I’ve dealt with anxiety for a very long time at this point. Well before I had kiddos and was dealing with autoimmune conditions, anxiety has been a constant shadow.
Anxiety looks different for everybody. Sometimes it’s a faint shadow, sometimes a dark cloud overhead, and sometimes it’s like you’re trapped in a dark cave and not sure how the hell you’re going to get out.
I’ve always seeming to flit between it being a faint shadow and a dark cloud. Sometimes it’s pesky nuisance following me around that I can manage pretty well. Other times, it’s an omnipresent cloud that I struggle to break free from.
But, while more and more anxiety, and mental health in general, is being talked about more and more in the open, it still has that shadow of a taboo around it. So, I’d like to share what anxiety looks like for me, and how I try to beat it back.
Oftentimes, I’ll find that I’m shrinking into myself – figuratively and literally. I won’t want to talk to anyone, I’ll curl up into myself to make myself as small as possible, shoulders scrunched, chest caved in.
Anxiety makes me easily agitated, which my hubby can certainly attest to. The smallest thing in the world can set me off, and I tend to have a difficult time have positive interactions with others.
One of the things I hate the most about my anxiety, is that it makes me quick to snap. I’m quicker to snap at my kiddos if I’m anxious or frustrated – leading to huge waves of guilt, which then lead to lots more anxiety. I’ll also snap at the hubby more, which I hate doing.
If I find myself rocking back and forth, holding onto my arms, or feeling the need to compulsively itch my hands or neck, I’ll know that my anxiety is starting to take over. I’ll feel the need to constantly itch, and will sometimes find myself itching without realizing it, until my hands split open.
And then, there’s the thoughts. The overwhelming, endlessly scrolling, random thoughts that go through my mind. Too many thoughts at once, that I struggle to separate one from the next, leading to a lack of focus. So many doomsday scenarios going through my head.
So, how do I beat back my anxiety? I’ve got a few different tricks up my sleeve when I need them. But one of my daily ones is medication. I’m not afraid to say that I take a generic version of Zoloft to help me cope. I also use some different holistic methods, plus yoga and meditation, to help.
There’s nothing wrong with having to turn to medication if you need it. Everyone is different, and you should always work with your doctor, who knows you best. Some people are fine with medication alone, others can thrive with holistic methods alone. Everyone is unique, and no one should be shamed for having to use medication to ease their anxiety.
I have many different tools in my toolkit to help me with my anxiety – and I did a training in my group
about what anxiety looks like for me and the tools I use to beat it back. I’d love to have you check it out.
Or, feel free to share in the comments what anxiety looks like for you – and how do you beat it back?