to drive home? Nope, by this time, I was crying, ugly crying…

Funny enough I was supposed to go and see my naturopath today.

What is this madness? Why me? Why now, in my 40th year of life? 

Well, I do know that it seems to occur approx 5 days before my menstrual cycle so it would appear to be hormonal. PMS anxiety. As if that time of month isn’t already a gong show! At least I can focus my efforts on managing my anxiety during that time period (no pun intended).

I’m now at home, resting and preparing another epsom salt bath with a cup of tension tamer tea.

Praying I get this under control…

4 Comments

  1. Cheryl MacPhail
    December 13, 2016 / 6:35 am

    Thanks for your honesty. I am well suffer from Anxiety so find it comforting to know we are not alone!! Just seeing in another post you have protein shakes in the morning I think I might give this a hook! Thanks :).

  2. Judy Cowan
    October 1, 2015 / 9:23 am

    Really hope you have been doing okay with this. Dealing with anxiety can be hard, I have a friend who deals with it and I have seen first hand how it affects her. Hugs!

  3. July 5, 2015 / 3:38 am

    Girl, I really related to what you are going through with Anxiety. I deal with it all the time myself and it’s a struggle. I actually have PTSD, When I have an attack I take 1 Ativan and within 10 minutes, I’m calm. It works wonders! Though I hate taking pills. It’s the only solution that has worked for me.

  4. July 3, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    Oh Natalie, I am glad you updated. I was about to suggest hormones. Maybe “the change” is on its way. I know since I’ve had my IUD, I get attacks the day before my period. I’ve had anxiety all my life, so yes, it takes a lot of self-care and even then, they still hit you out of nowhere sometimes.
    I’m glad you’re looking for solutions and finding ways to “keep it together.” You’re not alone in this journey.

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