"Don't worry about it!" "It's no big deal!" "Well, I saw her at Walmart and she seemed fine!"
ALL statements that as an outsider, are valid....but as someone who suffers from anxiety (....the dis-ease that is all but INVISIBLE, and unless you've EXPERIENCED it to some degree, have NO idea just how crippling it can be), can make the panic even worse (Do they think I'm CRAZY? OMG, they totally think I'm nuts and they don't get it. I can't make it stop. and then the post anxiety embarrassment sets in....I told them I have anxiety, now they think I'm crazy and won't wanna be friends with me anymore...what if "x", "y", "z" etc.)
When you're IN it....one of the LAST things you want to hear is "don't worry about it" or "it's NO big deal" cause CLEARLY when your mind is in control and you aren't, THAT which you're worrying about or panicking about IS a big deal to YOUR MIND.....
Maybe you KNOW what I mean cause you've been the one with anxiety or panicking, or maybe you're the one who often finds yourself saying "don't worry about it".....I'm learning how to communicate when I'm not IN the anxiety, how those around me can help pull me out of it....THIS is a HUGE realization for me.
I've learned so much about this nasty thing called ANXIETY through living it....like REALLY having to FACE it. What I've learned (and kinda REALLY communicated today for the first time as I've been having anxiety on and off for a few days now....a few hours im OK and then BOOM...PANIC and ANXIETY that leaves me breathless and frozen or angry with tears streaming down my face) is that I've ALWAYS had anxiety.....despite thinking that this is pretty new to me.
I've JUST realized, because I CANNOT drink at all now (fatal interaction with my meds) that I've always just poured myself a glass of wine when it started, which would quickly take the "edge" off and my anxiety would dissipate only to resurface just as quickly as SOON as I wake in the morning.
I'm learning SO much about myself....how to communicate and vocalize my struggles, how to learn to COPE with it without my usual vice, and how to share the struggle in hopes of helping someone else to know that they're NOT alone.
I've learned of the DYDQ (Don't You Dare Quit) campaign, and project Semi-Colon, both of which are now near and dear to me.
I've learned that despite my "dis-ease" I'm still a great mom, a great wife, a great friend, a great coach, and a great entrepreneur.
I've learned that it's ok to NOT be ok sometimes, but quickly use one of my coping strategies to help me reduce the anxiety and communicate with my partner who is now more educated on HOW to support me through it!
The last few months have been the most rewarding and most challenging of my life. I'm LEANING IN and learning about ME and somehow sharing the realness of it all so that someone else can relate to a "real" person who SEEMS to have it all together but struggles JUST the same <3