Managing Day-to-Day Anxiety
I’m not a doctor. This post is intended to share my experience with how anxiety manifests itself for me and how I remedy myself.
I don’t want to write this blog post.
Seriously. There’s really nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than talking about anxiety, especially the anxiety that I experience. Mostly because I don’t believe most people understand how anxiety actually works. First of all, it’s different for everyone; anxiety can manifest itself in a bunch of different ways. I’m “lucky” because I get to experience most, if not all the worst symptoms of anxiety: panic attacks, shortness of breath, hormonal changes, throwing up randomly, and suicidal thoughts.
Most of the time
I can manage my anxiety pretty well. I’m on a steady regimen of anti-depressants, exercise, healthy eating, and holistic healing. You can read more about my experience with severe anxiety here. I specifically want to talk about how rough last week was for me. I went through a rollercoaster of different manifestations of anxiety that I almost wanted to completely give up. Sometimes it still does get that bad for me. Luckily, it’s something I’ve become used to and I get into survival mode. When I get like this, it’s almost like I have two different parts of me (shout out my Gemini sun sign) trying to pull me one way or another; one side is anxious panic, the other side is my future self that is okay. I always know I’m going to be okay; sometimes it just takes me a few minutes (or hours, or days) to snap out of it.
It’s not shameful to listen to your body and rest if you need it. You know what you can and cannot handle.
Last week, specifically,
I was struggling pretty badly with my anxiety. When I wake up, I usually automatically know how that day is going to go mentally for me. I take Zoloft at night to give it time to settle in my system before I have to take on the day. At least that’s what I’ve convinced myself. If I forget to take it for whatever reason, my entire day is thrown off. My body definitely has a serotonin and dopamine deficiency, so it’s really important for me to stay on top of taking my medication.
Anyway, last week I woke up on Monday and felt funny. I didn’t know why. I woke up and immediately felt nauseous. I had drank (only one) mojito the day before while celebrating a monthaversary with Louie at a Mexican restaurant, so I know I wasn’t hungover or anything. I tried to lay in bed and breathe the feeling away but it didn’t stop. I just went to the bathroom and forced myself to puke. I always feel unnecessarily guilty for calling out of work due to my anxiety even though I have sick days and hours for a reason. I always think (anxiety coming in hot) that I’m going to need those hours if I have to be hospitalized again or something.
So, if you deal with nausea from anxiety, I have a little advice. The only thing that has truly helped me 100% of the time is taking the miracle drug Zofran. I just talked about Zoloft and I don’t want you to get them confused because they’re completely different. Funnily enough, I used to take Zofran during my chemo treatments way back when, and it is seriously a miracle drug. I’ve used it for anxiety, food poisoning, and even hangovers hahaha. If you’re not wanting to add another prescription to your list, I’ve heard that essential oils can do the trick as well. Specifically tea tree oil and lavender. Honestly, essential oils never worked for my anxiety. They had zero affect on me unfortunately.
Anxiety and depression work together
to make my life miserable, especially when I’m vulnerable to anxious episodes. Most of the time my anxiety manifests itself as depression. I will be exhausted, silent, and extremely sensitive to anything around me. Most of the time if I can make it through the work day, I’ll come home and sleep for around 2-3 hours. Since I’m forced to be constantly stimulated during work by devices, sometimes I need to just shut off my brain to reset.
Naps are my cure for everything. I value sleep more than I value most things. My mind is constantly going and like I said, my job requires me to be constantly stimulated by my phone or laptop. It can be exhausting. Sometimes I can get so worn out just by having to deal with my entire day that as soon as I get into my car to drive home, I’ll just start crying. Other times I’ll just have awful road rage and everything on my (35-40 minute) commute will annoy me. I’ll be yelling, honking my horn, all of that. I’m not proud of it but it happens. I already hate driving, so feeling horrible and doing the thing I hate most is a recipe for disaster for me.
Louie is the best. He is my absolute rock through every single one of my shitty attacks. He always knows what to do, even if it’s just put his arms around me in a big bear hug and let me cry/sleep on him for 2 hours. No seriously, that happened. Last week. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have him.
I know for a fact
that a lot of the reason I was feeling this way was because we had a huge storm in San Diego last week and it totally threw off my schedule. Even though I was taking my medication, I wasn’t going to the gym and I wasn’t eating the best. Add drinking the weekend prior, and you have a messed up hormonal system. I even break out in eczema when my anxiety is that bad. I don’t think I wrote about this in my Italy recaps, but I had horrible eczema pretty much during the entire trip. You can even tell in some of the photos of me. It was miserable. I had to buy Italian hydrocortisone!
Anyway, the worst my anxiety gets is when I almost feel like giving up because I’m just so exhausted. Sometimes I really think it would be easier to just leave earth forever and not have to feel this way anymore. I don’t always think like this so I don’t want you to worry, but it does get this bad for me sometimes unfortunately. Specifically last week when I was driving home in the rain I was stuck in a bunch of traffic and I could not wait to get home and collapse into Louie and hug my dog. I started to think about what would happen if I just swerved into the oncoming traffic. It was already raining, so it wasn’t impossible. I quickly snapped out of it because I usually instantly remember my sweet dog’s cute face and how much Louie cares about me and how much I love him. It’s pretty easy to put things in perspective when you have such a solid support system, thankfully.
I’m lucky in that I can
usually bring myself back down to earth pretty quickly. These days, my anxious and depressive episodes don’t last more than a day or two, luckily. I mostly attribute this to being too overwhelmed with some aspect of my life, most of the time, it’s work.
I got back into the gym on Friday and had a really good workout. I was excited because I had my first introductory personal training session with Coach Corey Renbarger! I had never had a personal trainer before and I had no idea what to expect. After only about 25 minutes of different exercises with Corey, I was already feeling the burn! It’s now the following day after the workout and I AM DEAD!! It’s a good kind of dead though :) Exercise is always something that can easily increase my mood. It gets my endorphins going and I start to feel unstoppable. However my workouts are starting to become boring and my progress has stagnated; so I was more than stoked when Corey reached out to me in order to check out the gym he trains in, Self Made Training Facility Mission Valley. You can check out all the available trainers and their rates HERE!
Check out the post that couples with this one where I talk about my experience at Self Made Training Facility Mission Valley; click here!