full transparency, there’s a lot of vulnerability and rambling happening in this post.
a few months ago I mentioned how my anxiety was at an all time high the year before, how I was taking some steps to curb some of it, and deep down so much of it was what I wanted to be able to say was true. yes, it was definitely a lot better (no repeat sitting on my parents floor mid-attack), but by no means gone – even though I wanted so desperately to believe it was.
it wasn’t until a week or two ago that my mom made a comment about my anxiety (we were talking about some other health things that this just exacerbates) & I was so offended that she thought that /stress could be a cause. *back story: I have a bunch of food intolerances/gut-health issues I’ve been trying to figure out* I quickly shot that down as a reason for the flare up. I told her that it was under control and not the issue. also should point out that anxiety attacks can range from an uneasy feeling to full on debilitating, sitting on the floor – I had the debilitating ones under control, the rest not so much.
fast forward a few days & I had a mild anxiety attack in the car which lead to a spiral few days of the girl just “faking it to make it.” the days after an attack are by far the worst. I want to stay home, lay in bed, compare myself to all the things on social media, and eat all the bad food (WORST IDEA BECAUSE IT JUST MAKES ME FEEL WORSE #foodintolerances). I take a step back from talking to people beyond surface level, I don’t reach out to friends like I normally do, I cancel plans and put off all the things I need to work on.
I’ve been doing all the research on ways to fix it – diet changes, journaling, quiet time, talking through what is happening, yada yada. sometimes trying to find ways to fix my anxiety only makes it worse and then I give up because none of it seems to work (duh – I know it will take time, but in the moment you want the quick fix).
it wasn’t until I listened to RISE podcast with Rachel Hollis. in episode 26 she talked about her debilitating anxiety & how she dealt with it. one of the points she made in helping were pointing out your triggers – the things that set off the attacks. it really got me thinking, what were the things that were causing my attacks? sometimes the answer is simple and others I couldn’t even tell you, no matter how hard I tried to pinpoint the exact second it started. but as I said, I’m being vulnerable today so here are the two I’ve been able to pinpoint:
pleasing others & making sure everyone likes me: I hate disappointing people & letting them down. In the worst of my anxiety, I was saying yes to so many things and putting all my time & energy into those things – not me. I was also struggling with a roommate and all the things that came with that – not talking to me, ignoring my presence, just the uncomfortablility of living in a season of not knowing what would set her off. but this is one that I’ve always struggled with – ask my mom how many times I came home crying because someone didn’t want to hang out or be my friend.
social media comparison: so many days I consider turning off all my social media (which is funny because 1. it’s my job and 2. if you’re reading this it’s probably because I posted about it on my Instagram or Facebook). every time I scroll through I see what others are doing, the things I am missing out on that friends are doing, all the perfect pictures, the number of likes I have vs someone else, who liked my picture who looked at my story, the curse of the red dot (OK not really social comparison, but all my nerves tighten when I am hoping for something and then open it to find out that isn’t what it is – told you there were rambles).
life isn’t perfect. things aren’t always perfect. I’m working on accepting the triggers and working on ways to overcome them, figuring out things to counteract those things – starting with turning off all notifications (other than text messages) and being OK that people aren’t always going to like me – I mean, I don’t always like everyone.
OK, this is by far a bunch of rambling – mostly just for me to get some of the thoughts that have been running through my head an outlet.
but if you have any tips for dealing with anxiety, I would love for you to leave them in the comments below!