Life Lessons, Word

When Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety can run amuck.

It is real. Let the naysayers scoff, but its time we who have experienced anxiety have a real conversation about it. Not a scientific, abstract-observation-conclusion kinda talk. No! Just us – being real.

I’ve been in real physical pain lately. Recovering from an abdominal surgery is painful. It’s been unexpectedly difficult.

I’ve been in real emotional pain lately. Some of it caused by others. Some of it I caused by having unrealistic expectations that were unmet. Whatever the cause, my heart just hurts.

Because of this pain and being in bed for weeks, I have had anxiety attacks, nightmares, and the dreaded paranoia that often accompanies an anxiety attack.

Social Media

Through all of this, I post positive quotes and scriptures and poetry on social media, so there may be some of you scratching your head and thinking, but she’s always so positive. And you’d be correct. I am. But I’ll tell you this: I post for 2 reasons.

  1. Because I am the one who needs to remind myself to be positive.
  2. I know that if I need it, someone else probably does too.

What Anxiety Feels Like

Emotionally

  • Suddenly even a positive remark that someone makes about someone else leaves me feeling like maybe I didn’t do fill-in-the-blank well enough to deserve a similar accolade.
  • Suddenly someone’s silence feels personal to me and I begin to panic and think of all the things I may have said or nor not said to cause the silence.
  • Suddenly every emotion comes with both an exclamation point and a question mark.
  • I begin a laundry list of what’s wrong with me.
  • I begin a laundry list of what I need to do to make it right.

Physically

  • My heart races
  • My mouth gets dry
  • My thoughts bounce
  • I make bad decisions like texting dumb things, eating too much, spending too much
  • I get insomnia

How Do I Stop This Ride

I have a few go-tos for anxiety. Here is my “safety plan” for when anxiety strikes:

  • I write down what I’m afraid of.
  • I take that list and write down my feelings/opinions about whatever it is.
  • I take that list and write down the facts about whatever it is.
  • I pray about it.
  • I turn to my circle of friends for wisdom.
  • I discern what the truth is.
  • I act on the truth.

I began this post months ago and never posted it. For the past 2 days I’ve had the worst anxiety I’ve ever had. I went back to this “safety plan” and feel so much better this morning.

I hope this helps.

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