Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Happy Birthday...I have Anxiety

As the spring was ending I had a lot going with vertigo, my apartment was flooded, family in town, birthday parties and the anxiety of flying home was all just coming on so strong. I've always had anxiety but not like this. As soon as the kids had their last day of school I had an anxiety attack. It completely freaked me out and I didn't know what to do. I reached out to some friends who I knew could help me. I thank God for them because they were a great help. I saw a doctor about 4 days before I had to travel because the anxiety got so bad. I couldn't eat or relax at all. The doctor explained that it was completely normal and happens to a lot of people. He prescribed Xanax and said to only take it when needed because of how addictive it is. I am not a big fan of having to take anything. I have always been one to get through just about everything I put my mind to. However, the idea of a panic attack with my kids on the flight was too scary for me to not give it a try. When I was packing to go home I started breathing heavily and shaking. I knew that was the right time to give Xanax a try and see if it was going to help. I couldn't believe that in 20 minutes I felt completely normal and excited about traveling again.

I figured that a pill was going to take all that worry away and I would wake up without anymore anxiety. Well I was wrong and I spent the next 3 days still quite anxious. I knew that I had to go through this for several reasons. 1. I could never tell my kids we are not going to Seattle this summer. 2. I would be completely depressed if I stayed in NYC. 3. My fear would just get bigger. I have always been that person who says, "what are you scared of just do it and get it over." Now I completely understand FEAR. And to tell someone to face it is much harder than you ever think, when every instinct in your body is saying DON'T do it. I knew the worst thing for me was to not fly so I got up that morning and I did it. I am a strong person and I tried to do it without Xanax. As soon as I got out of the car I felt like I was going to pass out. The first thing you want to do is run home but I knew I needed to take a Xanax and keep on walking. I stood in line and repeated to myself...it only takes 20 minutes! If you have ever experienced an anxiety attack/panic attack then you know it is the longest 20 minutes and you feel like your whole body is freaking out. You feel like screaming help but you realize that you would look insane so you hold it all in and talk to yourself over and over. After 20 minutes I was completely fine and ready to go. I never in my wildest thoughts saw myself going through this. I have been through some tough shit in my life and never felt that vulnerable. Makes my eyes fill with tears when I think of it. It is amazing how anxiety can make you feel so weak. I'm sharing this story because I know that others helped me through all of this and I wanted my story to make someone else feel they are not alone.

I turned 40 this year and for my birthday I got vertigo and anxiety. All I wanted was a trip to Mexico. I spent my summer accepting my anxiety and learning how to handle it. August 1st. I looked at the day on my phone and realized the count down to flying home was slowly approaching. It shook me and I spent a day feeling awful. I decided I wasn't going to let it ruin the rest of my trip. I exercised,  cut down on the caffeine, and told myself that if I need xanax it was there to get me through it. I never needed it until the day of my flight. I had a panic attack on the ride to the airport and this time I didn't let it take over me too much. I did take a xanax and by the time I got to the airport the worst was over. I am home now and the anxiety is there but not enough to cause any change in my diet or daily life. I don't understand why this is coming out of me now at this stage in my life but maybe soon I will see a therapist and he/she will help me pin point it and maybe I will be able to laugh about it some day.


  1. Anonymous1:58 AM

    Hi Andrea,
    I am glad you are finding ways to manage your anxiety my hubby and cousin both suffer from this and keep meds handy. They tell me they feel like they are having a heart attack it must be scary as hell. All is well here Giovanni has adjusted to being home. We had a big party for his second birthday he got a train table. I can't believe Coolidge is 9 and Brody is 6. Time flies, but you and Ben are eternal teenagers in your appearance it's like The Picture of Dorian Gray ha! I will try your mouthwash scalp treatment as well it's interesting that dandruff is a fungus I never thought of it that way.

    1. Courtney, It does feel like a heart attack. Not that I have ever had one of those but that is how I imagine one to feel like. Thanks for all the lovely compliments. We had such a nice visit with you and talked about you to my family a lot this summer. Kisses to your family.

  2. Anonymous9:39 AM

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're experiencing these panic attacks. I think it's very admirable that you have been able to face your fears and power through. No need to feel ashamed of needing a little help now and then! I hope you're able to get to the bottom of it and that it goes away soon!!! That which does not kill us makes us stronger!!! Hang in there girl. xoxo, k

    1. Thanks. It was very hard for me to write this entry because I don't like to put myself out there very often. It was very hard but I am feeling much better and yes....stronger. Thanks for always coming by the blog and leaving such sweet comments.