life, thoughts

Deeply Personal

I wish this was going to be one of my quippy posts, but no. I have a serious, personal confession to make, and I’m a bit embarrassed by it. I thought I’d throw it out there. Maybe it’ll help someone else suffering from the same thing to not feel so alone.

praying2 wmI’ve read many blogs where people share their struggles with depression. I don’t have an issue with depression, unless of course, I’m grieving a loss. Then it can take me some time. I wrote about how I dealt with grieving the loss of becoming a mother before. I learned so much from the process of grief and am grateful for it today.

So, depression is not what I’m dealing with now. My confession….is that right now….I’m dealing with anxiety. For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a perpetual state of anxiety and cannot shake myself from the spiral. I’ve tried every which way I know how to calm the nervousness, but it won’t go away (Yes, I meditate. Yes, I pray. Yes, I use positive affirmations). I’m both embarrassed and mad at myself for not being able to calm the fray.

To be fair, my fear is not for nothing. I have my first neurologist appointment this week to discuss some serious health symptoms I’m having. They are disruptive at times … meaning, some days I have difficulty going about regular activities. I’d rather not go into detail about the symptoms.

I do have one bit of advice from this … do NOT search for your symptoms on the internet. After I did, my anxiety shot sky high and has not come down since.

I fear the answers, yet I need the answers. It’s a vicious cycle. Not knowing, but fearing knowing. Perhaps this will all turn out to be nothing and my anxiety was all for naught. Then, I can be even more embarrassed for creating such an anxious state in and around me.

Funny thing, I had a couple of brief anxious times when my husband went through his accident and recovery, but nothing that lasted. Not like now. I was too busy taking care of everything to think about it.

I do battle with anxiety on occasion, and I’m told that in part, it’s due to wanting to be in control. In other words, I’m a control freak. I practice my spirituality with letting go, but I must not really be letting go if I remain so anxious. Sometimes I think if I lived near my family and friends for support, it would help. Maybe not. I don’t know.

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So, there you have it, my confession. May all of us living with anxiety, find lasting calm.

*****

Have you ever felt driven to find an answer but feared the answer at the same time? Is anxiety something you’ve ever dealt with? If not, would you care to share your own experience with a strong emotion?

 

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40 thoughts on “Deeply Personal”

  1. I feel for you, Lori. Generally speaking, I’m an anxious person, but not to the degree you’re describing. I’ve been able to ease my anxiety recently with an arsenal of daily meditations, devotions and positivity messages. I can’t imagine being held so tight in such a scary grip.

    I hope you don’t believe for a second that your inability to let go is your fault. No one would choose this. You’ll be in my prayers. I hope you find peace soon.

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    1. Hey there, Terri. I also do those daily meditations and positive affirmations. The anxiety is so high, it isn’t helping as of late. I’m glad they are working for you. Thank you for reminding me it’s not my fault. You’re right, I wouldn’t choose this, and your comforting comment felt like a hug. Blessings to you, and have a great weekend.

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  2. Hi Lori, I came over for a visit and settled into this post on your blog. You have a lot of wise counsel in the words that have gone before mine! I suffered from depression and anxiety for years – the legacy of a traumatic childhood. I had years of therapy and a strong and helpful community about me, but still suffered. The two months before my birthday were always the worst. Eventually I learned the truth of what had happened to me and I found myself abruptly and miraculously freed of the depression. The anxiety took longer, until I learned the art of living in the present. Anxiety is always fear of what might be. It is future based. I learnt to direct my thoughts to the right here and now and ask myself if the story that was going on in my head was true, was real, was happening now…….. it never was! When ‘the worst happens’ we are so busy dealing with it that there is no time to be anxious. Anxiety is always a lie! Your friend who wrote about the closeness of anxiety and excitement is right – go for the happy outcome – choose to believe that whatever happens it will be better than anything anxiety could deliver.

