Calmer

As someone who suffers from severe anxiety disorder to the point that meeting my husband’s training group had me hiding in the bathroom battling tears…. How can I be a calmer person?

I feel that being a calmer person will help me greatly with my anxiety issues. But how can I be calmer?

I have read countless articles and posts and blogs on how to beat anxiety. Countless of tips and tricks on how to pull you out of an anxiety attack. And I am here to say, they may work for some people. However, they don’t always work for me. My band instructor tried to teach me a breathing technique….it doesn’t always help. When I got into a car accident and I was hyperventilating…the EMT told me I was having a panic attack (duh) And that I needed to calm my breathing down. It didn’t matter that I knew my body and knew that if I tried to breathe like they wanted me too my heart rate and BP would go up as well as I would get light headed. But because they were the EMT and thought they knew my body and my disease better than me…

I did what they said.

And just how I predicted…. My heart rate went from 92 to 120 and my BP started rising fast. Finally, they told me I could go back to doing what I was doing. I think it is a coping mechanism until my brain can wrap around what had happened. So that I can process things. It is crazy, I know.

Unfortunately….. my anxiety is something I deal with on a daily basis…little things trigger my brain into an instant race car speed crash heading for a big boom that takes so much energy out of me that all I want to do is sleep, in all honestly, I have crashed from anxiety before for 13 hours of straight sleep because my body was just so exhausted from the constant thinking of crud. For instance, a friend said something and I knew he didn’t mean it the way that I took it…but my brain is a funny thing and took it completely the wrong way to the point that I took a steam shower and cried…. it was awful.

So how can I be a calmer person? That is a question that is constantly on my mind. I think that reminding myself that it might not be as bad as I thought could help. I think maybe taking a few seconds to pour the positives on all the situations will help me. For instance, with the friend example I just posted…I could have told myself -he appreciated your help – he said thank you -he said I didn’t need to but he was happy to have me offering….. For my car wreck…..even though my car was totaled and I was in pain…-I walked out of it.. -I was alive…-nothing was broken….-my unborn child (i was newly pregnant during the wreck) was fine. -I was going to be able to replace the car. -both of my brothers stopped everything they were doing and focused on me that day. -they put aside their hate for eachother to check on me. -cars can be replaced.

So to be a calmer person…. I think I need to remind myself of all of the positives that are in a situation. … Your bank account is only showing 3 dollars and you got 4 days til payday…at least your bills are paid. you lost the job that you’ve worked for years…..gives you the motivation to find something else you’re passionate about. Another door opens.

There is so much positive in this world that we sometimes allow the dark clouds to hinder the rainbow. Because as the wonderful Brandon Lee said in the movie The Crow…..”It can’t rain all the time.”

Most important

So today… I thought that I would journal about what is most important to me. To sum it up in one word….it would be FAMILY.

I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and an aunt. I treat my nephews and nieces like they are my own. Especially my nephews since I see them 5 days a week. I treat my nephews like they were my own kids. I would go to bat for them just as hard as I would my own girls. I love my girls more than life itself.

Family is completely important to me. I would do anything for them. One of the biggest stress issues that target my anxiety is my family. Wanting to provide and do for them more than I ever had when I was growing up. I was raised by a single mom of 3. Things were hard, things were tough. Things did not always come easy. Sometimes we went without things and I never want my kids to feel that. When my sister got laid off because of an accident, without thinking I went and bought a Food Lion gift card so that I would be sure that the boys had food, even though my brother was working and made really good money. I knew that they were losing an income and wanted to be of help.

My mom has always been a warrior. She fought tooth and nail for her three kids to get us all away from my abusive father. She did it all on her own and my oldest brother was not always the easiest to handle. She has always meant so much to me. Now that I am an adult and can help her and take care of her…. I want to do as much for her as I can. She is very important to me.

Lastly, my husband. He is crazily my favorite person to spend this life with. He is my rock. He is the solid foundation of this family. He knows all of my secrets and has never let that change his opinion of me. He loves me for me. He is so strong, smart, handsome and passionate. He strives for this family and his dreams with a passion I would never be able to fully explain. He hods me down. He helps my anxiety by just being him. I love him deeply. Which is why I am even more willing to do whatever it takes to help him achieve his dreams.

So what is important to you?

Who am I?

I started this blog to write about things that give me anxiety. So that not only could I work through them myself but maybe I could help someone else work through their issues as well. To help break the stigma surrounding mental health. So that others can maybe feel like they’re not alone.

