Anxiety And Me

anxiety,

Anxiety comes in many forms. It can manifest itself in many ways; from a general nervousness to intense panic attacks and physical pain.

Generalized anxiety disorder, the lovely beast that I walk with daily, leaves me on edge most of the time. I have a constant feeling of unease from a threat that isn’t there. I don’t like to be crowded or looked at. Coping with people standing too near to me makes me feel sick and out of breath. Often times, I need to remove myself from a situation to regain my composure.

Going new places makes me very uncomfortable. If someone is with me I feel better about it but I can still taste my heartbeat and hear my blood pumping. It may seem silly, but if I don’t know where exactly to park or which door exactly to enter, I can’t go. Sure, I could physically push myself to go but my brain would take over and a panic attack would ensue. It definitely puts a damper on my social life.

anxiety, uncertainty, uncomfortable

Panic attacks, for me, are choking on anxiousness. I can feel it like invisible hands around my throat, pushing my esophagus closed. My vision won’t focus and every sense is heightened and dulled at the same time. I’m aware of how everything feels against my skin but I can’t make my body move as fast as my brain is telling it to. I hear so much sound but none of it makes sense and I can’t make out words. The light is so bright, even on a foggy day, that it presses against me and makes me need to leave.

More people than you can imagine think that being nervous about things sometimes is anxiety. It is, by definition, sure. But anxiety disorder is a whole different level.

I’m not nervous about the test, I’m nervous about what road I have to take to get there, which building it’s in, do I go upstairs? How do I know the elevator is safe? I’m going to plummet to the basement and never get to take my test. How many people will be there? Everyone is looking at me and they know I have no idea what I’m doing. That girl is angry with me because I bet she wanted to sit here. Am I making too much noise? It’s so quiet in here and I need to unzip my bag and I can’t because everyone will turn and look at me. Is there something on my face? Nobody will tell me and they will make fun of me when I’m gone or they will tell me and I can never come back here again because when I see them all I will think about is that time I had a thing on my face and that’s all they will see when they look at me. And that’s only a span of about 20 minutes in my life.

stress, anxiety, overwhelmed

Can you understand why anxiety can be so exhausting? My brain is on overdrive all day, every day. I am constantly analyzing every situation and every move I make. I don’t even fully understand the ‘why’ of it but I really understand how debilitating it can be. Even on a good day when my anxiety is low, it’s still there waiting in the shadows. Having anxiety about the next time you will have bad anxiety is not a fun way to spend your day.

When someone tells you they can’t do something because they have anxiety, understand that they can but the consequences of pushing themselves to do that thing are often too great and not worth the outcome. It can take days to properly recover from a severe panic attack. Medications, mantras, relaxation techniques, therapy, and so many other things are required for different people just to get some peace.

On another day, I will cover some ways that I deal with anxiety. I will also be talking to others who have anxiety as well to put together a list of ways that may be helpful to others. Until then, keep breathing, be understanding, take care of yourself, and have compassion for others who are living with anxiety.

The Guilt

You wake up in the morning, feeling like you’ve been hit by a semi, but there is so much to do today. You want, need, to lay in bed, but who will get the kids ready for school? Who will pick up the house? Who will get the groceries and take care of the pets?

Today, not you. But while you’re laying in bed healing your body, you can’t sleep because you feel like everyone picking up your slack is angry at you. You’re not actually getting rest because you imagine them heavy sighing and silently cursing you while they do all the things you usually take care of. We all do it and it’s not a healthy way to live.
The first thing you should do is have a sit down conversation with the people you depend on. The ones who hold up your end of things when you’re down and out. Get their honest feelings and opinions about it because everyone should have a voice. You need to let them know what you are and are not capable of when you need a rest day.

Personally, on my very bad days, I can get up to get the kids off the bus and I can make dinner. Other than that I am fairly useless. My husband and I have a very good understanding between us of what I need when my body is screaming for rest. He doesn’t like to see me in pain any more than I like being in pain. We understand that pushing myself will make that pain worse so I stay in bed and let my body heal. We talked about this when it started getting bad so now we both know what to expect on those days.

