Written by: Jenny
This time, I'm gonna continue to keep it real by discussing the CONSTANT worry. About everything. All of the time. It is exhausting.
Before I get into that, I have to let you know how blown away I was by the reaction to my previous Anxiety blogs. I knew I wasn't alone. But, I had no idea HOW not-alone I am. It makes me wonder... why? Why are we all feeling these horrible things? Why are we living this way? What is causing it? Have people always struggled with Anxiety, but no one talked about it?
I have one theory. Social media and 24 hour news channels. We know EVERYTHING that happens as it happens. The good, the bad and the ugly. One biggie... health issues.
That's a HUGE anxiety trigger for me.
Maybe Cancer has always been there. Maybe the stats really haven't changed that much as to the number of people affected by it. But, on the daily, I can scroll my Facebook feed and see at LEAST five posts about someone's personal experience with it and/or their loved one's battle. It crushes my soul every time I see it. It also gets my mind racing... my heart follows. Boom. Panic mode.
At that point, I'll start over-analyzing every twinge, pull and ache. At some point thereafter, I'll Google. Well, we all know what a WebMD diagnosis leads to... DEATH. There's not a lot of in-between! It's... a virus and it'll pass within 10-14 days... OR... go to the ER because you just might have the African Sleeping Disease. (Yes. That's a thing and YES, I once self-diagnosed myself with it. 2005. After a trip to Jamaica. Don't ask.)
And here's the thing! I can laugh about this. You sense some sarcasm in some of the things I'm saying, right? But, here's the really not-funny part about it. These fears are REAL. Like, legit... I am 99.9% sure the end is near REAL. And it sucks.
Yet, for as exhausting as it is, sleep isn't the answer. Oh no! Those sneaky middle-of-the-night panic attacks are the extra-added cruel trick to an already cruel disorder.
But, as I've shared before. I am happy! I live my life - to the fullest. I'm ultra-aware of the brevity of our time on this Earth. I'm certain part of that awareness comes from the losses I've endured in my personal life. That's why I want to bring attention to Anxiety. Things can look very normal on the outside. All the while, there is constant inner turmoil.
Another huge trigger for me... any stomach issue of any kind. Watched the news just this morning and GMA had a medical person on discussing the horrible Norovirus (aka - the stomach flu) that is making the rounds... shutting down schools... so contagious. Immediate Anxiety. Part of that stems from my post-traumatic stress relating to three separate vomiting incidents that took place during my childhood (I'll spare you the details).
As a mom, this is a difficult one to navigate. Kids puke. Sorry, no other way to say it. Moms clean it up. I have a really, really, really hard time with everything about that. Yet, I love my kids more than life itself, so I do what must be done. But, I'm guaranteed a days-long Anxiety surge until everyone's well and I'm sure that I'm not gonna get it. Let the Cloroxing begin.
Speaking of mommyhood -- the list of Anxiety producing mom fears is another blog. A long one.
It's completely embarrassing to discuss my Anxiety triggers. Yet, in some way there is relief in admitting all of it out loud. It honestly sucks going from zero to death over a simple backache (maybe I just need a chiropractic adjustment!) or cramp (is it Appendicitis?) If you have Anxiety, you get what I'm saying.
I truly admire those who don't have it. I can't imagine how freeing it must be to live life 'without a care in the world'. No clue what that feels like.
Reading this, I hope you were able to find further comfort in knowing you're not alone. I know with every email, text, Facebook message and in-person conversation I've had over the last few months since sharing about my Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I have felt better.
Just 'using my story'.
To be continued.