Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When Life Is Hard

I've been debating whether to blog this or not. Not because it's a secret, but just because the bloggy world seems a bit over saturated with mental health sometimes.

I have always been an anxious person. Wired in the genes, I suspect, because Sierra has definitely inherited it. For many reasons, the anxiety has been building over the last 2 years or so though. Until recently, when I recognized that I was near panic anytime I left the house and starting to come up with reasons not to go anywhere. That I no longer had a butterflies in the stomach feeling I could ignore, I was now so nervous I was getting physically ill. And that's when I knew I wasn't going to be getting through this one on my own.

So I went to the doctor. She wanted me to try zoloft. That was BAD. Way, way, way, way bad. Definitely not the drug for me. I had every side effect possible and the anxiety ramped up ten-fold. I was completely non-functional for days. It was terrible and I was terrified to try anything else. And that's when I knew I wasn't going to be getting through this by popping a pill (which had seemed so easy before I tried it).

So I went to a therapist that came highly recommended from a friend. And she was great. She had some really good ideas for me. I enjoyed talking to her and began to feel hopeful. She assigned me homework that has been a challenge, but helpful. And that's when I knew I was going to have to work at this. Work hard. Because I deserve to enjoy grocery shopping again (it's always been my favorite). Because my family deserves to take a trip without me flipping out.

99% of the time, I do really well at home, especially if everyone else is home with me. So that's a blessing. I had a glimpse of general, all the time anxiety thanks to the zoloft and I hope I'm never in that place. But the flip side of that is 99% of the time I am away from home, I am only barely suppressing the urge to run back home. I know this is illogical. I feel really silly. I get mad at myself. Cripes, our last big road trip was only 7 months ago and I handled that just fine, so this switch being flipped is part baffling, part infuriating.

One of the biggest helps lately was a reminder on a blog I read frequently to just play. Several months ago I made several different sized hula hoops and started trying to teach myself some of the tricks I've seen this lady do on her blog. Her post was a reminder to just get up and do something. Now when I'm nervously anticipating an outing I have to make, I jump up and take the kids outside for some hoop time. If the anxiety sticks around a little while longer, I may just figure out how to roll the hoop from one hand to the other across my back.


Tamara said...

I'm sorry you are going through this. I'm glad you've found something that works for you. I appreciate you posting this. I have mild anxiety that certainly runs in my family. I went through a period of time years ago where I was having pretty frequent panic attacks. Although I haven't experienced those in years, I do sometimes get anxiety ridden over nothing. I know running helps me. Thanks for sharing!

Big Fat Gini said...

Proud of you for putting this out there, friend! Hang in there!

And, you're gonna have to teach me to hula hoop. At the very least, it'll be cheap entertainment.

Rachel said...

I have struggled with anxiety most of my life, but thankfully, it has only been really bad as an adult when I am postpartum. I am so sorry you are going through this, and I hope you continue making strides. Could you do a hooping clinic for the homeschool kids? I think it would be a blast!

The Hills said...

Ooh that would be fun! I don't know enough to teach anything though, I wonder if anyone else is around that does stuff like that? I've just been finding tutorial videos through a hooping group in Austin.


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