Coming To Terms With Anxiety.

The level of anxiety I’ve experienced is far from normal, and it’s about time I came to terms with that.

As far as I can remember I’ve always been a ‘worrier‘. There have been nights where I’ve laid awake worrying about everything. I’ve worried about things I said or did over ten years ago, and even things far outside my control. In the last few years of my life, the small glimpses of that worry have grown into something much, much bigger. Not only do these thoughts plague me at night but they cling to me throughout the day, reminding me that there is always something to worry about.

I’ve been in a trap of perpetual chaos with no apparent way out.

The real problems started in my final year of university;

The perfectionist in me was driven to excessive new heights; studying to get the best marks, working to make money and functioning as a normal adult in between. Looking back, all I did during this period of my life was work and study. Sleep and self-care weren’t words I often used in my vocabulary and fun was a distant memory.

During this time in my life, I would suffer from frequent palpitations, accompanied by dizziness and a sense of panic. I’m not talking ‘Oh dear, I’ve forgotten my keys‘ panic. What I’m talking about is unprovoked, out of nowhere PANIC. Alarm bells ringing, chest tightening, unable to breathe PANIC!

Surely, that can’t be normal. Right?

Dinner Rush Dizzyness;

It was a busy day in the restaurant where I worked. We were understaffed by a significant amount, like we always seemed to be. I had 2 full sections, had been starving for over 5 hours and had nothing but coffee in my system. The more people came in, the more the kitchen backed up and the more my anxiety grew.

I was standing at table 36 about to take an order when everything around me started to spin. My heart was pounding painfully in my chest, I couldn’t catch my breath and I was unable to say anything other than ‘I’ll be back in a minute‘. I placed my orderman down on the table and stumbled into the bathrooms where I promptly sat on the floor. I was shaking and trying to breathe but nothing was happening. Luckily I had amazing co-workers who set about taking my table and getting me sweet tea to help with my nerves.

Looking back it was an intense panic attack and one of my first outside the privacy of my own bedroom.

Anxiety on the motorway;

After driving home from work one night I unexpectedly found myself in the midst of panic. I arrived home, took a shower and suddenly felt like I was unable to leave the bathroom. My head was spinning, my chest was tight and I was shaking too much to allow my legs to move. Instead, I sat on the floor and cried for over an hour before composing myself enough to move to the couch.

Both occasions, along with the many more, were shaken off as just being a by-product of stress. Everyone gets it. It was fine. Right?

I’m guessing not quite.

Since then I’ve had to pull over onto the hard shoulder just to let the panic pass. I’ve even had to escape to the toilets in work to count to ten and let myself breathe.

My heart ends up beating so fast, that it feels like it might burst from my chest. I’ve convinced myself that I can actually see my heart beating through my flesh if I stand still enough.

The panic has left me feeling physically ill. I’ve found my self shaking, I’ve felt so light-headed I could see dots in front of my eyes, I’ve vomited, I’ve had chronic stomach issues (ongoing for the last year and a half), and I’ve had terrible sleeping patterns for the majority of my adult life.

But, like I said, just stress. No big deal. I’d felt like this for so long that I’d just gotten used to it. The symptoms were just normal, everyday living to me.

I like to think of myself as Ross from Friends. When you’re trying not to think about it and someone asks you if you’re okay and you just say;

I’m finnnnneeeeeeeee‘.
drunk ross geller GIF

But then I began anorexia recovery again and I felt that it was time to address this once and for all. I spoke to my therapist about it a number of weeks ago and since then we’ve had a meeting with the clinic’s consultant. The end result was additional medication to take the edge of the anxiety and help me over to sleep at night. (Quetiapine 25mg, if you’re interested)

One thing the consultant did stress is that this new medication is just to help dull down the anxiety so I can start to concentrate on other areas in my life. It is not to dull any of the emotions I might be feeling. That would defeat the purpose of eating disorder recovery.

Knowing that the anxiety is no longer a figment of my imagination I’m taking action to combat it in the same ways I’m doing for my depression and eating disorder. I’m diving into the blogs for help on how to better manage my anxiety, I’ve found a whole library, too many to tag, full of worldly advice.

I still need to walk up to the closet where my anorexia hides, open the door and face any demons that might be hiding inside. Anxiety is just one more monster in my closet. Doesn’t matter. They’re all pretty similar and have pretty much the same weaknesses; self-care, self-love, positive thinking, serotonin, and breathing.

Nyxie's Nook Signature.

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25 thoughts on “Coming To Terms With Anxiety.

  1. I love how you address it in the end half, “walking up to the closet”
    To true for so many of us, in so many types of recovery.
    Nice piece

  2. I loved reading this post too! I can totally relate to your anxiety battles and i love that you have no shame in taking meds. Thank you for being so open and honest and real. Can’t wait to read more!

  3. I have had anxiety all my life and I think it goes hand in hand with my ADHD. One thing that I have learned that helps me is the 5-4-3-2-1 concept from Mel Robbins!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your experience. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life and am just now getting to the place where I have the courage to face my demons. I know how scary it can be and it’s easier to hide under the blanket of shame! Good for you for fighting back against the shame! What an inspiration to others!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I’m still finding it difficult to accept that I’ve had this my whole life and it was always just waved off as being ‘worriesome’ or ‘annoying’ as a child.

      1. You’re welcome! I totally relate. Always was told I was being too much and still struggle with that today. Part of my journey recently has been finding out for myself whats too much or not enough based on who I am and what’s true about me, not what other people think about me. So freeing!

  5. Absolutely ur made the way ur supposed to be. No flaws. Just things to have function with. I’m glad realizing that it is ”real” thing thru the doctor helped!
    I know personally that they can be bad enough to make u believe ur having a heart attack and even lose consciousness.
    Ur life is valuable. Lol.
    I’m getting used to the nook so I need u to keep it all together over there. Differences and all.
    I hope u can feel the love.
    Lol and please don’t let replying appropriately to me give u anxiety. I’m literally expecting a few words reply.
    I love the nook man. Happy Sunday Nyxie! ♥️💪🏾

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I have never been diagnosed with anxiety, but I have experienced issues like this before. Panic attacks for seemingly no reason, it’s very annoying.

    1. It’s horrible, especially panic attacks. Looking back I should have pushed further with my GP about this and not accepted that I was just stressed or worried.

  7. Thank you so much for preparing this and sharing this… it takes guts to share something like this with people… a good friend of mine from college was struggling similarly. I’m going to share this with her.

  8. It’s hard sometimes to take that mental step from acknowledging a more minor situation, like ‘being a worried’ versus acknowledging that the situation may be more serious and seeking answers. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experience.

  9. Great post! Thanks for being so open with your struggles. I’m glad you have a good therapist and meds. Anxiety is tough! Mine manifest with stomach issues too. No fun.
    I hope you are managing it better now and can get some sleep. Good luck!

  10. I love this post! You are so strong for sharing your story with us!!!


  11. HI Nykie,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad you did because so many people deal with anxiety and I am one of them. Every one experiences it a little differently but the one thing that always the same it is a serious problem and can be overwhelming in your life. I think you have done a great job at facing your fears and talking some very positive steps that will help you overcome the anxiety. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day and keep up the great work.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind message. It’s so hard to come to terms with and then learn to manage, it’s almost causing more anxiety. I have made a lot of progress since this post, but I’ve also had a lot of setbacks. One day I’ll learn how to utilize the ultimate coping strategy and what works best for me.

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