anxiety is THE worst
I’ve thought about writing this post for so long, but always imagine the process to be way too daunting. However, when I had my most recent panic attack this past week it left me startled enough that I can’t seem to let it go and think this process might be therapeutic.
Over the past year anxiety has become a word thrown around in our home way more often than I ever thought it would. I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly when anxiety started to be an issue for me…part of it stems from when my mom was fighting her battle with cancer and the other part stems from when R and I experienced the shooting in DC one of the first times I visited him last year. However, the panic attacks didn’t start until last August. And although they aren’t frequent, they are not fun--obviously.
I feel so stupid talking about my anxiety with people because the causes are so obvious and my fears/worries/everything under the sun that causes me to lose sleep seem so silly or easily solvable to people who do not experience anxiety themselves. And the fact that I have my masters in counseling doesn’t help either because I know all of the tools to use to help it. And while that does make it easier, it doesn’t make it that much easier. Because when I am in the middle of a panic attack I am not thinking about that.
A lot of people ask me (aka my mom, my husband, and my psych –laughing crying emoji here—so many people) what I am feeling or thinking during the actual moment? And this past week I really tried to think it through.
This week Ryan was still sick from the week before and on Wednesday he was unable to really talk. I didn’t think anything of it personally (other than about his health and comfort) because in the past my panic attacks have only been affected by whether or not my mom has been able to talk to me. Apparently (so fun), now it’s more than just my mom.
--You might be thinking right now, “what? That’s weird. I knew Megan was obsessed with her mom, but come on.” But, what I’ve figured out through therapy and self-reflection is that this element of my anxiety stems from when my mom was in the hospital in New Jersey and was too exhausted to speak to anyone on the phone. She was in the middle of fighting cancer and had developed an infection on top of it (if I am remembering correctly—we don’t talk about it too often and I choose to forget a lot of the details). And I was in Milwaukee panicking about her health and dreaming every night that I was going to her house and trying to get her to talk to me and she refused…luckily my mom made it out of there and kicked cancer’s butt like the bad ass that she is, but anytime something happens that is particularly stressful and if my mom isn’t able to talk it through with me it spikes my anxiety. And so if then something else happens to raise that anxiety any moreà boom! Panic attack.—
ANYWAYS (isn’t this fun? If you’re still reading this, kudos to you. I feel like I owe you a drink or 5). This past week Ryan couldn’t talk to me and I had a training session with Kevin that I was rushing around to get ready for. And within the first 5 minutes of being in the gym, he asked me to try a workout he didn’t know if I would be able to do yet (and I couldn’t…at all) and it felt like 20 (when really 4) people showed up to the small apartment gym all at once and just started immediately kicking ass. And here I was in the corner with my trainer that I have invested a lot of time and money in and I was failing at a workout he expected me to be able to do and everyone was looking at me and Ryan wasn’t talking to me and I was fat and I’ll never lose the weight and----SEE!!!! Read that through at hyper speed (twice) and THAT is what is happening in my brain. Then I can’t breathe and my breath keeps catching and luckily I was able to recognize what was happening so I was able to briefly excuse myself and go upstairs for…a Xanax and a hug from a freaked out looking husband (another crying laughing emoji here please).
And that is what my panic attacks feel like. Only typically I am not in an environment that is easy to escape so it gets significantly worse before it gets better. This was also my first panic attack since I have gotten a Xanax prescription for situational use.
My anxiety is actually getting better and I am becoming much more self-aware. Ryan also deserves all the gold stars and pats on the back because he did not sign up for this and is such a rockstar. A couple of weeks ago I had a panic attack in the frozen food section of the grocery store right after work and Ryan came home immediately and took care of everything. And then sent me flowers the next day.
So in conclusion, my anxiety sucks (but is slowly getting better), my husband is amazing, and you are now probably mentally exhausted from reading this and should go treat yourself to a glass or bottle of wine. I will venmo you to cover the cost.
I promise next week I’ll keep it light and fluffy with a pup update! Have a great weekend and go hug your mom!