A Glimpse Into My Anxiety

I thought my mental state was climbing upwards the past month.

Until last week.

Last week, anxiety revisited me and culminated in a full-blown panic attack that resulted in me pulling over on the side of a highway. Unable to continue driving, I got out and sat on the shoulder of the road, tears streaming down my face. It’s difficult to think of a time I’ve felt more weak, vulnerable, distressed and fragile all at once.

mountain road, anxiety, depressionWhile the panic attack was aggravated by the words of a passenger in the car, the anxiety had started to simmer a day or two before. I’m not sure if it was primarily of situational origin, or caused by something that changed within me in a more organic fashion. Nonetheless, in the days since, I’ve found my mind to be in a wired state of disquietude.

It’s rough.

I’m thankful that it’s not as bad as it has been in the past, but there’s still a sense of unpredictability to it that only adds fuel to the anxious fire. I can be fine one moment, then upsetting thoughts will abound the next. Small occurrences or comments, which wouldn’t normally faze me, can send me into a ball of distress where every thought thread ends in an imagined reality of catastrophe.

This is difficult to accept, especially when I’m used to being an analytical person who is generally able to keep irrational thoughts under wraps. While I had been familiar with depression in mild forms growing up, anxiety is a newer state I’ve contended with only since late 2016. It took me awhile to formally recognize it, and I’m still in the process of figuring out how best to cope when the waves of anxiety hit.

In the sensitized state that I’m in, it’s instinctual to want to avoid the triggers that could worsen my state. I feel bad about the lack of control I have over my thoughts, and in general I don’t want to really do anything, or talk to anyone besides my extremely understanding best friend.  I definitely don’t want to have another panic attack. However, I also don’t want to develop a default strategy of avoidance.

What are some strategies you use for overcoming anxiety? I want to climb out of this pit of despair before it gets too deep again, and I’d appreciate any input. Or just feel free to say hi—it never hurts to hear a reminder that you’re not alone. 

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90 responses to “A Glimpse Into My Anxiety

  1. You are NOT alone my dear! I am so sorry you had to experience this. Please know that you can get back on track……….You are really are fearless, it’s just sometimes we need to be reminded.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I feel the exact same as you but I manage to control myself and hide it but there’s sometime where I need my time alone and some music to keep it inside of me. If you ever feel like someone to talk to reach me, the best cure for this is someone to talk not precisely about anxiety but in general so if you feel like talking I’ll be here

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience! It really does help to hear “me too”. It does help to know someone else gets these feelings and struggles with these moments of debilitating anxiety.
    Some things I have learned help me are –
    1. Taking a walk and breathing in fresh air
    2. Making a list of positive things ( such as things that I am good at, things that I am grateful for, or things I have accomplished recently)
    3. Saying a prayer to my Higher Power and asking Him to calm my mind
    4. Finding a song I love on the radio and sing my heart out and even dance around a little if I am somewhere that allows me to do so

    I hope one or more of these will be useful to you! Thank you again for this post!

    Liked by 8 people

    • Hey Kristen I appreciate the time you took to share your tips with me! The word “debilitating” is a great descriptor for how I feel anxiety has been for me at times. However, it’s been very grounding to read comments like yours and I’ll keep them in mind going forward. Thank you for helping me to make my day more manageable 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • We are all in this together! The only way to get thru something is to “go thru it” we don’t have to go thru it alone tho, the more “me toos” we can find to get thru this journey of life the easier it is for us.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s distressing sometimes, how fragile you can feel without being able to pinpoint exactly what is pinning you to the ground sometimes. I feel for you and am very grateful for your words being able to put so eloquently how you are feeling. Thank you for sharing, and you are NOT alone no matter what your mind tells you. Just remember that you can make your mind feel anything- you can get yourself out of it 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Do you know what your triggers are? Mine are just … general awkward social situations, but it’s not consistent. So I find it challenging to like, prepare? Sorry you deal with panic too. ❤

    I dont' have many good coping strategies actually because my onset is so fast and it's hard to bring myself back because I dissociate too… mostly, if I can take a walk, or even just 5 minutes to myself, that can sometimes help.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Reflecting on what my triggers are is good food for thought…. I’d have to say things that remind me of bad memories from the past, or things that make me feel my current state is inadequate (eg. I’m not fully financially independent). I like that you asked, as it directs me very pointedly towards areas that I should work through.

