I have been harboring a secret detail of my ongoing life. A detail that might come in helpful to you my three readers. I don't know why I have been holding this piece of information hostage from you. I don't know why I haven't shared it, maybe it is because I was scared and nervous. Maybe I feared judgment. Maybe I was afraid that sharing this detail would come back and hit me hard in my face. Sharing something means you have to follow through. My rebellious nature makes me sluff off those things that are expected of me. Putting anything on my blog is equivalent to an expectation.
So my secret...
I am off my anxiety medicine.
Can I get a Scooby Doo "HUH?"
I am guessing some people knew, like my mom. And my sister.
The thing is I wasn't really feeling better on them. Sure I would have a few good weeks, then the shoe dropped.
Or the intense anxiety beyond what I felt when I was not on the pills.
Or the feeling of wanting to take my fingers and rip the skin right off my skull.
Not the best feelings in the world.
The worst of it was certain behaviors frightened me, mostly my complaisant feelings to alcohol. Don't get me wrong having a drink now and then is fine. But when it is everyday, more then one drink and you have a predisposition to alcoholism you have to really watch your drinking behavior. Having the anxiety made me hyper aware of my predisposition. I was watchful of what I drank and how much. Not having that feeling, I started drinking and drinking more. Till the empty wine bottles started adding up. I was making mid-week "more MORE, gotta have some" runs to the store.
What I want is to feel better.
What I want is to work through my feelings not placate them.
What I want to feel good without feeling dependent on something.
My anxiety is not something that will disappear on it's own. It might be something I will have to deal with the rest of my life.
It has been a bumpy couple of months. I have had to work on a bunch of stuff. Find what works for me. Finding real coping mechanisms that will help me through all this shit.
I have had the occasional anxiety attacks. I have had that hopeless feeling. I still struggle.
What am I doing to help? Here are somethings that work for me.
Doing busy work. Knitting, crafting. When anxiety hits I find something to do. If the feeling is still there after my busy work I sit down and try to work through it. Mostly the feeling goes away. I find dumping that nervous energy into something positive it works itself out. If the anxiety sticks I work my feelings out. I ask myself...
1. What am I anxious about?
2. Why am I feeling this way?
3. What can I do to help myself feel less anxious?
Okay it isn't that easy, there are a lot of steps that go into it.
An example of an anxious feeling I am having now.
What I am feeling: I am anxious about the kids school conferences. What if they are not doing as good as I think they are? What if there is something that will hinder them in the future?
Why am I feeling this way: I know this all stems from walking into my first IEP meeting 3 years ago with Nolan. I thought everything was okay. My kid was fine. Having an authority figure tell me differently was a blow.
Walking into room again with a person of authority is nerve-wrecking still. There is an unsettling feeling I might walk into the situation again.
What can I do to help myself? I can make a list of each child's strengths and things I think they need to work on. Work with teachers to develop goals. Don't think of the things I wasn't expecting to hear as bad news, think of it as things we need to work harder on.
Of course the anxious feeling doesn't go away entirely. I am constantly using my steps as a reminder, I have to do this a few times before I get to comfortable. It is hard work. It is not easy. And really I don't think it should be.
The most importantly thing is I need to talk about how I feel. It helps tremendously. This weekend I was feeling nervous about something at my moms, I sat down started knitting and was telling my mom about what I was feeling. She shared in my feelings, she helped me work through them. I knew I wasn't alone. Just knowing someone else had been there and got through it was a great comfort.
This will be a journey. An LONG journey. One though I am committed to.
Thanks for listening.