LIVING WITH ANXIETY

It’s as if my mind refuses to process any information that is displeasing as if it erects a wall to any kind of negative vibes that comes my way and when I try to push through my heart races and my mind blurs, my body yearns for more oxygen and my lungs suddenly shrinks, tightens and cannot keep up with the demand and by know I get a full panic attack and blackout.

As a child I never knew what was happening to me all I remember is being given some sniffing salts which would kind of  calm my breathing and I would slowly regain my conscious  and I would be sent home with a bit of some advice, you are a child you should not be stressed. Stay away from stress. What is stressing you? Mostly the blame would be put on education. What I do remember is no one quite explained to me what was happening with my body. My parents would tell me not to think about their issues because they were grown up and that was their life, but how could I not while I was there through it all?

As I grew up I learned how to block away feelings and thoughts that would make me sink deep into myself and I stopped asking myself a lot of what ifs. By the time I was finishing up my primary education I had mastered the art of burying my feelings by reading a lot, playing a lot and eating lots of sweets( my poor teeth still paying the price for this). By the time I was joining high school I knew one thing, I never wanted to stand out from the crowd and so I cruised through high school just doing the bare minimum to keep me from failing. I stayed away from trouble because by know I had realized that conflict, being on the wrong and punishments were one of the major triggers for my episode.( which still I had not discovered what they were). I finished high school with ought an episode of black outs and the future I was looking forward to seemed closer and closer.

I self diagnosed myself with anxiety back in campus after my symptoms started reappearing. By now I was familiar with anxiety and panic attacks thanks to my extensive reading habits. Back then I was struggling with school, I was floating through some coarse units and failing them which was something new, I had some boy troubles(independence hurray), and no one to talk to, I was struggling with my identity and this was one topic that was kind of a taboo with my mother. Luckily I was grown enough and wise enough to do my own research on how to deal with anxiety. I started writing and performing poetry as a way of expressing myself; at night when my anxiety would get worse I would work on my pencil drawings and knitting. I discovered performing theatre and film making, I discovered karaoke and I had no time to entertain my anxiety. My life was going on smoothly. If I had Boy trouble I sang out loud during Karaoke and I would go home singing next please, if I had parent drama or identity crises I would pen down my feeling in a poem and recite it and we would discuss my sentiments with the community of poetry lovers that I had created.

One thing I always wanted for me no matter what my experience was growing up was a family. I was raised to go get that job, houses and cars first but in my mind I knew family was coming first if the opportunity ever presented itself. I always choose to see the good in people and even if I heard over and over again how men are dogs I choose to believe there has to be that one loyal dog so I never gave up. I had my shares of disappointments, I broke or two but I never gave up.  When it finally happened it brought with it its own share of challenges. First he was not from my tribe and this brought some conflicts with it which was so far my number one trigger, second we were both still not financially stable. Then came the twins and they unleashed the biggest triggers. For the first time I had to go back to really on somebody else financially. After campus I had become financially independent and I was loving it till the twins came; the idea of asking for credit from someone else made my heart race and not in a good way. Then with financial worries came the thoughts of leaving my kids with a nanny and if you know me you know my nanny stories (Still gathering the courage to share, forget the twins keeping me up! Luckily I got through that without a melt down and luckily I had a support system that understood me and had my back till all my kids joined school. I had to accept my financial situation and do with what I had but being broke was way much easier than leaving my babies with somebody else.

Current situation, my anxiety is worse than before it is becoming harder to control myself but I am not giving up yet. See parent dramas, Check. Childhood traumas, check. Financial crisis, Check. Anxiety traumas left right center, check. Rona messing up on all the plans one had pre_Rona, Check. But in all this I am learning that a support system is something very important. If you have somebody who can listen to you, it is very important to let your heart out. There are things that currently I cannot write about and share(one day I might) but if you have a community that understands what you are going through and you can talk to them go on and let those words pour out. If you are in a position to pay for a therapist go on and do it, Stretch out on that couch and open up. Also let those tears flow it works even if it’s just for a while. Personally I know the worst I can do is let myself sink into that dark hole called depression. Today we live to fight another day. Earth is hard, they keep saying but if you are self aware you will be the one telling your survival story.