I thought maybe the best way to deal with my blog was to treat it like a journal. What better way to jump start the journal idea by writing about who am I? Anyone can write about this. What you do is start by writing the obvious reasons as to who you are and then dig deeper. Write about what others don’t know about you.

Who am I? I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and an aunt. I am completely neurotic. I am passionate. I am willing to go the extra mile for those I care about. I am a good cook. I am a student. I am a warrior. I fight my anxiety issues on a daily basis. I am a blogger. I am a crafter. I am a photographer. I am my husband’s number one fan. I am fighting to ensure that his dream comes true. I am a music lover. I love passionately. I feel deeply. I hurt easily. I had a rough childhood. I am trying to ensure that my daughters never know the pain I have been through. I have a crappy immune system. I have always had a crappy immune system. I am trying to be the best me I can every single day.

Outside Adventure

I read somewhere about lack of sunlight playing a part in depression. This can manifest not only in adults but in kids as well.

So how do you combat that seasonal depression or lack of sun depression? By getting outside and having outside adventures.

This isn’t only important for the mental health of your family. Its great for the overal health of your family. We are currently in a generation where too many kids are more focused on a screen than they are in actually moving. They’re walking less, eating more junk food because it’s quick and easy. The obese percentage of this generation is higher now than ever. There are many variables that key into these percentages. However, one of the biggest is the technology that kids have so easily available to them

When I was a kid in the 90’s we had one computer but sometimes we didn’t have internet all the time. The one computer had to be used by four people so I didn’t get a lot of time like some kids today. And I know that I am guilty of giving my kids little tablets with educational apps on them. However, I don’t try to allow them to spend so much time on the without getting some sort of physical activity. Back when I was a kid, I got to use the computer when no one else needed it. Then there wasn’t much for a kid to do on there. I played a lot of Solitaire. What I did do to entertain myself. Was actually entertain myself. I played outside with neighbor kids. I ran around. I pretended sticks were wands. I rode a bike through the neighborhood. we raced. We created forts and played capture the flag. We did ding dong ditch to the cute teen next door. We were physically active. Something that the younger generation is not getting enough of now days.

I know when they’re in school they get maybe an hour of gym class in elementary school once a week and maybe 30 minutes of playtime on the playground. But that isn’t enough. They are expected to learn more and do more from the very first year they are in school. They are playing less in class and doing more work. Even the work is done more digitally. They use laptops in Kindergarten, they have smart boards, etc. They are not being active enough.

Not only can a life full of technology and less physical activities lead to obseity, it can lead to mental health issues. Kids now days are seeing less sunlight because they’re stuck in the house behind a screen. They’re getting less Vitamin D than they need. The deficiency of Vitamin D is also higher today than before. And as parents, there is a simple way that we can help our children.

GO OUTSIDE.

I understand that we are all living busy lives. It is hard to make time to go outside to just do nothing. But it is important. Even if you do it just once a week. I understand some times the weather doesn’t allow it. Sometimes its storming or is too wet from a store the day before. However, just 20 minutes a day of sunlight can help with the vitamin d and seasonal depression. Just spending a few minutes outside creating adventures will not only help your child keep up their physical activity… It will help their mental health.

These moments outside are the ones that they are going to remember. They are going to remember the adventures you had together. These are the days that they are going to think back to when they grow up. These are the moments that are going to inspire them when they become parents themselves.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a great example as a parent for my kids. So that they can grow up thinking, ‘my mom did everything she could to ensure I lived a happy and healthy life’. Now I am not always too excited to go outside. Life happens, I get tired or sick or I just don’t feel like it. However, if the girls want to go run the yard or jump on the trampoline. I am not going to say no to them wanting to have physical activity. Unless it is snowing raining or just way too cold. We live in the south and the weather gets to 30’s in the winter like the other day when the baby, who had been sick, wanted to go jump. This is when the parenting part comes into play. Knowing when going outside for adventures is going to be beneficial. And going outside in 30 degree weather is not the best thing to do for children. Therefore, instead of just telling them to go watch a TV show. You can simply create adventures in the house. I remember playing the floor is lava as a child or building forts. We like hide and seek as well as tag. As long as there is nothing breakable out that can be knocked down, then there are times where running throughout the house is just the amount of physical activity we need.

Hide our feelings

When you are diagnosed with anxiety at an early age, especially in your teenage years, it can be a difficult thing to deal with. Especially with those around you, some of who don’t quite understand the messy thoughts that run through your head.