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    1. Hi Pauline. Thanks for coming over and sharing your experience with anxiety. I think my health issues are contributing to escalating the fears. I do agree with you. Kathy (blogger friend) suggested something similar in another of my posts by asking myself “Is this true right now?” It’s very difficult to shift the mind to the present moment. I work on it daily though, and I’m so glad that you were able to conquer the anxiety. You have inspired me to do the same. Thank you again.

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      1. You are right Lori, when you are in it it is difficult to change up. But continued practise pays off and you can remind yourself when in it that ‘this too shall pass’. You know it does because it has before. I think we tend to dive into the murky depths and believe this is all there will ever be – when in fact it does pass and sanity returns. Before my retirement [ 😀 ] I was a life coach/therapist and worked with men and women these issues constantly. All of them made progress away [some more, some less] when they really began to understand that they had control over their thoughts rather than the other way round. It takes practise 🙂 I also believe in the power of gratitude. That can also move you out of despair and anxiety when we concentrate on what we do have that is good in our lives.

        I just wanted to say all this to you in one bite – just as a reminder because I am sure you do it all already. 🙂 Sending a warm hug xoxo

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  3. Blessings to you, Lori. Anxiety can be so challenging. At times in my spiritual journey I have felt such anxiety and it can feel crippling. The ego has felt threatened by the larger awareness and reacts in heart-fluttering fear. Staying with the anxiety–just the bare physical sensations without the mind’s story–helped me tremendously. And then one day it didn’t show up. But who knows, it could be here tomorrow, or in the next moment.

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    1. Thank you for sharing what you’ve done, Kathy. It’s good advice. I will try to remember this if the anxiety spirals again. Blessings to you as well.

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  4. Lori, sorry to hear that you’re having a worrying time regarding your health issue but that this is also causing so much anxiety. I’ve had experience of both depression and anxiety but I’ve had many mornings where I’ve woken up with awful ‘butterflies’ of anxiety. I must admit that not much helped when I was in the thick of it, but one thing I did find interesting was one time when I wrote down exactly the physical feelings and thoughts I was having and realised that anxiety and excitement didn’t feel physically much different to one another, but it was the way I was looking at things that made them different.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Andrea. I read a quote somewhere that said “depression is living in the past, and anxiety is living in the future.” I could see how my anxiety is a fear of what might happen. The compassion from all of these comments has been a big help. I plan to post about that next week. Thanks again, and may we both live in the here and now with lasting serenity.

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  5. Lori, I struggled with anxiety many years ago. I remember how crippling it was. I promise, from experience, that you can heal from this. I encourage you to find a well-qualified therapist. Everyone needs an emotional tune-up from time to time. It certainly helped me. Our minds and bodies have a way of telling us when there are unresolved issues in our lives. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m sending you blessings and peace. . .

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    1. Hey Miss Anita. I have one of those … a therapist. She’s the one who told me that this is partly a control issue (among other things). I am aware, just not sure how to fix it. But, I’ll tell you, yours and all the supportive comments have certainly been of help. I intend to post about that next week. Thank you, Anita.

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  6. Nothing to confess, nothing to be embarrassed about. It makes absolute sense for your body and your brain to be reacting this way to some of the circumstances you’re dealing with. I think it can even become worse when you’ve just gotten out of the worst of something and can no longer rely on survival mode.

    I’ve dealt with severe anxiety twice– when I was going through the restraining order process, and then again a year later when I had to testify against him. Both times I let it grow to a point where I couldn’t manage it, and then I got a prescription to help me sleep at night. I remember feeling ashamed to go to my doctor and ask for a one-month Rx but he gave me this totally impromptu pep talk about how my ex was a piece of shit and how what I was experiencing made sense. SO all that to say– do what you need to do to take care of yourself. No shame. And I send you happy calming thoughts, with Zola’s snores on top.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Aussa, and for your encouraging words. If you could make it through those days you shared on your blog, I can certainly make it through my own. I appreciate the calming thoughts … and Zola’s snores. 🙂

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  7. You are not alone in having these bouts of anxiety. And even “non-control freaks” will have them when faced with serious situations. A feeling of helplessness. although somewhat different from a feeling of not in control, can also trigger that anxiety.

