About a year ago I started having the craziest thoughts ever! They would be “Dooms Day” type of thoughts. I had no clue where they were coming from because I was in such a good place in life. I kind of shrugged it off at first, but it continued to happen so I decided not to continue to ignore it. I called my mom and described what was going on with me. She said it sounded like I had anxiety. I didn’t understand because I’ve been anxious before and not had these crazy thoughts. She said it sounded like I had an anxiety disorder and not that I was just anxious about something and she then explained the difference. She suggested I go see a doctor.

I made a doctor’s appointment, but I also decided to ask a good friend…Yep, WebMD! This is usually a recipe for disaster, but this time it actually made me somewhat understand what I was going through. I felt a little bit better about my doctor’s appointment. I went to the doctor and she determined I had an anxiety disorder. She gave me a prescription, and I started to take the pills. I thought I’ll be fine in no time. Hahaha, boy was I wrong! I wasn’t thinking about the work I had to do to help cope with my anxiety.

Everyone is anxious from time to time, but having an anxiety disorder is little bit different. For me it started with thoughts of doom and gloom. My mind would drift off to events that more than likely will never happen. Having to constantly combat those thoughts is difficult. There are times when I feel suffocated by my own skin. Yeah, pretty bad I know! The thoughts and feelings come out of nowhere. I can be minding my own business watching tv and all of the sudden I get a feeling of “Dooms Day” which leads to all these crazy things happening to my body, and then I get this overwhelming feeling that I can’t breathe. I sometimes think if I can just step outside of my body for a second and BREATHE I’ll be fine. As we know that can’t happen, so it’s up to me to find ways to cope.

Anthony is currently in grad school and he does his studying upstairs. Most times he forgets something and has to go up and down a few times. The constant movement can have my anxiety all out of wack! At first, he didn’t understand it and to be totally honest he doesn’t fully understand it now. For me, it’s the constant movement and “unstillness” that drives me bonkers!!! I’ve encouraged Anthony to read about anxiety and find a way to cope with me coping. It can be difficult for a partner to understand, but as if they’re trying that’s all that matters. Other “simple” things that increase my anxiety is when I’m talking to someone on the telephone and I’m ready to end the conversation but they won’t stop talking. I get it, it sounds like a bit much. But it’s Truth Tuesday so I’m being ALL the way honest with yall.

Anxiety can cause health issues. A lot of it is carried in your stomach therefore causes gastrointestinal issues. Yep, that means it affects my bathroom visits. Having heart palpitations is pretty common as well as an accelerated heart rate. My sleeping schedule is totally thrown off! Last night I was up watching any and everything I could find On Demand. Most nights it takes me a while to fall asleep. On the nights I’m able to fall asleep at a reasonable time, I always awake in the middle of the night, and I’m up for at least 2-3 hours.

You may be wondering don’t the meds help with sleeping. Yes, they do, but I only took them for about a month and a half. I was instructed to take the pills at bedtime. I would take the pills, but I didn’t like the way the made me feel. One night I remember taking the pills, and it was if I could feel my body shutting down one part at a time. Yep, you guessed it, this made me very anxious! I took the pills for my anxiety, but then became anxious about the effects of the pills. Welcome to my life people lol. That particular night I tried my best to fight through it, but the pills were too powerful. I remember as I drifted off I thought, Lord, please let me awake in the morning.

And that’s my daily struggle! Right now most days are good, so I appreciate them to the fullest. Other days can be a bit rough and there’s a constant back and forth of “Dooms Day” thoughts while my body reacts to them. The biggest thing is finding ways to cope. Everyone’s coping mechanisms will be different, but you have to find what works for you. You must also learn to accept that your coping mechanisms can change over time.

Sheena’s Current Anxiety Coping Mechanisms

  1. Listening to music (usually while taking a drive)
  2. BEING CREATIVE!!! (writing, making things, planning events/dates)
  3. Getting out of the house
  4. Talking to supportive people
  5. Focusing on ALL the positive in my life

If you’re dealing with anxiety don’t be ashamed because it’s something a lot of us deal with daily. There will be some bad days, but take those in stride and keep on pushing! Find supportive people to talk to, and know that they may not fully understand what you’re going through. Don’t be ashamed to take meds. They work!!! Having an anxiety disorder falls under the umbrella of mental health, and as we all know mental health awareness is VERY IMPORTANT these days.

Until next time loves…