Sep 22, 2009
When anxiety hit me for the first time, it was like a huge wave sweeping over me. I was in my boyfriends car and we were pulling out of my street, and suddenly it hit me- the rising fear of panic, the tingling on the skin, the foggy feeling in the head, like i was in a dream, the racing heart, stomach cramp, all of it. I thought i was going to die. i started freaking out and made him take me back, apologized because i didnt know WHAT was wrong with me, and went inside to go to sleep. It went away, so it seemed, then came back a few days later. It was actually brought on by a traumatic event in my life, but i didnt realize it until later. But it would happen anytime i'd think of that event. It got so bad that i had to call out from work, and finally quit my job abruptly. For about 2 months i stayed either at home or at my boyfriends, unable to eat anything but bananas because they were easy to chew and easy on my constantly nauseous stomach. I did a ton of research online about anxiety. I had started to wonder if i was maybe mentally ill and deteriorating from some disease i wasnt aware of yet. I eventually came across this website advertising the Linden Method- look it up, apparently its a serious of dvd's and stuff made by a guy who suffered from anxiety for something like 20 years. I planned on buying his product but i found that after reading the long website, i actually felt a good deal better about the anxiety because it showed me that there are TONS of people out there going through the same thing, and it kind of explained how anxiety works. When it starts to kick in, those first symptoms (for me its physical symptoms, not yet mental ones), you feel them, you get scared BECAUSE youre feeling them, your terror makes you feel them even MORE intensely, and on and on it goes, in a horrible endless cycle. Once you can stop it in the beginning, and say 'nothing is wrong, its just anxiety," and even get a little ANNOYED with it for bothering you again, you can overcome an attack. I know, its harder than it sounds right? It took alot of practice for me. I saw alot of people on here talking about how their fast heartbeat terrifies them. They might think theyre on the verge of a heart attack, even. Well that Linden Method website made a VERY good point that i always remembered afterwards: dont worry about your heart racing. If you ran to catch a bus, got on, and your heart was pumping fast, you wouldnt worry then would you? An elevated heart rate is actually good for you, from my understanding youre supposed to exercise each day enough to have an elevated heart rate for 20 mins. It makes a healthier heart. I cant speak for people who do have REAL heart problems, but i'm just speaking for myself and others who havent had heart complications before their anxiety.
I bought some books on anxiety, all of which urge you to try a natural alternatives to cope with anxiety FIRST before you turn to Xanax or something like that. I myself would never take an anti-depressant, i just dont trust pills, too many side effects. If youre feeling like **** already you really dont want some chemical in your body working against your well-being too, do you? Anyway these books basically said to combine a few techniques in dealing with anxiety. First, try and confront the real problem behind it, the thing that triggered it, and come to terms with that. For me, i had to really think about and get past the traumatic thing that happened in my life. For alot of people, if something is bad enough or out of your control, that will just take time to heal, and fade from your memory enough so that it doesnt trigger anxiety and depression as soon as it pops up. In addition to that, i started exercising vigorously every day- its kind of silly but i had these old Tae Bo fitness videos that i did a few times a day. With the curtains closed of course lol. I was a little scared to INTENTIONALLY induce a high pulse rate, because that was one of the scary things about anxiety attacks...but honestly, i felt so much better as soon as i started to exercise. it helped burn off some of the excess adrenaline i had too, making me feel more calm and relaxed. Dont be afraid to get your heart pumping.
The third thing i did was to practice a whole lot of positive thinking. Before that i didnt realize how negative most of my thoughts were, and how much i beat myself up over the wrong things i did in life. I consider myself a good person and no one has the right to tear me down like that, not even myself. I watched alot of funny movies, read good books, got more into Christianity. Becoming a little more religious made me realize that i always have someone supporting me, helping me through every trial in life, which is SO important at a time when you feel terrified, helpless and unsure. i started to look at the lighter side of life overall, and realize that i do deserve to be happy. Anxiety is NOT something dangerous, there is literally no danger in it, its basically just a big f*cking NUISANCE. One that you can learn to control and overcome with a little self discipline. i still get flashes of it from time to time, especially recently, because something else has happened, but i'm better now at catching it before it turns into a full blown attack. If you start to feel it, just take a deep breath, smile, and shake your head as if telling it, nope, its not gonna happen. :)