So when you live in a world where having a mental illness or any type of mental health problem is surrounded in stigma. Surrounded by this dark cloud that hangs over us. Like we’re something to be feared.

So what do we do? We try so hard to hide our feelings. To hide our anxiety. To hide what is causing these things. By staying quiet about them. By pretending that everything is okay. That we are alright. That there is nothing wrong.

However, we often forget that our eyes say way more than our words ever could. For instance, this past November I went to a wrestling convention. It’s kind of like a comic con but with a bunch of wrestling. I usually go with my husband by my side.

Except…..he wasn’t by my side. Instead. he was working the event. So there I was standing alone in line, surrounded by a lot of people I didn’t know. My anxiety grew so big I was ready to bolt. To run. But I knew doing so would tip my husband off to what was wrong and he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the job that he was doing. So I pretended.

But that didn’t work. One look in my eyes, even from across the room, my husband knew I wasn’t okay. He knew my anxiety was up. He knew I was ready to go.

So even when you think that you are hiding it very well…. Those who are close to you. Those who truly know you and truly care about you…. they are the ones that are going to be able to see the words that aren’t coming from your mouth. No! They are the ones who can hear ever silent scream coming from your eyes.

Tears

Crying is usually seen as a sign of weakness. A sign of being weak. A sign of not being strong enough. However, that is not always the case.

I am an emotional person. I always have been. Some call it wearing your heart on your sleeve or heart. Either way, it is looked upon as a weakness. As something to be ashamed of.

However, I cry for a lot of reasons. There are tears of joy. Tears of sadness. Tears of worry and tears of anger. I’ve never been able to properly express myself in words in the heat of the moment. The words that I should have said usually come after the moment has passed and it is too late. However, I have told many people that if you piss me off and I start crying….RUN. Because that is when shit is about to get real. When things are about to hit the fan.

Because tears are the words that the heart cannot say. The words that cannot pass through our lips. The words we are some times too afraid to mutter.

So when you see someone crying. LISTEN. Because although they are not speaking verbal words, their tears are saying every single thing that you need to hear. Before you call someone weak for crying. LISTEN. Because their tears could be a sign of their strength.

The difficulty of anxiety in a relationship

There are a lot of bumps in the road in relationships. Even more so if you have anxiety, depression or any other type of mental illness. Letting someone in to see that part of you can be difficult. And once they do see it, if they accept you….then you feel like you can open up to everyone….which can be a bad idea in some cases that I have just learned.

My husband is great. He is understanding. I became comfortable with my mental illness, in the sense of being open about it and talking about it. Talking about my mental illness in the sense of why I do the things I do. Which can lead to a lot of heartache as I recently found out. I am the type of person who if I know you’re going on a trip, I will want to send you food or snacks to tied you along the way. However, that isn’t always perceived in the light that I want it to and comes across as being stressed or overbearing. And In that moment, those words cut through me like a newly forged blade, hot and sharp. However, my first thought was…how will this affect my husband.

And that is the thing with having anxiety in a relationship. Your fears grow more than just about yourself. Or at least mine has. My anxiety has way surpassed just myself…they’ve grown around my kids, my husband, my mother, my brothers, my friends. Everyone that I care about. That I hold dear to myself. So I am constantly worrying about what I do and how it will affect them. For instance, when I am around my husbands wrestling group. I worry that my anxious ticks, my nervous habits will cause them to look upon my husband in a different light, a wrong one. These thoughts keep me up and worried way past the interaction.

Another issue that I have come to learn about is the fact that it may appear that the ones you love act different around you because they are being protective of your illness. And that, in turn, can cause more damage than good. Because you think that maybe the self that you see with others is their true self and that the one that they are with you is only to protect you. No matter how long you’ve been together. You feel like they’ve never been their true self with you because they’re afraid of how it will affect you.

With all of that together, you worry that it isn’t everyone else. That it is you. That the way they all react or act around you is your fault. That maybe they would have a better relationship or personality if they weren’t burdened by you and the constant worry of your own mental illness. That maybe you should have been better at hiding your illness so that no one knew. That there is something wrong with you.

And that is the issue with today’s world. That we are so ashamed of our own mental problems. That we should hide away our problems from the world to see. That is the stigma and that is why talking about mental illness is so important so that we can break that stigma. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get help or open up about what is wrong. I’ve tried the medication’s the doctors have prescribed and they always seem to have some sort of ill effect. Therefore, I am trying something different. St. John’s Wart. I have been told it is a natural way to help with anxiety issues and mood balancing. So here’s hoping it works.