    You’re dealing with highly stressful issues these days, so I’d be surprised if you weren’t feeling some level of anxiety. Hopefully, your medical appointment will provide some information that will help you feel more in control as you begin to understand whatever is happening. Don’t be afraid to admit feeling anxious or afraid, especially to close family and friends. Sometimes being strong is knowing when to let others help.

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  8. Lori,
    As you can imagine, there is a lot I want to say. But let me simply say this. There is absolutely nothing for you to feel embarrassed about. Anxiety is a very common issue, around the world. It sounds like you’re exploring inner work and relying upon your faith, which is the solution to most problems, I believe. I will be keeping you in my prayers and sending Good Juju. Also, you may want to try Rescue Remedy. It’s a flower essence remedy from Bach Flowers (available online). It does help to calm the mind/brain.
    Love & Light,
    Sloan

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    1. I humbly accept your Good Juju, Miss Sloan. Thank you for the Rescue Remedy suggestion. We had gotten that for our dog for anxiety once, so I am familiar with it. Just hadn’t thought of using it for me until you mentioned it. Thanks again.

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  9. Oh how I wish I had gotten “mother’s prayer” typed (it’s in longhand on yellow tablet yet ) Chief has had to start oxygen all the time and we both have experienced anxiety so we understand. and feel we should be able to give you something to help but do know we are sending you support, love and hugs. I do talk out loud to my FATHER and parents in heaven even at this age. You are never too old and we want to pass on to you love & peace, I try to think of ” all our blessings and count them one by one ” ( a Sunday school song) sometimes it helps. Will be checking tomorrow, remember you are the one who gave me so much info and advice when they finally diagnosed my ailment, know you will do the same for yourself and we will be with you however we can, this is where my daily prayer comes in, praying to bring you closer to us I do feel family is support when needed and that we can still do that so “kuhm by ya” ( more details in email soon) Love & hugs, Majoan

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  10. I hope sharing your experience with anxiety and the comment responses helps some. It’s awful feeling embarassed as well, and there’s certainly nothing to be embarassed about. Anxiety is something you don’t have control over, at best it can be managed more or less depending on many factors. By sharing this you may well make someone else feel less alone as well. Just keep doing the best you can. It is enough.

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    1. You know, I actually feel stronger and less anxious from everyone’s responses today. Hopefully, it’ll stick with me through the doctor’s appointment. Thank you for your understanding and support, EllaDee.

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  11. Anxiety is a horrible thing to work through. While it’s more common than I ever thought, those who have never had an experience with it just can not relate. I’ve learned a lot about anxiety over the last year or so. There are so many factors–from stress levels to food allergies. I’m pleased to say that mine has been under control for a few months now. You will get better, Lori. Keep on keepin’ on.

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    1. Lauren, I didn’t know you also had some bouts with anxiety. I’m so glad that you’ve gotten yours under control. Thank you for sharing this and for your support. Hugs.

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  12. I understand this, really. My Internists finally gave me meds for panic attacks. It has certainly helped. Perhaps meds are not for everyone, but for me it was the best option. Hope you have great news from the doc!

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    1. I do have a temporary medication for anxiety to take as needed … for now. Depending on a diagnosis, I may not need it, or I may need something more permanent. Thank you for sharing your own experience, Linda. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with such anxiety. It’s an dreadful feeling. Hugs of comfort to you.

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  13. I can so relate to this post. My mother is having health issues again and while I want to find out what’s causing Mom’s pain, at the same time, I don’t want to open the door to health crisis mode again.