      Those are things that I sometimes do too when I have a sudden onset of anxiety. Breaking away from the situation is a way to get my feet back on the ground. Thank you for the reminder ❤

      Like

  6. I have been in the same place that you have been! My parents were not able to help me and some of my friends thought of it as a joke! What you need is something to focus on! Or if you have to much going on say you have no time for yourself then you need to make some. Focus on one thing on your list of things to do and then slowly start erasing them by achieving them! Then add so “you” time! One of the most common ways to get stressed is you have no time to relax and that is what I believe you have. During that time do meditation or read a good book are stress drawing or like you just did write! Get a journal or a diary and just start writing down your feelings! I will be posting a “stress” and “anxiety” blog on my blog channel soon! I hope these tips helped you! Best of luck on your journey if you need anything just tell me I am always open to help people! You are in my prayers!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for your input and positive thoughts! I’m sorry you went through this but I’m glad to hear it sounds like you’re now on the other side. Having a support system has been very helpful for me. I also plan to take the day for just “me” and do some of those things you mentioned. Thanks again and good luck with developing that content 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You need to know that you’re not alone!! First of all, you have all these followers that care about you. I know it doesn’t feel the same when it’s on the internet but you should know that it’s still a real connection. Know that you can reach out whenever you want, there are millions of people out there dealing with the same stuff, you are NOT alone.

    Liked by 5 people

    • It’s been incredibly helpful for me over the past day to get comments like this and receive such support! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and remind me of things that are easy to forget when anxiety strikes. Hope you have a fantastic day ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi – thank you for your honesty and your willingness to be so real. Although I have not experienced anxiety to the depths that some have – I have found myself dealing with it more and more lately. It makes such a different knowing we are not alone. You are not alone.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Catherine, I appreciate your comment. It’s humbling to know that my words are reaching others and that they make someone feel a little less lonely. I hope you will find ways to keep the anxiety minimal. Wishing you well.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel you! I can be fine for weeks and then BLAMO! Like yesterday. For no reason. Was just there like an uninvited party guest. I went straight to my couch after work and then bed extra early. Today I am back to just being my weird self 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Hi! I am so sorry you’re struggling with overwhelming anxiety, I know how difficult and debilitating it can be. I read a book a few years ago that drastically helped me with anxiety and mental illness, it’s called “Start Where You Are” by Pema Chodron and I highly recommend it! Practicing yoga really helps a lot as well, because it helps me to check in with myself when intense thoughts and feeling arise and sort out what’s going on, and thus helps me process them. It also helps me move energy that gets “stuck” which causes a lot of my anxiety. Lots of light and love your way, you’re not alone! Hang in there!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for your comment and the book suggestion! I’ll check it out. Every now and then I keep hearing people praise yoga and just keep putting off making the time for it. It’s going to get moved up the priority list though! Despite this setback I think I’m still moving upwards overall, and it has been so inspiring to read comments like yours. Sending some love back your way ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • I hope you like the book! Yoga has been wonderful for me and has helped me heal a great deal, I’ll bet you’d like it! 😊 I love your positive attitude about your having a difficult situation with anxiety; I agree wholeheartedly that setbacks do not unmake the positive steps we take to propel ourselves forward. Focusing on our progress rather than getting discouraged does tremendous work in helping us keep moving in the direction we want to go in, you are doing a terrific job it seems like! Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your positive words with us!

        Like

  11. I can relate so much with this. It’s so hard putting up with all that every single day. As of now, I am under a heavy spell of anxiety, I have my exams coming up but I don’t really know what I am supposed to do. I usually talk to my best friend, but these past few days she’s been distant and that in itself is causing me to feel anxious. What if it’s me that’s making her all gloomy and shit? Sorry for this long ass comment but what usually calms me down, is good music and a proper conversation with myself. I go ‘I observe that I am feeling anxious when this happens’ and it helps a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your comment! I think having mindfulness as you suggested, and being able to label the thoughts as “anxious”, is a good practice to develop. I’m sorry you’re going through a rough spell right now, but I encourage you to stay strong. Focus on just a few things at a time and work through each thing little by little. Focusing on getting myself to a better place mentally is always a good place to start when there are challenges happening in a relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s interesting how you’re calling it “climbing out of the pit”, too. Describes that state so perfectly and it’s been my personal term for it from the start (I think around 2012 when I had been unemployed since 2011 after my first job, living at my parent’s house again, having a difficult relationship with my father as always. To make it short I just wanted to feel normal, have a job and my own money and my own appartment.. and was really struggling to change things for the better)

    That attack while driving sounds really dangerous, makes me almost glad, it usually hits me at home. I’m always trying to be strong in public, doing good work at work, and not annoying my parents with it when I visit them because they never understood and I’m so over it, trying to make them understand.

