Friday, March 14, 2014

Anxiety is My Professor

If I wasn't anxious, my heart wouldn't race all the time.
If I didn't have panic disorder, my natural state would not be fight or flight.
I could be one of those people who just gets up in the morning, showers, eats breakfasts and leaves the house.
That could happen.
If I didn't wake up in a cold sweat feeling like I might be dying, perhaps I'd get more done.
The truth is, these things don't happen to me now that I'm taking anti-depressants.
In my brain's natural state, my neurotransmitters keep firing and don't know when to stop.
The result is that I constant feel threatened.
The consequence to this chemical imbalance is that I'm convinced that my death is imminent even though there is no empirical evidence to support this. However, I'm an intelligent college-educated person, so I will come up with "data" that support this by consulting the Internet or reaching into the confines of my brain. I have a lot of knowledge in there. I should be able to diagnose myself. I'm not a doctor, but I know a lot of doctors.

There have been many days when I woke up and didn't want to get out of bed.
Not because I was tired.
But because I was afraid of what my body was doing.
I was terrified to feel the uncontrollable racing heart.
I was scared to feel so nauseated that I either couldn't eat at all, or I would vomit.
If I did vomit, it would take me at least 30 minutes to recover from the trauma of having no control over my body. And then I would have to calm myself down enough to be able to function.

Anxiety is a serious life altering condition. It is something that needs treatment.

I've learned a lot from coping with panic disorder. I've learned to be patient with myself. When I seem to have no control over my body or mind, I ride the waves. I imagine myself immersed in the ocean. I wait for the wave of panic to wash over me and then I ride it. It's just me. There's no surf board to hold me up. I'm in the water by myself. I'm waiting for the panic wave to come, and when it does, I am ready for it. I'm gonna roll with it. I'm not going to fight it anymore.

I used to fight it. I confess. I did. I used to resent having panic. Now I know that if it comes, I can handle it. It will be extremely uncomfortable and it will seem as if I have no control, but it's an illusion. I'm just riding the wave. Waiting for the current to calm down. I can do this.

Anxiety is my life professor. It has taught me to not only be patient with myself but to be empathetic of other people's mental health conditions. If I didn't have panic disorder, I know I wouldn't be as empathetic a person as I am. I try my best to understand people and help them. I know that this is due to what I've been through.

No one can tell you who you are. No one can know your story more than you can. But you can share your story with others to help them feel less alone.

1 comment:

  1. This post is amazing. I struggle with anxiety and depression as well. Xoxo


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