    I’m not sure if you are an extrovert or introvert, but I think for those of us who are introverts, anxiety can be even more overwhelming to handle. We have to find some release for our pent-up emotions, whether it is in words or through some form of physical action. But easier said than done. For me, anxiety is like being trapped in a speeding car that I have no control over.

    And LOL about researching health issues online, though I do find some comfort in feeling like I’m doing something by researching, instead of just sitting around helpless and worried.

    Bottom line, anxiety is nothing to be ashamed about. It is a real condition that affects many of us. If you haven’t read “My Age of Anxiety” by Scott Stossel, I highly recommend it.

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    1. Hi Joy. I describe my anxiety as a boulder rolling down a mountain that keeps picking up speed and can’t be stopped. Thank you for your support, for sharing your own experience, and for the book recommendation. My best wishes for you and your mom. I hope all is okay.

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  14. Lori, over the years I, too, have suffered, and weathered, many moments of anxiety, some more acute than others. It is, indeed, fear of the unknown: not knowing what’s in store, not knowing if I’ll be able to handle it, not knowing if I’ll get over it, not knowing how I’ll get through it, and so on. You know.

    Over the years what has helped me is remembering this: God/Source/Higher Power/Self/I AM did not bring me this far just to drop me in the gutter now. I remember all the obstacles I was able to overcome, go around, sneak under, jump over, get through and realize, from my experience, if I did it before, I can certainly do it again.

    I hold you, as always, in Love and Light! xoxoM

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  15. I think we’ve all experienced prolonged waves of anxiety from time to time. When my clinic switched over to electronic records there was so much stress involved with learning the system, trying to keep up with our appointments, not angering patients, etc. that I was in a perpetual state of anxiety. Sorry to hear you’re going through this. Hopefully after your appointment you’ll have some answers, and you can put your energy elsewhere. Good luck. I wish you well.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your own experience with anxiety, Carrie. I appreciate your well wishes. It’s always helpful to get such supportive, kind comments from my blogging friends.

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  16. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s a terrible feeling. Perhaps the neurologist will give you some piece of mind. I agree 100%, trying to diagnose yourself on the internet…bad idea.
    When I was in my early 20’s and diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I suffered a great deal with anxiety. Every time I left the house I wondered if there would be a restroom nearby…what if I couldn’t make it to a restroom? Anxiety can be debilitating, but thankfully I was able to overcome my fears and live my life.
    Wishing you the best, Lori.

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    1. Hi Jill. I can imagine your nervousness about being out and about when you were first diagnosed. My mom was recently diagnosed with something similar. I appreciate your sharing your experience, and for your thoughtful support. It helps my frame of mind to get such kind responses.

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  17. This is just me taking a shot at helpful advice, and if you know it does not apply to you, then please just smile and disregard:

    At some point, given all of the differential diagnoses that can be out there, most treatable and some self-resolving, you have to let yourself accept that you do not know and it is OK you don’t know something; then let others help you figure it out. What you can do is get good at locating, describing, and adapting to symptoms you do feel, so you can give your health care providers the most complete picture of what is happening, and what, if anything you do helps ease the symptoms. That helps them figure out where to go. Don’t overdo it, just cover what is happening, then leave it to someone else for a while and focus on some important, yet achievable goals you care about.

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    1. This is wonderful advice, Mike, and I appreciate you taking the time to put it in a comment. Once my mind starts to spiral with fear, it’s not always easy to bring it back to focus. But, I will remind myself of what MikeW said on my comment when it happens. Maybe it’ll do the trick. Thank you for your thoughtful advice.

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  18. I do think anxiety and depression are exactly linked although it’s chicken and egg syndrome. I do think anxiety no doubt manifests physically, and again it’s that chicken and egg. This is based on my own personal experience and of course everyone’s different. I think getting “doctored” is frustrating when there’s no precise diagnosis, which for me makes me turn to “google doctor” and like you only worsens the anxiety.

    Brave post and wonderful. I’m sure you can get even more personal hehe

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