It's Friday! It's the weekend! Things are about to get deep.
When I sat down to write this blog post, I noticed the sun was shinning, the dogs were playing outside. I could hear my husband and son building Legos and laughing. It's Friday - our normal family night where we rent movies and have a taco bar or pizza. I look at all this and I should be happy (and I am deep deep down).
I have this ugly little monster that has been building and building inside of me until I had one little set back this week and I went into full meltdown mode. His name? Anxiety.
I have been around anxiety my whole life. My dad suffers from social anxiety [A chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety.] He became basically a hermit only working and going to Walmart at 4 am to avoid people.
My brother starting showing signs of anxiety a couple of years ago. It got so bad he would have full blown panic attacks and eventually had to get on medication to help control his attacks.
About a year ago I noticed that when I made plans, even with friends who I have known forever, I would get an uneasy feeling. It would eventually pass once I actually got to where we were going. It would come and go in waves and I really never gave much thought to it.
About eight months ago we moved back to Texas and into a nice house but it was definitely a fixer upper. And I was happy with that. My Pinterest boards were going up and I couldn't be happier - I could make this house our home.
We did move right before school started and I had to do a lot of rushing around to make sure JJ was enrolled in time. Justin was still working offshore so he was going for three weeks at a time but I was handling the move well. I also started manager rental properties for my father-in-law. It was nothing major and I could make some extra spending money.
Things weren't so great...
JJ started off adjusted to school but about a month in he took a turn for the worse. He was constantly acting out, hitting, and just having emotional break downs. He spent most of his time in after school detention or in school suspension. It was a lot added to the fact that I was basically parenting along for three weeks out of the month. Justin decided to stop working offshore and get a job at the corporate location so he could be home more but by taking this new job he also took a pay cut.
JJ kept getting worse in school so we had him switched to a new classroom and joined cub scouts so that he could meet and interact with boys his age and help build his confidence. I love cub scouts but it took a lot of our time and was a new adjustment. Our Sundays were basically running from church to home to grab a bite to eat then heading to cub scouts and back home for dinner and bed.
I also decided to pick up another part time job while JJ was in school to help with the difference in pay. Life was chaotic. We didn't ever have a weekend let alone a day to ourselves - constantly on the go. I started to physically not feel good. I honestly thought I had the flu with body aches and headaches but I pushed through.
Then Justin's job informed him they were making pay cuts to help with the drop in the oil field. He could keep his job but it would be about a $4/hr pay cut and so we both began looking for other jobs.
It didn't take Justin long to find something a lot better. Not only was the pay better but he was so happy when he came home plus he was home every night and weekend. It took me awhile longer but finally found a great government job that would allow me to work with JJ's schedule. I started all the paperwork, background checks, fingerprinting, etc and quit my part time job.
During the time of getting the requirements for my new job, doubt and fear started to take over all my thoughts. I would worry about things that didn't even make sense. I felt as if everyone was out to get me and everything was going wrong, when actually everything was turning around. Some days I didn't even want to get out of bed and would cry for no reason. Depression started setting in. I was not new to depression. I had suffered from it for years in my teens to my mid 20s.
Crazy lady in Kroger's frozen food section...
All of the fear, doubt, rushing around, my life in a chaotic mess came to a head. I have always been type A personality and now I felt as if I was losing control of my life. My kid acting out, no time to just decompress, financial fears, etc
I had to go to Kroger's to get something for dinner and I was upset. I didn't want to get out of bed let alone cook [Justin would have cooked if I would have asked]. And I couldn't decide what to make. My mind started racing, my heart beat sped up, I started to cry and was having a small panic attack. I knew I had to focus and control my breathing but I didn't want anyone to see me. I opened the door to the frozen veggies in Kroger, stuck my head in and bawled like a baby. I started taking deep breaths and after a few minutes I felt better or as good as I could. I picked up something frozen and headed home. I knew I had to do something.
I first talked to my husband about what was going on. I didn't have to suffer alone and he could tell something was going on with me. My anxiety isn't severe and I am learning ways to deal with situations when they are out of control. I am learning to live life a little differently than before especially when introduce to new situations. Life is getting better everyday. I am happier than I was the day before.
Facts/Questions about Anxiety:
Anxiety is a mental healthy disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities. Research suggests that as many as 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety condition. Its hard for people who don't suffer from anxiety to understand. As much as Justin tried he just doesn't get it. Here and here are some comics that might help explain it. Here is an app to for self-help with anxiety.
What causes anxiety?
Common causes of anxiety are panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobic disorder and stress disorder (what I suffer from).
Is anxiety hereditary?
Anxiety is not hereditary but the markers for anxiety may exist because of genetic markers which predispose a person to develop this conditions.
Symptoms of anxiety:
Fatigue, restlessness, sweating. irritability, fear, feeling of impending doom, insomnia, nausea, and the list goes on
Does anxiety cause depression?
No but people who have depression usually have a history of some form of anxiety.
And just in case...
Suicide Prevention & Crisis Call Center
text "ANSWER" to 839863