Communication really is key. It can feel embarrassing, overwhelming, like you’re accepting defeat, but if you were throwing up with the stomach flu would they question you staying in bed? Chances are they’d lock you in there and bring you crackers and ginger ale. Being sick isn’t always acute and this sickness may be a forever thing so it needs to be talked about. Clearing the air early on will save you a lot of stress down the road and help to establish each others needs and boundaries.

Even when I am in tears from pain, I go get my kids off the bus. I need that for me. I usually need a nap after but seeing them after school is our thing and they depend on that piece of normalcy when, usually, it’s the only normalcy we have. They can climb into bed with me and work on homework, read, watch a movie together, or just talk about their day. Then after I’ve rested I get up and make dinner because that’s important to me. My husband works long days and the least I can do for him is have dinner for him when he gets home. And bonus, it makes me feel like I’ve done something normal and human that day so we both win.

Don’t think people aren’t willing to offer you help. Sometimes, all it takes is a little education on something they don’t entirely understand. Knowing how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally on your bad days will give them a better indicator and a little direction as to what you need from them on those days. I lived with the guilt for way longer than I care to admit but once I started taking my husband to appointments he understood what I was dealing with. When I pushed myself to do more than my body could handle we were both miserable and it was no way to live. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t wait until your body gives out from needing rest so desperately that you’re feeling too guilty to allow it. You are worth so much more than the guilt you carry leads you to believe.

 

Thursdays Are for Product Reviews!

 

On Thursdays, I will be doing a product review! The reviews will be for things that I have tried and want to share with you, good or bad! Makeup items, skincare, beauty tools, hair products, and random thingamabobs are a few products I will be reviewing to see if they work as advertised!

I want to keep this place mainly a supportive and encouraging community for those of us struggling with chronic illness and pain but I also want to be able to implement some fun things and break up the monotony of life. I preach about self care and it’s a lot easier to do when it’s fun! So, without further adieu, my first product review.

Don’t let this little packet fool you! I got 3 uses out of it!

I received this packet of Soo Ae Purifying Brightening Peeling Gel in a subscription box. After looking at it quickly I thought it was a peel off mask. Not my thing. Beauty does not have to be pain. Also I’m a huge wimp when it comes to things pulling off all of my little face hairs.

When I finally decided to use it, I read the directions. Not a peel off mask but a gel that you scrub on and rinse off. Okay this is much more my speed! Everything else I needed to do in the shower was finished so the mask was my last step.

I will never live another day in my life without having this in my shower. I loved it so much I went out and bought the big bottle of it! The mask smells like hardly anything at all, it’s meant to refine and clarify your skin, it’s mild enough for most sensitive skins, and it works like nothing I’ve ever used.

I put a little on my fingers and rubbed it into my wet face. After a few seconds of scrubbing I though the product was clumping up and thought that was a little gross. After a few more seconds I realized it wasn’t the product, it was the dead skin being exfoliated and peeled off my face! I scrubbed a little extra around my nose, lips, and the middle of my forehead where I tend to get dull skin and a lot of oiliness and the amount of dead skin that piled up was disgusting and amazing!

I rinsed the gel all off and my skin was so smooth. The blackheads on my nose were CLEANED OUT. Seriously. Empty. Soo Ae has created my holy grail of skincare products! I was still a little skeptical about the clump factor so I tried it again the next day and hardly anything happened. I waited another week and, wouldn’t you know, so much clumping! The pictures I’ve shown are after I had been using it for a couple of weeks. I waited 3 days and used it just to show you what it looks like while you’re using it and how smooth my skin is after!

I’ve used this quite often but you can see how smooth it made my skin and how gross the dead skin was. So gross.

When I repurchased the packet, I got it for $2.50 and the bottle was $6.98 at Walmart. I had previously been ordering it from www.SooAeNewYork.com until our local Walmart started carrying it. I even did a test run and used it on my feet, just because someone requested I try it and it was amazing. Maine may still be buried in snow but I am sandal ready.

A bonus of ordering from the website! Free masks to try out!

In case you haven’t noticed, I can’t sing the praises for this product enough. Look for Soo Ae to be included in my first giveaway!

If there is something you’ve seen and you want to know if it lives up the the hype, let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for new things to try!