I’ve been quiet in the blog world for awhile (a week or so is “awhile” in blog world isn’t it?)
Just to update really quickly…making sure I log in to MyFitnessPal every day and log, getting lots of protein, veggies and fruits, getting better from my strep….they have all helped me lose a 1-2 lbs a week lately…FINALLY. I just had to tweak my food and how much of it what time of day I was eating and it worked for me.
Now to the topic at hand that is really getting me down today…anxiety.
About a year ago the symptoms of anxiety started to really affect me…I’d probably had it my whole life…but after a lot of trauma in the last few years..(divorce, death of grandparents, death of a best friend, losing a whole GROUP of friends, moving, etc) I started being defensive in my communications with people (like interrupting, cutting people off, yelling, saying hurtful things). I also was at a standstill in my weight loss and had been slowly gaining back the few pounds I had managed to lose before my marriage ended a couple years before. I was breaking down in tears at the end of spending a wonderful weekend with my loving boyfriend (we didn’t live together at the time). I even yelled at a client at work, yes they were being difficult, but the customer is always right and it was stupid of me. I got a verbal warning on my record even, my first, ever warning of any kind at a job. (I’ve been in the professional world since graduating college in 1999).
My boyfriend was starting to get concerned about me…he was sad that I got sad, he was getting concerned about my defensiveness, he wanted to help. He suggested that I just go to my primary physician and talk about it. I took the depression/anxiety questionnaire and had about an hour long discussion with her. Yup, anxiety. I don’t have the anxiety that makes me nervous in large groups or makes me think the world is going to end..I also don’t have depression…what made me cry was just worries…being worried that my boyfriend was going to leave me, annoyed at the voices in my head that were always telling me what was on my calendar to do next, what was on my to do list, what did certain people think of me, why did I think people didn’t like me (didn’t help that I had recently lost a large group of friends and one of my best friends had passed away).
The clinical part of all this was she prescribed me Lexapro. I found a website that explains how it works, which also explains what anxiety does pretty well. Escitalopram
Escitalopram is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; excessive worry and tension that disrupts daily life and lasts for 6 months or longer). Escitalopram is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
In layman’s terms, if you don’t have an anxiety disorder and say, an acquaintance or even a coworker doesn’t invite you out to lunch…but they’ve invited everyone else out to lunch (or so you think, due to anxiety). Most people that don’t have anxiety could blow it off…so I’ve been told, with the thought that “hey, too bad for that person…guess they just don’t have time for me and I’ll focus on the rest of my life”
Well, that’s not how it works for me…without my medication I would cry and worry that I’m not a good enough person, ask for the help of my family and boyfriend to make me feel better and they try to explain away that I’m a good person and that person just doesn’t need me..and its okay, so many people love me, etc.
With my medication, I realize that the thoughts of not being good enough, not being wanted…and worries that I did something wrong…are not real…that my mind is just over-focusing. I realize it…but its still hard for me to drop it…at least now I can talk about it, reason with myself…move on temporarily…but its still back there, in my head, it takes a few days, maybe even a week for me to get over it…its there..just in a compartment in my head. It never goes away.
People that are my friends see my anxiety in different ways…I plan, plan, plan, plan…I like to know what’s coming up, what’s going on, who is in charge (it doesn’t have to be me, but if no one claims being in charge, then I take over). This can be helpful sometimes…my grocery lists are always in order before I go grocery shopping, I remember events very well because I’m always taking mental pictures and reviewing all my interactions with people repeatedly, I like to keep my house super clean because everything needs to be put away. Its easy to make plans with me because I know what’s coming up and when I have free time. I’m constantly trying to please people #1 because I’m an extrovert and I love people but also #2 my anxiety makes me worry about what people think of me. This can be hard on my friends sometimes because I get so worried and I constantly ask questions, my lovely friends are so supportive, they talk me down, they give me hugs, or they just spend the afternoon with me and take my mind off things. My little anxiety attacks probably only come on every few months now and don’t last long, but they suck and I’m so grateful for my friends that understand and support me.
There is no happy ending to this post other than the fact that I’m getting better, I’ve been taking Lexapro for a year, I have a boyfriend and family that can spot when stuff is building in my head and they help me. I have it completely under control when it comes to professional situations, thank goodness…I kinda made another little compartment in my head where I can turn it off at work, I have no idea how I did it, but I did…and I’m so thankful that I could do that. I’m currently working on a compartment for my boyfriend..cuz duh as if he’d ever ever not tell me the truth or share what’s going on with me..he’s only been supportive and helpful…but sometimes, my stupid symptoms come out at him..I feel like the meanest person on earth when they do…which fuels more anxiety..but I”m trying.
A little bit of a plea of sorts here at the end of my post…to my friends and family….I love you all so dearly…you are the most important part of my life…if I am ever bugging you or overwhelming you with my anxiety flares…please please tell me and help me if you can…
I also apologize to people that don’t know me as well, I can be a bit overwhelming…I work so hard to gain your approval and then I feel like isht if I haven’t..or I think I haven’t…please don’t take it personally….but if you are willing to understand and you do want to be my friend…tell me when I am overwhelming you.. I promise you I WILL APPRECIATE IT AND I WILL UNDERSTAND. The worst thing to do to a person with my kind of anxiety is to ignore me. Some people think that being mean, saying hateful things etc is the worst thing to do to a person..but not me, the worst thing that can done to me is giving me a wall of silence…it makes my anxiety worse..it makes me fret and worry more.
Okay, I’m sorry if I turned people off or offended anyone or made you feel sorry for me…that wasn’t the point here, it was to document for myself and to share with my readers a big thing that I deal with.
If you want to talk to me about it, if you deal with anxiety and have stories to share, if you just want a hug…please email me, comment here, call me, text me, yell at me on Facebook…whatever…I understand…and I hope this may have helped some people understand me…and maybe helped others understand themselves or people in their lives with anxiety.