Anxiety is a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks. (Webster Dictionary)
Anxiety Possible Causes
A big event or a buildup of smaller stressful life situations may trigger excessive anxiety — for example, a death in the family, work stress or ongoing worry about finances. Personality. People with certain personality types are more prone to anxiety disorders than others are. Other mental health disorders. (Mayo Clinic, 2018)
Who Am I, Anxiety?
Hello I am anxiety, said no one. I have written about my nervous breakdown that occurred in early 2018 it was shortly after I had my tummy tuck surgery. There was so much uncertainty leading up to my surgery on the day of my surgery I had a major meltdown after having to wait an additional four hours for my turn to have surgery. There were complications with the previous patient that took longer than expected and I was freaking out for that person and never mind about me and all the nervousness I was experiencing. I had even told my husband that maybe I was not making the right decision, but he assured me that everything would be okay. My surgery came and went and I came out of it just fine. But my brain was not fine.
I never realized I was an obsessive compulsive person. I love to shop and maybe a little to much and when I discovered I was good at running I would run and run non-stop. Always looking at stats and working on how I could be better or even the best. Here I am in my middle 40’s with extremely high ambitions on working towards being a great runner. I was so obsessed that I reached an all time low weight of 149 pounds. I had not seen that number in over two decades. At this point in my life I had no clue I had GAD (general anxiety disorder) I had not been diagnosed as of yet. I had been seeing my therapist for a little over 6 months trying to get to the root of my personal issues. I had made a decision to take control of my life so that my family would not have to suffer my mental health issues. This is taxing on others and I did not want to be a burden on my family.
I remember my very first anxiety sensations. I was in the fifth grade; first day of school. The smell of morning dew and eggs cooking. I woke up in a state of fear. I, as a child attended a catholic school when corporal punishment was allowed. After being abused in previous years especially in the third grade by a nun who I was petrified by who abused me every school day of the week. Learning was hard and I had no clue it was because of the trauma I had experienced in the third grade from the god fearing nun. This time in my life had defined me who I would become as a person. I became a person of worry and always worried about what others thought of me. Up until this day I worry about how others see me. I often get dismissed by others during conversations; so I mostly stay quiet unless someone asks me questions or I find a commonality in them to have a conversation with.
A Dark Cloud Looms
My GAD is pretty much controlled but no medications last long enough in my system. Just about every year I have to have my medication evaluated. I never know when my anxiety will hit. I can be perfectly fine one day and wake up the next and feel dreadfully dark. The sensation of a foot on my chest holding me down, the unwillingness to move or even talk to anyone. I don’t function at all. It’s very crippling and exhausting. I shut myself off from the world. Once; running was my everything and now I push it to the back of I don’t care and I will run tomorrow. Tomorrow eventually comes and I slowly start moving.
No one wishes for this dark cloud. I sure didn’t want a dark cloud looming over me randomly when it feels like showing up. I just wanted to be a normal kid with a loving family and a safe environment. I wasn’t a normal kid and I was not in a safe environment. No fifth grader should wake up in fear crying all the time and hiding tears. No child should ever suffer despite what may be going on behind closed doors or open doors.
I would like to say I have this stressful life and it’s terrible. But the reality is that it is not. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. My life is quite peaceful, beautiful and most of all safe. I have three kids and they are all good kids. Not perfect but really good kids. I love them with all my being. But this life of mine is only less than ten years of what I would consider a safe environment. My husband makes everything safe and comforting. He loves me unconditionally with all my flaws and I have never had that in my life. I was always the provider as a single mother. The one who had to solve all the problems and was constantly worried about making sure everyone and everything was taken care of. It was hard and often times I was always angry and obsessed with being the best at my job.
You never know when the cloud will lift because in my brain things always seem worse than what they are really are. It’s one big infinity circle that never ends and you hope that the door will slightly open to hurry and jump out of the mental chaos. Is it possible? Yes, I just have to want to work at it. Work at it hard. I don’t want anxiety driving my life. Yes my life trauma did happen and there is no denying it. I can’t change the past but I can work towards a good rest of my life.
No One Likes Different
I don’t always live in fear of nonsense. Well at least that is what I like to think. My fears are relevant. Why am I so different? Well as a child I always looked for my mothers unconditional approval and love. I never received it. I often wonder what my life would look like if I grew up in an environment where family was important and a mothers love was present. Would I fit in just fine? Would I have an abundance of wonderful friends I could relate to and not feel judged?
In a recent encounter, I was asked to share my story about my weight loss journey. There was a young woman/mother and she was plus size. She was very nice to me at first and shared she was a new mom of one and some other life things moms share. Durning lunch we all shared stories of accomplishments and goals. I was asked about my journey and I shared that I had lost 200 pounds. The women at the table were amazed and congratulated me. But the one young lady that was friendly to me at first; her expression on her face completely changed. She turned and packed her things and excused herself. At the end of the day I had a question and I looked over to asked her directly and she ignored me and rushed off. I stood there like a fool. I felt like I had done something wrong and triggered my anxiety. These feelings stem from my upbringing. I should have not cared how the woman felt about my story or my success. But that is not how I function. She is a complete stranger and probably will never see her again but at the same time I am just thinking as to why would she reacted the way she did. I am always curious and mostly because I am always looking for closure.
Being different is never cool in order to fit in. I never thought I needed to be like anyone or even as much attempt to fit in with anyone. Normally because if anyone encounters me it is because they need something from me or want something from me. Here is a quick story. My best friend of 14 years and the only true friend I have ever had in my life. When I met her she was excited to meet me as we were in the political scene. I was super young about 32 years old. She shook my hand and said to me “I have been wanting to meet you!” and my response to her was “I don’t keep friends”. My guard was immediately up. My friend was dumb founded. She did not know how to respond to my comment to her. This was a very true fact about me. I was ballsy back then. I was not filtered at all. I did not care what came out of my mouth. I was better off not allowing anyone in my life to protect my personal feelings. All I cared about was being successful, making money and taking care of my kids. Years later my friend and I were reminiscing and she brought up that day in the park and she in fact told me that she made it her mission to be my friend. That I needed to be loved and learn to be loved by a true friend, a sister. Through thick and thin we have stayed friends. She until this day is the only woman I have fully allowed into my life because she never judges me and she may not understand everything but she always listens and we always laugh and cry together like true friends do.
I Am Aware
I am clearly aware of who I am. I am like no other person. I don’t belong to a clique or group of any kind. I have my very own look and esthetic to my life and personality. I have come to terms that I don’t need to fit in with any group, cliques, women, men etc… If you like me you like me and not have an agenda for me or prejudge me. I am my own normal. I cope, I work hard to be kind, understanding and a good citizen. My issues are not your issues and I am fully aware to never treat others bad or angrily. And other peoples issues are not my issues and I don’t have to understand why they are mean or standoffish towards me.
Born and raised in the city where there is one pace of fast. This was most of my life. A place I call freedom where no one knew me and I didn’t know them. A fast paced life where I stood still and took in each breath and appreciated to feel free when I got on a bus to go anywhere I wanted.
Anxiety doesn’t own me and it’s not who I am. It’s just a part of me that takes over at times when I have lost emotions or control. To always be aware can be a burden and hard. But at the end of the day it’s not about putting on blinders it’s about the moment and what can be controlled at that moment.
This is one perspective; My perspective, and not everyone is like me but if it is similar you are not alone.