Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I am grateful for my anxiety

Here's the thing.

I have anxiety.

Oh you do to? Cool. It's good for us not to know we're alone.

The other day I was more than burnt out. I was exhausted from my littlest not sleeping. Ever. I was overwhelmed with a to-do list and a 3 year old who need to touch me. all. the. time. And then I looked at the clock and realized it was only 11:47AM.

What the heck. It wasn't even noon.

So I tried to suck it up and go wipe the toothpaste of the mirror hoping that checking that of my list would lead to a feeling of control and stability. That's one way I manage my anxiety. I do something small, mundane, simple. It helps me see something become finished.

But this time it was too little too late. I stared at myself in the mirror and started to sob. My chest clenched up, my breathing became rapid, and I felt like I needed to throw up. To purge the anxiety from my chest. To stop the panic attack.

But I've learned my triggers. I've learned that throwing up doesn't help for more than a minute. So I yelled. I yelled at my reflection and I felt so frustrated and trapped that my feelings were having so much power over me.

I got through that panic attack. I loaded up the boys and went for a walk, so grateful for the Arizona sun.

That night and for days after I thought about my anxiety. Why I feel so controlled by it and why I hate dealing with it so much.

And I've decided that, yes I have anxiety, yes I hate it, but no, it's not a bad thing.

I love this thought.

I'm not going to say having anxiety is the best thing ever and than I hope I have it my whole life. 

Because that would be a big fat lie. 

But what I am learning is that I am stronger because I have anxiety. 

Because I have anxiety I...

Understand my limits.

Am learning to say no, rather than feel like I have to say yes to everything. 

Am really trying to be a good mom because I worry so much about being a bad mom.

Am really good at getting things done. 

Really love to bake and share it with others. 

Depend a lot on my husband. We are a good team. 

Don't want to pass this on to my kids. So I tell them they are wonderful. And that it's OK to make mistakes. 

Cry. And it is healing.

Love to be hugged. And give hugs. It helps me regroup. 

Try to make sure to tell people that they are awesome. Because I really appreciate a sincere compliment.

Am pretty darn good and budgeting and waiting till we can afford things. (Because money can make me anxious. Go figure.)

Pray. And I don't doubt that my prayers are heard. 

Try really hard to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Because when I am having a bad day I need that from others. 

When I am anxious I can become really critical. So I try to watch for that. 

Because I have anxiety I love to go for walks.

Because I have anxiety I refinish furniture as an outlet. 

Because I have anxiety I try to remember that being perfect is overrated. 

So. 

I have anxiety. 

Oh you do to? (Or depression, or OCD, etc)

Well that means you've got some kick butt-awesome traits. 

Go you! :)





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14 comments:

  1. way to go, julia! god gives is what we can handle, and he also gives us the means to learn coping mechanisms.... there is a reason i am always busy and painting furniture and doing this and that.... it's how i cope with my own issues of addictive an addictive personality. i could easily sit down and stuff my face all day and be consumed by thoughts of "not good enough" but instead i exercise, and make time to do LOTS of other things. which in the end has me feeling like i am good enough and sometimes even better.

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  2. Julia, what a great post. Thanks for being brave and sharing this. It is a real encouragement for people struggling with all kinds of different things.

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  3. Julia, thank you for sharing what you struggle with and how you have learned to overcome this obstacle. It's not easy letting people in to know these things. I struggle with being OCD and also have learned how to do deal with some my life issues and I am so very thankful I have.

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  4. I think you are amazing and I love your blog and you are gorgeous! :)

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  5. Julia, you rock. Honestly. You really make a good point that so many people don't think about....these struggles actually help make us better people, friends, parents, spouses. I have struggled with depression for many years and although it comes and goes, it can hit like a ton of bricks.

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  6. Thank you for this, and for reminding me that I'm not alone. Sometimes it's very comforting to think that a Mormon woman announcing she's dealing with depression is just about as surprising as a Mormon woman announcing that she likes chevrons.

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  7. Julia, you must know I LOVE YOU TO PIECES! Always so real, always the best friend to talk to about everything and anything. My anxiety comes in waves too, but I am learning to deal with it better. Luckily a big wave hasn't come around for almost a year. I once read an article in Reader's Digest about how Anxiety can actually be a good thing. One of things it said was people with anxiety anticipate things that others don't always and therefor can avoid mishaps, accidents, etc because we take the time to think and prepare and caution ourselves. I've decided to embrace that this is just who I am and I am learning to live it and love it while I am living it.

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  8. Julia, you are not alone! We live in a high pressure society that appears to expect perfection from us in everything. There is no perfection except for the love you feel for your family. As someone who is at the other end of the spectrum, a grandmother, I can tell you first hand that children grow quickly. You will blink and they will be gone. The toothpaste will always be there. The floors will always need attention. Don't be afraid to just enjoy the raising of your children. That is the one thing you will accomplish that will actually make a difference and be important at the end. Bless your heart.

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  9. love REAL life and REAL people - it is powerful to see others overcome. many thanks!

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  10. I have a friend that is dealing with panic attacks, but I think we all deal with anxiety on some level. I love your wise words: Try really hard to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Because when I am having a bad day I need that from others.

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  11. Hi, I just read texts on your blog and I became interested in the topic. I like your site and I am thinking whether I could use your words in my work? Would it be possible? I was about to say something on this topic. But now i can see that everything on this topic is very amazing and mind blowing.rug repair

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  12. Julia, this was tab was still open, and I am glad I clicked on it! I commented, but then something went wrong. So Karen! This is such a beautiful post. I have always loved this scripture, and I say it to myself often. Suffering from anxiety can be paralyzing. You put it into such beautiful words that taking something so challenging can be made into something that truly makes us so much stronger. I am going to remind myself that I have some kick butt life skills now too!

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  13. Having fun reading your blog. You and I blog for a lot of the same reasons, except I don't do furniture, or craft, or make anything look very cute but....the other stuff. he he he....

    This post is AWESOME! Way to put yourself out there and show people (myself included) that we are not alone...and that we are o.k.a.y.!!!

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I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments! They bring a smile to my face!