For anyone who’s ever suffered from an anxiety attack, you’ll know what I mean. For anyone who hasn’t, well, be thankful.
Paralyzing. Embarrassing. Confusing. These are just a few words to describe the gripping state of an anxiety attack.
It’s paralyzing in the moment, mostly because it’s like a hurricane. You can see and feel it coming, but you’re powerless to stop it. It’s embarrassing because these bouts often choose to boil to the surface only when there’s an audience. There is no Academy Award for these things, but you can’t tell an anxiety attack that. It’s confusing because, for me, they seem to strike when things are going well. You’d think I’d crumble in the heat of the tough times, but no. Only after things begin looking up do I shatter into a million pieces.
The confusing part really is confusing. How can I hold together when everything around me seems broken, yet once the glue begins to dry I fall apart? Is it because it’s safer then, because it’s my job to fix things and if I’m broken I can’t fix anything? Well, yes, actually. That’s probably part of it, but understanding the why of anxiety and depression is impossible. In the moment, everything and nothing feels wrong, and, no, we have no idea why we feel bad or what’s upsetting us, or even how to fix it. If we knew, there probably wouldn’t be an issue in the first place, because it’d be fixed, right?
There are ways to combat the confusion, that disconnected feeling of floating through days that stretch into the next without clear definition. Positive thinking exercises help. I’ve used those for a long time and it helps. However, for me, positive thinking alone doesn’t help enough, because while I’m busy thinking positively, the other side of my brain is busy stockpiling every negative thought I’ve ever had, storing them away for a rainy day. And let me tell you, when it rains, it pours.
Fresh air and sunshine help, but these things are in short (or rare) supply during those morbid winter months, which is probably one reason why anxiety and depression hit hardest during those dreary weeks. The stress of all those holidays crammed together like sardines doesn’t help either.
For some, like me, the positive thinking and doses of Vitamin D (sunlight) isn’t always enough. Sometimes we have to realize that, yeah, we need a pill to fix that but, no, that doesn’t mean we’re crazy. Lots more people are medicated than you’d think. And why is that? Why is it a social stigma to take medicine for anxiety or depression, yet so many truly need it (and use
it)? What is it in our food, our water, our air that reacts with our body in such a way that we need medicine to function normally?
Anyway, through all this rambling, know there is a point. Know that even when you feel alone in all of this, you’re not. Know that it’s okay if you need medicine to balance those hormones. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just eat the pill and be happy. (But don’t abuse them.)
Take care of yourself in whatever manner it takes. Nourish yourself, or you’re in no shape to nourish those who rely on you.
Be good to yourselves and be good to one another.
Live. Love. Write.