The “A” word

– Posted in: Eat Pray Love journey, other

What if I told you that you would never again feel this unencumbered, carefree, and relaxed? That every moment from this day forward was just another exercise in survival, one that would have you searching for exits in public spaces, popping natural remedies that don’t hold a candle to their prescription counterparts, and counting down the minutes until you can escape to the world outside–a place where you can breathe it in and soak in the joy of another episode that went off without a hitch.

Lately I’ve heard people throw the word “anxiety” around like it’s just a fleeting blip on the radar of human emotion, a trifling inconvenience that will pass as quickly as it came.

At first, this sent me into an emotional tailspin. How could anyone underestimate the sheer magnitude of a panic attack or the irrational feelings of someone who is clearly drowning in the moment? They just didn’t understand.

It only recently dawned on me that I was attributing far too much weight to my own anxieties. I didn’t want to accept the fact that maybe they would be with me forever and that this was my new normal that I just had to learn to deal with.

I’ll tell you what’s worse than feeling panic inexplicably: believing you are the only person who has ever experienced these emotions, and that you are ever alone. I recently read this excellent article on the topic of anxiety and this quote stood out to me: “Here’s what’s worked: nothing.”

It sounds so hopeless, but in the moment, that’s how it can feel.

But there are ways of lessening the wave that sweeps in without warning, and I want to take this opportunity to say that I am here and my door is always open if you feel the need to discuss with me further. Reach me at charlotte@mypixieblog.com. We will get through the worst of times together.

What’s more?

We’ll celebrate the best milestones, too. :) XOXO

10 Comments… add one

Marie Nicole January 14, 2014, 11:28 AM

I have had 2 major panic attacks. One that had me rushing out to the ER with the certainty I was having a heart attack, and the other being ushered to the VIP room at an event I was managing.

They come out of nowhere unless we’re paying attention to the signs. I was ignoring the signs.

As I get older, I find it takes less and less to take me down. It’s nice to know there is a sweet face out there with an extended hand for if and when I may crumble once again. Thanks! :)

Shell January 14, 2014, 12:15 PM

People exaggerating their feelings can make it seem like what others feel isn’t that big of a deal. But, I know, it is. xo

carma January 14, 2014, 1:00 PM

I have struggled anxiety ever since I was a child. I thinki it has seriously held me back from reaching my full potential. I do think that aging has helped to lesson things a lot, or maybe it is just more of me not giving a crap the older I get…

So maybe that is one bright side to aging!

I hope things get better for you soon. You are a ray of sunshine :-)

Mindie January 14, 2014, 2:19 PM

Modern society does make it seem like everyone had anxiety but unless you have had a full blown panic attack to the point you think you’re having a heart attack…. well (hugs) I understand.

Felicia January 14, 2014, 2:22 PM

Thank God I’ve never suffered from anxitey , I just don’t think I could do it. The thought of your mind crippling you that much …shutter.

I recently watched a Ted Talk on Depression and Anxiety by Andrew Solomon and he makes a statement that if you told him had to live with a deep depression for six months, as long as he knew it would be over in exactly six months he could do it. But tell him he had to live with anxiety for the same period of time and he said he would rather kill himself than go through that again.

Never having suffered from it hit me like a ton of bricks that some people are hurting so severely. My heart goes out to each and every one suffering from anxiety…

Jessica January 14, 2014, 9:15 PM

That is nice of you. Having suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for the better part of two years, I know full well exactly how is to feel like you are alone and offering to be there for someone can make all the difference.

Kim Miller January 14, 2014, 9:50 PM

Its easier to judge until you’ve walked in those shoes isn’t it? I find that people make cracks about having anxiety, being depressed, OCD or ADHD as a joke or an excuse for their behavior without thinking how that would make others feel who really suffer from those conditions. Thankfully, I have only had one true anxiety attack that I can remember (and it was associated with revealing part of my son’s diagnosis) I really didn’t know what was happening to me (except maybe a heart attack) Later, when I found out THIS was what an anxiety attack really was, it gave me a new respect for sufferers. I am sorry that you have had to deal with this, and I admire you for being there to help others through it.

Elizabeth January 14, 2014, 10:43 PM

My best friend struggles with anxiety and I’m totally the opposite. I can’t get myself worked up even when I probably should. She so often tells me, “you just don’t understand,” and she’s right. I can’t wrap my mind around it. Why get all worked up over things? When I read posts like this it reminds me that giving her all my zen advice really isn’t useful. I just need to love her and be there for her until she works through it in her own way.

Rachel Cotterill January 15, 2014, 5:42 PM

I used to get major panic attacks and I have a LOT less now, so it can get better as well as worse. This too shall pass. Massive hugs xxx

Kimberly January 16, 2014, 1:24 PM

Anxiety versus panic are two separate things. Anyone can be anxious and have anxiety about lots of things, but when you have a full blown disorder, whew…it can run your life.
But those people, the ones without the disorder, can’t compare our pain to their anxiety. Ours is 100x more intense. I’m not minimizing their struggle because any negative emotion is just that, awful. But I hate it when they assume that our “panic” is something that will blow over after the situation is taken care of…only we don’t need a situation to endure panic.
Sigh…..I’m here too sista.

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