    Coming from your comment on my post, I know you read my tips and hope it works for you. Avoiding Triggers is a great thing. Unfortunately I do not have any tips to cope with it when it hits 😦 but it’s been a while now since my last attack, so it seems, it’s working for me having a cosy home and trying to collect as much positive energy as possible for the “bad times”

    Much love and positive vibes 🙂 stay strong!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

      I’m happy the metaphor resonates with you… it has been such a deep pit, but I am grateful to truly feel like I’ve made significant progress climbing upwards (despite setbacks like this one).

      The driving could have turned into a dangerous situation, which is why I felt I needed to stop being at the wheel, even if it was really strange to be pulled over like that. At one point in time some random stranger pulled by and asked if I was ok/needed help, which was really heart-warming and helped to ground me some. Sometimes just those little acts of kindness can make such a difference to someone. I’m sorry your own parents have not been able to understand what you’ve dealt with; I unfortunately know what it’s like to not receive that understanding from someone close to you, too.

      I’m glad to hear that things sound like they’re going better for you. Surrounding myself with positive energy has been something that has made a real difference for me too. Thanks for the encouragement and positivity, sending it back your way 🙂

      Like

  13. You’re not alone! I’m afraid I can’t really relate because I have very limited experience with anxiety, but I do understand how terrifying lack of control can be, especially of yourself. I’m so, so sorry you have to go through that! But just the fact that you recognise that strategic avoidance of any possible triggers isn’t a good longterm solution and are fighting to not fall into that pattern shows what a courageous person you are. I wish you all the strength, determination and soft, fluffy blankets you need!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. It really depends on the anxiety level, why I am anxious, and how strongly it has effected me. Many times I read, or listen to music, recently I started writing, but other times I will just let my tears flow, face every feeling and let myself feel it completely, breathe, take a nap, and start fresh when I wake up. Or take an anxiety pill and go to bed.lol.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I definitely find that having a good cry is a great release. Just sucks when it feels completely beyond your control and you’re not in the comfort of your bed, lol

      Like

  15. I tend to use the 5 senses, What do I see, What do I smell, What do I hear, What am I touching. Slow deep breathing..inhale and then exhale. Prayer. Essential oils always nearby. These “go too’s” seem to help me. And when these don’t help, once I come down from the anxiety attack, I really try to practice self-love, grace and gratitude, realizing that sometimes its really ok…not to always be ok.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You are loved and you are never alone.

    Thank you for being willing to share your struggle with the world. You have more strength than you know.

    When it comes to how I deal with anxiety:

    1. I listen to music. Musics helps me feel better in a number of ways; it comforts me, or gives me an outlet for my current negative thoughts and feelings.

    2. I recommend time spent in peace and quiet, alone with your thoughts. Prayer/meditation. That helps me to make sense of my tumultuous mind.

    3. I create things. Specifically: I write stories. Creating a piece of art — doing what I can to add some beauty to this world — helps me to appreciate my place on this little blue planet.

    4. I’m practicing being a model for a local art class. Remaining still for minutes at a time, nude, has been a humbling experience, and given me courage.
    Though I haven’t been nude in the presence of others yet, If I’m willing to do that, I feel like I can do just about anything.
    Alone in your room, pose nude and hold that pose for as long as you are able to; I believe it can help.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It seems that I missed replying to your post! I’m sorry about that but I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and leave me with some ideas for how to deal with my own anxiety. Number 3 specifically has been quite helpful for me over the past week; I’ve enjoyed spending more time with my photography and also writing here on my blog. I’m curious about your thought process behind posing nude – does it help because it gets you more in tune with what it feels like just to exist in your own skin, without anything to hide behind? Something along those lines?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You aren’t alone! I’ve been there many times. When I am in the middle of an anxious time, I don’t like to be around too many people at one time. However, it is important to not be alone. I try to find ways to spend time with those close to me (my mom, husband, best friend) so that I can get out of my own mind for a bit without being overwhelmed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it! Getting out of my own head is something I need to work on, and finding good company is certainly a way to help achieve that. Wishing you less anxious days ahead ❤

      Like

  18. I’ve been there, you aren’t alone.
    Everyone experiences life differently. For me writing, reading, photography, hiking in the forest are a few things that work for me.
    My best advice is try things you enjoy doing when you’re doing well, I find that clinging to my hobbies helps me stay somewhat grounded while my life feels like it is in complete turmoil from my anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I appreciate your comment. I enjoy all those hobbies you mentioned too, especially photography. That’s actually one thing that consistently gets me out the door and into nature – sometimes I will set my alarm just for sunrise and peak out the window. If it looks promising then out the door I go, looking for a vantage point to photograph the sky from.

