If there was a way to punch anxiety in the face 18 times in a row, I would do it.
I wanted to write this piece this week because my anxiety has been a little more frequent lately and it’s frustrating as heck. Sometimes anxiety feels nonexistent, and sometimes it feels as though it will never leave.
Last December, when I finally decided to get professional help for my anxiety, I was so hopeful. Being beyond ready for it, I knew it would take a couple of months to be okay again. I naively thought that I as I got help it would just go away naturally.
Clearly I was wrong.
I still can’t help but be so frustrated that I still have to deal with anxiety, sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes I go weeks without any anxiety at all, and then it pops up out of nowhere.
Our lives have been busy as of recent; getting settled into our new house, painting, meeting new friends, going out to do things, family visiting, and random things here and there. I am excited that life feels “normal” here but this last month was not easy.
Anxiety made itself very present the last month. Sometimes I am okay with that and sometimes I am not. Right now I’m not. I feels like I have been fighting it for so long and its not an easy win. Having learned about different copping skills, breathing patterns, and thought techniques, it’s hard not to fight it when it comes. I am getting better with letting the high wave of anxiety come, ride with it, and then get back to shore. This is not a once or twice a week occurrence either, this can happen five or six times within an hour. It’s absolutely exhausting.
Last weekend, when Brendan and I picked up our new golden retriever puppy, Abby, I was a wreck! I knew I would be anxious, so I prepped the night before. I wasn’t just “a little” anxious though, I was in full blown almost turn the car around I can’t do this panic mode. I was shaking, nervous, thoughts racing, telling myself I couldn’t do this, on the verge of vomiting, heart racing and more. Oh man it makes me nervous just thinking about it.
My husband held my hand in the car for a long while. I was okay, and then I wasn’t, and then I was okay… so on and so forth. In that very heightened moment of emotions it’s so hard to see anything but bad things or the “Alarm! Danger!”. Even if it’s for a super exciting event like picking up a new, fluffy, golden retriever puppy.
All of those signals were going off during the hour and a half drive to pick her up and all I could think was “My life is changing, I don’t do well with change. I can’t do this. How am I supposed to take care of a dog and a puppy all day? Is this really a good idea? Should we just give her up and not do it? Do we still have time to turn around? We spent over a thousand dollars on her, we can’t give her up. What if I really can’t do this?!?” As soon as we arrived to the place of pickup and saw our new little Abby (picture below) I was totally fine. The moment just before we pulled in, It felt like when you’re at the very top of a fast moving rollercoaster, you go down the last steep hill and are five seconds from being back in the station. All of a sudden its done and over with. That “whoosh” of fast air and you can breathe again.
Breathe in, breathe out.
I keep reminding myself that this is a journey of healing and not fighting. A journey of overcoming and not just dealing. A journey of hope and not hell. It’s a… well, journey.
No matter what you are dealing with at the moment, its okay. It will pass like a rollercoaster, even if that rollercoaster is three hours long. Do your best not to fight those feelings, but to embrace them, maybe hand them over to Jesus, and breathe through the worst parts of it. It sucks, and there is nothing easy about it, but it is possible to ride the wave.
If I can do it, trust me, anyone can.
Thank you for reading this. I always appreciate when people take time out of their day to read these words.
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Thanks for reading,
~Erin, The Short Wife