Wow it’s been a while since I have written a post. Writing is always such a creative outlet for me. It’s a place for me to share my thoughts, feelings, and stories of my life. My intention each time I write is to not perfect the writing, but to allow the words to come as they flow out of my finger tips.
So with that on the table, let talk Anxiety and Depression.
Mental health has been at the forefront of news in society this year. I’ve come across endless articles online, posted on social media and a few great meme’s on IG. Fun fact: 300 million people world wide suffer from depression. Women are affected by depression more than men (World Health Organization, 2018). Another fun fact: Anxiety affects 40% or more of adults 18+ every year (ADAA, 2017-2018).
This Fall will mark 1 year ago when I first started experiencing anxiety that led to feeling depressed. Trembling hands and body shakes would meet dark, gloomy, heavy clouds each morning I woke last October. Driving to work I would have a pounding chronic headache that wrapped around the front of my brain like a headband. The headache would last from the moment I got out of bed, to the moment my head hit the pillow at night.
At the peak of the crippling shakes and head pain, I had a lump in my throat that pulsed throughout the day and was sore to the touch. I interpret this pulse as a language my body was using to communicate to me that I was not speaking up for myself. Boundaries and emotions kept suppressed deep down in my throat chakra manifested into the throat pain.
My left eye developed this uncomfortable and foreign twitch in the corner of my tear dux. My body felt so incredibly heavy and my mind…wow had I become afraid of it. I remember there was about a 2 week span of time when it felt like every 30 minutes I thought my world was going to shatter. That I wouldn’t be able to handle the next dark, negative, thoughts that were crowding my brain.
One afternoon I sat in my car along Melrose ave. Windows down. Seat propped back as I starred at the 2 palms trees swaying in the air. I was having such an intense anxiety attack, I aligned my breath with the sway of the trees, and dug deep telling myself, “You’ve got this baby girl.”
Fear was infiltrating every neuron in my amygdala, the area of your brain that reacts to a sign of any threat.
I feel lucky to have only experienced 4 full on anxiety attacks, as I know a lot of people deal with this feeling every day of their life. The experience has made me become so empathetic and understanding to those around me suffering with this disorder.
The attacks left me with intense hand tremors up until about 2 months ago. The tremors would come on when I had to make a decision. Sounds silly right? I mean, any decision. Whether to choose almond or peanut butter. Which shower curtain should I buy? Shakes shakes shakes.
I had developed a bit of a stutter when I would speak. The stutter came from fear that I was saying something stupid, incorrect or insignificant. So, I choose to remain silent quiet often.
On TOP of the anxiety was the depression. The hopelessness towards life. The heaviness and thoughts of, “Let’s just get through the day. I can’t wait to be asleep. In a dark room, with no light.”
To triple cherry top those two disorders, I was experiencing suicidal thoughts. I believe the thoughts were caused from Accutane, a very powerful medicine that shrinks your sebaceous glands so oil cannot secrete. The drug makes your skin FLAWLESS. But has it’s side affects. 🙂
I share all of this publicly as a celebration to myself for having overcome most of these symptoms and disorders. They are reactions that have been underlying in my body for years.
I did what I knew I needed to do which was reach out for help. From family and friends. I started seeing a therapist, doing mindfulness classes, reading books, meditating, moved to a 1 bedroom apartment with a space to myself.
Whether you’ve been going through distress for a month, a year, 5 years or 10. This too shall pass. Take time for yourself. Surround yourself with friends and family you trust to be there when you’re down, and to celebrate life with you when you’re up.
Here’s to a kick ass end of the summer.