      I think your overall piece of advice-to immerse yourself in your hobbies-is a very sound one that I will continue to deploy. Thank you for the extra dose of motivation!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. For me, especially recently where I have been struggling financially, I’ve had to force myself to take time out for myself. That was the hardest thing– breaking out of the mindset that I was “failing” but not spending every waking hour trying to work.

    The anxiety and depression have been background figures, slowly creeping up until they suddenly feel overwhelming. I like to just take a day, or even a couple hours where I can, and do something relaxing. I especially like just going out and walking around or hiking– just last week, I went with a friend to the zoo, just because I felt like it, and it’s done wonders for me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You touch on something that I’ve also thought, which is that other areas of our life continue to suffer if we don’t address the root problem and take the time to truly straighten ourselves out. I think it’s smart that you have stepped back from work despite financial pressures, as I think that will ultimately allow you to return back to the financial game with more strength and determination.

      Spending time in nature does wonderful things for me as well. I hope you keep finding those moments for yourself and continue climbing upwards 🙂 all the best.

      Like

    • I think it’s one of those things that can be hard to truly understand unless you’ve lived with it yourself. You’re right, it can really take control if you don’t step in to mitigate it. I hope you figure out ways that cope which work for you 🙂

      Like

  20. Hey there 🙂 I’m a few days behind the eight ball here but I wanted you to know (along with everyone else) you are most certainly not alone. #1 God is with you (believer or not, He’s always there). #2 Well, I’ll be your #2 (and it looks like from reading some above comments, I’m not the only one that is willing to be here for you). I used to suffer from anxiety attacks, moments where I felt that I couldn’t catch my breath; I also used to have horrifying “visions” or glimpses. In hind sight, to me, it is moments like these that I’d now call Spiritual Attacks. Christian or not, we’re all linked to God through the Holy Spirit and our enemy will take every effort to sever that link. Personally, God gave me freedom. Are you a Christian? Either way, I’d love to pray with you! I utilize the Bible App by YouVersion right on my phone. It offers daily scriptures along with thousands of devotionals by topic, such as Anxiety. If you check it out, make sure to connect with me! Oh and “Follow the Ripple” – I think you’d really enjoy today’s writing. And I truly hope that you not only see but feel (no matter where you are in the world) how much you are cared for. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” – 1 Peter 5:7.
    With Love in Christ,

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Bekah thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your message a lot, even if I’m not currently Christian. I grew up with little exposure to religion and would identify with being agnostic, but I have actually discovered an interest in learning about Christianity recently and had decided (before reading your post) a few weeks ago that I would read the Bible. But I hadn’t figured out yet how to make the time for it. Thank you for bringing up the Bible App; I actually downloaded it on my phone and have started perusing it. It’s nice to connect with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so beautiful! I’m happy to have provided you with the tools to learn more about freedom in Christ. We can connect through the Bible App as well and study devotionals together, if you’d like. Search for me 😉 Have a beautiful day!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I am so fascinated by the way anxiety undermines our whole world. It affects us on a personal and private level and it influences our world on a public and diplomatic level. In my experience working at a mental and behavioral health care facility with addiction services, the majority of addiction illnesses are rooted in anxiety. So thankful we are talking about this and that you are raising awareness. We need to find healthy ways of treating our anxiety before we turn to less healthy alternatives and I really appreciate the ideas people are sharing here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Comments like yours help to reaffirm my commitment to keeping up this blog! I am so happy to read your response to what I wrote and agree that more awareness needs to happen. I really didn’t expect this post to engage so many people, but clearly anxiety touches many. Thanks for leaving a comment and I hope you are having a wonderful day!

