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:
- Healthy food choices
- Scheduled general and grief counselling
- Me time
- Increased physical activity
While doing these things has made me feel better, by no means does it result in my full recovery.
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…
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…