My anxiety started during a very stressful period in my life. I started showing signs of high stress around July 2018. I wasn’t taking care of myself, eating fast food every day and drinking coffee/red bulls in order to keep up.
I remember my chest started breaking out terribly and I knew it was stress related but never did anything about it because at the time I couldn’t. I went from working at home to being promoted to Manager at an Insurance Company and having to go back to working full-time. Looking back the promotion was a blessing because of the pay increase which allowed me to be free from my ex-husband and take care of my 4-year-old son alone.
A few months back at work I decided it was finally time to divorce my husband. Everything just started to slowly take its toll on me, and more symptoms started to arise. I’ve always been a nervous person I guess because if I was put on the spot I would suddenly become flushed and sometimes my heart would race depending on the situation.
Those symptoms never bothered me, and I knew them very well.
I remember I started to fear meetings almost because I would start feeling strange during them and even though I wasn’t nervous (or didn’t think I was) my heart would suddenly race, I’d feel like I was going to faint and I was getting that urge to flee.
Before and during each meeting I would behave apprehensively which was only fueling my symptoms because my brain thought I was in danger and was giving me more anxiety (I had no idea that could even happen up until I read DARE). Everyone in the office kept telling me it was blood sugar related so I would always eat before a meeting and if I didn’t, I was scared that it was going to happen again. Even after eating I would still get sensations but learned to tune them out and they went away fairly quickly.
In October 2017, I met a new guy and was super happy despite all the stress I was under with my pending divorce. He lived an hour away from me, so I was having to drive to visit him and literally just putting myself under more and more stress without knowing.
Even though he is my stress reliever, I was becoming sensitized without knowing it. In November 2017, my divorce was finally over and I could begin my new life without that stressor hanging over me.
In March 2018, I had quite a few new stressors added to my list and the anxiety/sensitization started to increase. My Dad passed away suddenly and unexpected. That has been the hardest thing for me to handle and I remember sitting in the church listening to the pastor as my heart raced and feeling faint.
I left during the service to get something to eat because again, I thought blood sugar issues when in reality it was anxiety symptoms. I decided to leave my job and move my son and I in with my now fiancé an hour away from friends/family. I was also during the midst of this pursuing my BA Degree in Psychology.
Stress upon stress upon stress! I had to enroll my son in school and take him to/from school which is a 25-minute drive one way. I was lucky enough and blessed enough to be able to work at home again with the same company I was a Manager with.
I remember it was around July 2018 that the urge to flee feeling was getting stronger and was hitting me places that I didn’t even fear like a tire shop, the grocery store or driving out of my
“comfort zone”. In September 2018, I had enough of it and finally did some research which was pointing towards Anxiety. I didn’t take that as the answer and kept searching. After multiple Dr’s appointments and multiple tests I still had no answers.
I came across a YouTube video that Barry did about driving anxiety. It really did fit what I was going through and just hearing his voice and how soothing it was giving me relief that it was simply anxiety. I looked more into his work and found the Dare website and read about it. It finally made sense to me…. I had anxiety and I was sensitized.
I started listening to the Audiobook in my car, at home, in the bath, etc! Anywhere I could to get some relief of how I was feeling. The symptoms got worse before they got better, and I started practicing Dare fully I would say in October, 2018. It took me a good month ½ or so to remove the fear.
I was fearful of what this disorder was doing to my mind and my body.
I was more fearful of what it was doing to my mind more than anything. I changed my diet completely and started following a low-glycemic diet, I immediately cut all caffeine and
increased my water intake. I never was a drinker, but I’ve been staying away from alcohol completely, even on New Year’s Eve I didn’t have one single drink. I’ve cut back on sugar almost completely and started to exercise as much as I could with my lifestyle.
Anxiety is all based on your behaviors and even when the anxiety was turned on full blast, I would maintain a calmness about me and continue what I was doing whether it was cleaning the house or working on my laptop.
This took lots of practice and just the complete understanding that anxiety is harmless, it’s your protector and would never hurt you. I’ve messaged Suzane Brikassa so many times with so many questions and I truly thank her for her responses and dedication to DARE.
I figured out pretty quickly I was more afraid of what symptoms I could get than rather than the symptoms I was dealing with. I don’t think I’ve experienced them all, but I did have quite a few! It is a very scary thing when you are caught up in it but once you give it time and start to heal you slowly start to pull yourself out of the darkness.
Some days you’ll have a complete understanding of it and then the next, you’ll feel completely lost and crazier than ever. I’m not recovered yet, but I would say that I am VERY close.
My mind is clearer and quieter than ever. I seem to only battle with the thoughts and some headaches/head pressure (I have sinus issues which makes it worse) if I’m out shopping or if I pushed myself too hard. The thoughts cause a tiny bit of a reaction still (a tummy flutter or warm feeling).
I’m hoping that with continued practice and healing that I will be 100% very soon. It’s been a LONG hard road for me, but I never gave up hope and I always knew in my heart that nothing was ever wrong with me to begin with.
My biggest drive in all of this has been my son, I needed to get better quickly for him. I didn’t want to become someone who was afraid to take him to the park or afraid to take him places and experience life with him.
Even on my absolute worst days, I still got up, I still did the absolute best job I could as his mother.
Most of those high anxiety days are a blur to me and I don’t even know how I made it through them, but I did. I know now that I am just simply sensitized, and my nerves are weak from a period of high stress in my life. I can honestly say that I am thankful and happy that I went through this period of anxiety.
I finished my degree and have my BA Degree in Psychology and plan to one day utilize that degree. With my understanding and first-hand experience with anxiety I can then in turn help others. I do 100% with all my heart believe that things do happen for a reason.
Things Anxiety has taught me:
- To take better care of myself and to start putting myself first
- To start paying more attention to my diet and the things I am putting in my body
- To have more patience and understanding
- To trust myself and to trust my own mind and body
- To have more Empathy for others (especially fellow anxiety sufferers)
- That everything truly does happen for a reason – Whether a blessing or a lesson Meditation
- How blessed I am in my life and how lucky I am to have an amazing family
- That the only person I need is myself
- That I have a lot of courage and strength to get through anything in life
- How strong I am and have been throughout my entire life
- That I love myself and the human spirit is amazing!