In light of the recent tragedy with Kate Spade, I am finally pushing myself to publish a piece on a topic that I’ve went back and forth on since we started blogging. A glimpse into my normal life with anxiety.
I’ll start by saying that life is hard. It doesn’t matter the amount of money, friends, or fancy things you surround yourself with. With social media and pretty filters, it’s easy to feel like everyone around you is living a better life.
See this picture right here…this is the picture of a happy mom, who has a great family, amazing friends, the best job, more things than I could ever want. You know what you can’t see is I also have anxiety and panic attacks.
Behind the beautiful photographs I have my own battles that I have been struggling with for years. A few years ago I was in a car accident that was followed by hundreds of doctor visits, two years of physical therapy, plus debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. I wasn’t embarrassed to tell anyone about my new life with vertigo and post concussion syndrome BUT telling people I had anxiety and panic attacks wasn’t something I didn’t wanted to talk about.
Because no one wants to talk about thing like anxiety or depression.
If you know me you’d probably describe me as outgoing, sarcastic, funny – none of the words that would come to my mind when I think of someone with panic attacks. Until it was me.
I am going to give you a glimpse into how bad it can be, and to let you know how much your friends and family need your kind words and understanding. Some of my worst days…
My first panic attack in public.
I was finally ready to return to work – that was until I got to my office and felt a rush of dizziness, followed by feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I immediately drove myself (bad idea) to the emergency room. After a few quick checks they knew what was happening.
PANIC ATTACK , just a panic attack. Wait, are you sure I’m not dying?I don’t think so I’m not nervous about going to work?
They didn’t want me to drive home so who was I to call? My fiancé was out of town and I didn’t think my parents would understand because I’m clearly stronger than a silly panic attack. Ahhh my best friend, she’s mentioned anxiety before. Just like that, 10 minutes later she was there by my side between tears and laughs, I survived the day.
My day job is in outside sales so that requires me to be in front of clients happy and confident – which is no problem until you start having panic attacks ha. My next public attack, at a school district doing an on-site walk-thru. The feeling hits again. Slowly I try to fight it but can’t! I run out of the building crying! Yes.
I mentioned fiancé earlier, so that means all the wedding activities with my new found “issue” that I was still trying to keep a secret. Here I am with 30 of my closest friends that gave up a weekend to celebrate with me. We are out to dinner, the sweating and dizziness, it won’t stop. Onto our next stop and I finally give up I have to leave. Don’t worry I had plenty of volunteers to leave with me even if they didn’t fully understand what was going on.
Asking my best gal to come to a comedy show with me that I was dying to see. Then making her leave with me 5 seconds into the show….another panic attack for no an unknown reason. Like a true friend she brushed off leaving the show and only cared about how I was doing.
Surround yourself with people like the people that have been by my side and life is so much better. Be a person like these people and make someone else’s life better.
These are just a few of the hardest public moments I tried to fight thru. There were countless other times that my now husband would sit with me shaking and crying on the couch when an attack would come on for no reason.
No reason at all.
It wasn’t that I was feeling scared in any of these moments…this was my normal life before. This is why I was so confused why am getting panic attacks if I’m not feeling anxious. Talk about a mind f**k.
Sometimes it seemed like the end. What if I lose my fiancé, my career, my friends? It was like I was constantly disappointing everyone and my life was no longer normal. Truth is this was just going to be my new normal so I could let it take over or I could stand up to it.
Standing up didn’t mean trying to fight it anymore or trying to hide it. I needed to get help. After talking to a professional and getting some much needed medical things got easier it wasn’t immediately but now a few years later I’m shocked to think back on the hardest times.
My biggest social change is I don’t mind telling people i have anxiety. The typical reaction yeah I have anxiety, but I’m an outgoing person. They don’t sound like they mix but they do.
Why is it that we hide things that we aren’t causing. I was done hiding years ago. I don’t want anyone else to hide either because the truth is that you aren’t alone, but you mind need to be your own biggest advocate and get help.
My story doesn’t end here it grows and changes as my life did. Becoming a mom changed things and brought on new challenges, but knowing how to manage and get help is the key.
tips on how to live with anxiety and help panic attacks
You are not alone and you will not die from this
Take a deep breathe in for 4 seconds , hold for 7 seconds and release for 8 – repeat
Drink a cold glass of water
Go to a wide open space that isn’t hectic
Call, text, or go to someone close that you can talk to
Don’t feel alone or defeated please reach out if you need help
XO – Lindsay