For years I’ve hidden a crippling anxiety problem from my family and friends. For as long as I can remember I would feel panicked, rushed, depressed and the need to hide from rational and not so rational things. I must say I hid it very well.
For years I’d hear people remark on my temper or my soft heart but never on my worries. I hid or managed it in so many ways, from smoking, to my online life, to my RPG’s to my books and my abortive writing, I managed it, I hid in other worlds, with other people, in some cases as someone else. I was able to do that until it went away or I soothed it into the back of my mind.
That’s changed. My anxiety has gotten so bad in the last few months I am physically ill more often than I care to think about. In the past month it’s been one wave after another wave of panic attacks. Sometimes my issues are totally normal every day ones, is my son healthy, will my parents be ok, is my husband safe. Other’s are not, am I going to lose my job, will we have food.
Before this massive ramping up of my anxiety I was more positive than I’d been in a long time, I could see the light at the end of the debt tunnel, I’d quit smoking, I was doing well at work (and getting along with the women I work with). Even with the struggles we’d been having with Kyle he was doing very well in his speech therapy and it looked like we may have found someone who could handle the biting and was literally on the way to and from work for Jason and I.
Then this. Something popped back up that I had though was taken care of. 90% of me knows that this will work out, the other 10% is in such a panic I honestly don’t know how to stop it anymore. New meds, actually taking the old ones. Working to a solution and reminding myself of the lesson last week at church. Faith. I have to have faith that He will provide. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my fat butt and wait for Him to have a truck full of money drive up, but I need to have Faith that He will not let Kyle starve or my family go homeless. I have to remind myself that in the past He’s always helped us though. And we’ve been in much, much worse spots than this.
Still, admitting, much less posting, about something so personal as my anxiety issues is, well, scary. Part of the reasons I’ve hidden it for so long is because they just isn’t a lot of sympathy for people like me. It’s not easy to explain to someone that you are so scared of something mundane that you have to force yourself not to flee it. It’s not easy to admit you actually need medication to deal with everyday normal things. I hate it so, so much.
Coupled with anxiety/panic is depression. That makes sense huh? I mean, you’re always worried that the absolute worse thing in the world is going to happen so you’re probably going to be pretty damn depressed about it. I’m not sure what’s worse, the depression or the anxiety. Both have their good and bad points. With the depression I get the ability to have a really good afternoon nap but I feel like I am useless for taking the nap. With the anxiety I have a really clean house and organized laundry but the inability to leave my home without a pep talk.
Why am I writing this then? Because I need to get the words out. I need to tell my 4 readers that I’m never as calm as I appear, that there is always fear, worry and panic just below the surface. The only exception to this is parenting Kyle. When it comes to him I worry about his welfare, how to make sure he has the basics and Christmas, but as for loving him, teaching him and raising him I don’t have a moment of panic. I worry I don’t teach him enough or play with him enough, but I know of all the things that I do each day being his mom is the one thing I have confidence in.