Keep Calm and Carry On

Where do I even begin? In the past couple weeks, I’ve had a series of panic attacks that are just beyond my control. Between being in fits of convulsions, and multiple trips to the ER, last week was a complete blur. I’ve told you before that I don’t like talking about these issues, but this seems to be therapeutic as it comes; spilling my guts hoping that someone can relate. The great Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” So this is what I know, and this is my truth.

Anxiety is a BITCH! Excuse my language, but that’s putting it nicely. It takes a vengeance on my brain, and doesn’t let up when I tap out. I can look completely fine on the outside, but inside I’m shaking and rationalizing every move I take before I fall into sheer panic.

When I last wrote about my anxiety, I was off of all of my medications. This past week, that has changed drastically. I have realized when I “feel fine” it’s because my medicine is working; not because I don’t need it. Starting new medicine is an adjustment period. There are no guarantees that the medicine will work. It’s trial and error, which leaves me even more anxious.

Luckily I have been on this medicine before, and it seems to work, but it can take a full month before it kicks in fully. Once the medicine sets in, and I’m feeling better, I will start to have doubts. “Why am I feeling better?” “This isn’t my normal, there must be something wrong with me!” That’s where I can’t let the anxiety take hold of me.

I watched a video of a public speaker, Elizabeth Smart. Elizabeth was captured when she was 14 years old, tortured and held captive for 9 months. When Elizabeth was rescued, the first thing her mother told her was she didn’t have to worry anymore. She was safe. Her captor would never have any hold over her again, and she could relax.

I know that I am lucky, and couldn’t possibly have nearly the same fears as Elizabeth, but we both have captors. Anxiety is my captor. I have let my anxiety take over my life this past week. It has shot me down, beaten me, and left me on the battlefield to fend for myself. As I lay there in self-pity, I am reminded that the only thing I can do is fight back. I’m not gonna lay down and die. I’m in charge of my life, and no one is going to take that from me.

With that being said, I know it won’t happen overnight. It is a process, and I have the trust that I’m doing what is best. This has happened before, and it can happen again, so I need to be prepared. I’ve added some essential oils to my arsenal, and it’s really giving me some relief. The panic attacks and triggers may be out of my control, but that is life. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.”

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