Check-in Wednesday on a Thursday

So this post was supposed to go up last night but Tumblr wouldn’t let me create any new posts. I tried several times until I came to accept that this might end up going up on Friday.

Anyway, that’s not a big deal. This post isn’t anything that won’t keep for another day.

The past week has been kind of crappy for me. I’ve had a lot of anxiety and a couple of panic attacks. I haven’t had a panic attack since June 2012, so it had been a while since I had befallen such an indignity. I can’t say for sure what has brought this on but I think it might be partly hormonal. In any case, I feel better and hopeful that this will be but a small hiccup. I have considered returning to therapy but medication still remains a last resort. I don’t deal with anxiety everyday and this attack seems to be on the out.

Anxiety will always be a part of my life but I have learned to deal with it and have become proficient. I’ve kept up my daily routine and to be honest, Diego keeps me too distracted to worry about the possibility of another panic attack.

The first time I ever experienced an anxiety attack was in 2009, I was pretty much useless for an entire week. I couldn’t eat, sleep or even go to work. It was terrible and when I think of that period in my life I am amazed at how far I’ve come. I let fear rule my life. I was convinced I was dying and the panic attacks that send my heart rate flying have landed me in the emergency room twice. My primary care physician wrote me a prescription for a beta blocker (to prevent tachycardia) and Xanax. I didn’t take either medication because a) side effects scare me more than my symptoms and b) I wanted to try therapy first. He referred me to a psychologist that I didn’t make time to see for about a year. By then I was managing to go to work and not much more. I planned my life around my anxiety. There were a lot of things that I could no longer do. I dropped out of school, a decision I was already toying with but my anxiety pushed me into. The demands of my program were already too much with a full time job. I was at a point in my life where I knew that staying the course would result in my failing the courses I was enrolled in. Things I once enjoyed became fraught with danger. I was mostly able to hide my symptoms from everybody but my husband. He was the one person who saw me at my very worst.

I got a little better then I changed jobs. My anxiety came back in full force and brought reinforcements. I didn’t understand. I loved my new job, everybody was lovely and I had a friend who already worked there. I did not understand why I was having such a hard time. One day I had such bad anxiety that I felt faint, and looked so ill that I was sent home. My friend drove me and the whole way home I played up my “sickness”. I felt like a fraud.

On another occasion I had such a bad panic attack that I called my husband at work and begged him to pick me up from work as I did not feel like I could drive. He took me straight to the doctor. The next day, as I felt the walls closing in and my anxiety threatening to take over my life I made my first appointment with my therapist. I can’t remember how long I saw her for but my life got infinitely better because I did. I still felt a little anxious from time to time but I was going out more, less afraid.

Things just kept getting better and better from then on. My anxiety is always trying to creep back in, especially when I am going someplace new, or when I am about to see a lot of people, such as a wedding etc. I love talking and socializing but the beginning is always daunting for me.

Anyway, the reason I am sharing this here is because I feel like anxiety and panic disorders need to be discussed more openly. It’s not a shameful thing. It doesn’t make you weak or stupid. These are all things I had believed about myself even though I knew better. I don’t see anything wrong with medication either. It makes lots of people’s lives better. Quality of life is important. At this point in my life I do not feel that I needed but if at some point I do then I will take it.

Now that I am a mother my anxiety is something that I don’t want to pass onto Diego, now that’s not so say that he won’t develop it later on but right now I don’t want to project it onto him. I want him to feel safe and secure. I need to be a consistent source of tranquility and peace. I know I will have setbacks, that’s life but I am choosing how to handle this. I have my husband on my team, and I am open about my struggles.

So, because I’ve felt a little off this week I have been guilty of some very lazy cooking! We’ve had frozen pizza, chicken nuggets and lots of pasta this week. Not my best effort but I have managed to keep it mostly home made and have added veggies wherever I can. I can’t remember every meal I’ve made this week but they’ve been yummy.

Tomorrow I will hopefully go do the grocery shopping I’ve been putting off as I don’t need much but we are just about out of bread and that’s a staple I can’t do without. We also need produce.

I haven’t managed to exercise much this week beyond a couple of walks and some yoga I started doing. We’ve had a little bit of rain that I can blame for not getting out there and walking. Next week will be better.