Since I am unfortunately no longer on anti-anxiety meds I have been using various other resources and ideas to keep from having panic attacks. I get my ideas from a wide variety of sources; the Internet, Barnes and Noble, Oprah, other blogs, magazines, yoga, and friends’ advice.
Several techniques seem to help, but one in particular has shown dramatic improvement in my stress levels. And, since I promised to share some methods that have helped me, here’s my number one…
This blog. Or more accurately…being open and honest with all of you.
It’s so simple, since I’ve dropped my cloak of shame, threw out the guilt, and started publicly writing about my “excited outbursts”, my panic attacks have been dwindled down to practically nothing. Who knew it was so easy! Not me, I was afraid this would cause more fear and panic.
I was so scared for most of my life to admit to anyone that I had a problem. I felt like I was losing my mind and I was terrified people would judge me. I didn’t want to be thought of as crazy or unstable, or for people to think less of me.
I think I come off as a pretty stable, happy person. I’m pretty sure responsible, hardworking, and creative are common words people would use to describe me, and I didn’t want that to change.
So I wrote my first two blog posts months before I posted them. I read them almost daily. I made fiance read them to assure me I didn’t come off as crazy or whiney.
When I finally got the courage to press “publish”, I just looked at fiancé and asked “did I just make a huge mistake?”. Do I really want this public??? I hadn’t even shared this with some of my closest friends… What the hell did I just do?!
The responses I soon received proved that I had not made a mistake. Several people messaged me, called me, or commented with nothing but encouraging and supportive words. I was shocked by the positive messages I received. Such. Kind. Words.
I cannot describe to you the relief I felt. Not only have I become honest with myself, but with everyone, and no one seems to think less of me! And if they do, they’ve kept it to themselves. Even if someone judges me now, I don’t care. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and I feel like a new, healthier, happier, honest person.
But, more than be accepted by my peers, I’ve connected with several others who have the same problems, and can relate and understand what a panic attack feels like, the shame that follows, and the strength needed to carry on. I’ve met people through their own “anxiety” blogs, and through others who read my blog and shared their own stories of high anxiety. I even discovered that a co-worker of mine suffers with frequent panic attacks! All of these people have been inspiring, and have encourage me to continue doing what I’m doing.
All this time I assumed people would think of my anxiety attacks as a weakness, a drama queen trait, or just whining. Now I have a whole community (or maybe a neighborhood) of awesome strong people who assure me I am none of these things.
In the future I hope to meet and get to know more of you who live a life effected by “excited outbursts”. Maybe we can all get together one day, share anti-anxiety meds, and go sky diving, or just walk past a hospital in my case.
I hope this inspires others to be open with their own trials or tribulations. It’s been absolute therapy for me.
Thank you all!