      Like

  22. Just saying Hi.
    It is hard to express the sadness your comments bring, but the pride in the responses to your dilemma, from those that you will never meet, but wish to help you in your times of trouble.
    We at least, and at last live in a world that is open to discussion on the many types of mental illness that affects the human population. Hopefully this will bring understanding, and this is helped by individuals like yourself, that are brave enough to poke this particular bear.
    I do not know if this will help, but I gain happiness not only from the good that is most humans, but the beauty that surrounds us within the natural world, Be it the glories of colours in the skies throughout the day, to an individual note of a song bird as I listen with my eyes closed
    I hope you find the inner piece that you know doubt disserve, and have a full life where the sad times are few and the happy are many.
    We all deserve to live, love, laugh, and yes though it seems to be controversial here cry.
    Hope all will be well

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey there and thanks for dropping by! I liked reading what brings you joy in your day, as noticing the simple goodness around us is something that I know I start to struggle with when I am bogged down by anxious thoughts. I think that what we aim at is what we tend to see, so in this case it makes sense to try to calibrate my mindset to aiming to see the good in situations. I too love to get out in nature, particularly at sunrise (when I can wake up for it haha), looking up at the sky, and noticing the details in my natural surroundings. Thank you for your well wishes; sending some positivity back your way 🙂

      Like

  23. Wow. Your words are so powerful and moving. I too am struggling to get out of my viscous downwards spiral. Please know that you are not alone, and this community supports you. If you ever need someone please just reach out x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your words and support so much. Thank you for saying hello and joining me here! It’s hard to stop the momentum once you’re falling but I’ve found that the first step in doing so is identifying the problem in the first place and displaying the desire to solve it (which I believe that you’re doing). That may sound super obvious but at the same time it can be overlooked. Keep on going and reconnecting with the strength I know you have in there ❤

      Like

  24. Hi – Like many here know how hard it can be – all I’d say is you’re doing the right thing by getting it out, facing up to it and above sharing. I’ve spent too many decades in denial thinking I can cope when I clearly couldn’t. Even stays in hospital didn’t sink home. I’m now off work long term (3 months already) having crashed again but his time am facing up to it and sharing. Again like many I believe strongly in natural cures, yoga, positive thinking and walks in nature and the like but this time have given into medication – suspect it depends on how debilitating your anxiety is? This time actually listened to a good friend who came with me to my GP as my voice. Meds for depression and anxiety have a bad press but given time they do work – too many judge them by the initial effect. Not great at first but after around 6-8 weeks starting to settle and the meds are giving me the ability to reflect more calmly and explore where I’m at and give me the space to this time working to find a solution… take care and don’t above isolate yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your encouragement, and for sharing part of your story with me! I hear a lot of strength from you. You have certainly dealt with illness that has hit you hard, but it sounds like you are taking those proper steps now to get at the root of things and really overcome it. I’m glad that medication has worked for you. In my case, the couple brushes with antidepressants I had made no difference, but anyway I am thankful to be able to say that I am nowhere near as in bad of a spot as I was a year ago and I think I’m making headway with natural remedies. However there’s still those blips of time where things take a step back, such as what I outlined in my post. This morning I woke up determined to do my best to make this week better than the last couple, and overall I’m very excited about the future and recovery. Thanks once again and I wish you well in your journey! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. That was Awesome!! Gives you such an eye openning reflection of what anxiety actually is and how it affects us as people. Also two things that have really helped me, listenning to instrumental music (This will detsroy you & if these trees could talk) among others. And goinh for a walk (always Awesome) third would be going to Church, I never use to have self-esteeem or confidence and I use to hate myself a lot. But jesus changed my life and changed a lot of things 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! I’m glad you’ve found some strategies that work for you. #2 I really enjoy and should probably do more of… #3 is something I am currently exploring. I appreciate your perspective (including what you said in your second comment) and will keep that in mind 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  26. I read most of the comments and it seems like you have a wide range of people who have been where you are now and would like to help. I think I speak for all of us when I say feel free to reach out to anybody that has commented here! I believe that if we got through it, you can too! Good luck my dear friend!
    Here is my Instagram
    makayla .runyon23

    Liked by 3 people

    • I appreciate your comment! Thankfully I have started improving since writing this post and already I feel like I’ve made progress when I look back at this. It is a continual process though. I believe that everything will be ok in the end though 🙂

      Like

  27. I perfectly undestand you. I am in a therapy which is helping me to take control of this situation. The rules more or less are:
    1. Acceptance. Say to you, ‘ok, I feel anxiety, it’s normal in me but this is not controls me’
    2. Breathe deeply and focus on your breath.
    3. Separate yourself from that thought and do something that distracts you. Do not let the thought of anxiety fill your thoughts.
    4. Do whatever you have to do. You must take control of yourself, not your
    5. When you can practices mindfulness, at least one a day. It’s the best way to take away this invasive thoughts of your mind. The more you practice it, the best effects you’ll have.

    I know it isn’t easy. I am with this feeling over two years, but if you try doing this, bit a bit you’ll you will manage your panic attacks.
    Luck and strength!

    Liked by 1 person

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