How Do I Deal with Anxiety?

I have been in therapy on and off for 20 years. You’ve heard me say this before. It wasn’t until I recently started seeing a therapist who told me I had chronic PTSD, did I learn a great deal about coping strategies. I want to share my favorite with you. I have never been able to keep friendships or be around people for extended periods of time. Somehow, I would begin to feel like I was being talked about, didn’t fit in, or some other false thought. The thought would torment me until I would sabotage the relationship in order not to be hurt.

During this therapy, I learned how to deal with thoughts and determine what to do about them. I also learned how to calm myself (grounding) when I began to feel anxious. I already journaled. But sometimes that can be boring. So, I found several things I received joy from as a child helped me to calm down.

Here are a few: Adult coloring, puzzles and dot to dot. These completely take my focus off the negative. Some people have said to me “that’s childish”, but I thank God for the adults who still are.

Until next time,

My body may grow old, but my mind never will!

Should I stay or Should I go…

From my Pinterest page

I thought to myself, “It will be good if you join a group for mental health.You may even find a friend.” So, I did. I joined 2, a PTSD one and a Mental Health one.

Now, I wish I never did. Reading the post and visualizing what these people are experiencing, triggered a bunch of jumbled up thoughts. I haven’t been able to untangle them yet. I feel like I haven’t made as much progress as I thought by leaving therapy in March.

Anxiety has been very high these last couple of days. I have 2 medications to take. They are BuSpar and Hydroxyzine. Even with these 2, my safeguard is tapping my right leg or twirling my hair in one spot.

I’m trying to decide if the groups are triggering me and if they are, should I find out what’s happening and why? Should I stay or go?

Until next time,

I refuse to go back to where I’ve already been.

How many versions of me could there be?

I thought if I joined an online group of mental health peers, that would be the first in my journey to become socially adequate. Little did I know about how some people only join groups to spread more negative energy to themselves, and others who are already hurting.

I posted a positive quote about taking time to transform. There was a picture of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. Some posted, “BS, we don’t have time for that. We need to do this now”, or something like that.

Surprisingly, I didn’t get angry or sad. I felt I needed to speak out against that negativity. I never speak up! I posted this: “well ______, maybe that is why you are here. You’re not taking time to heal. No offense. If you don’t have anything positive to say to someone, please don’t share that negative energy”, or something like that.

Right now, I don’t know how I feel. During my C-PTSD therapy, I learned to address negative energy directed towards or about me and my emotions towards that energy. I may not feel that I did the best thing at the moment, but it sure feels good to have addressed negativity quickly for once.

I am grateful for this new found side of me!

Anxiety cutting is more than skin

I cut my hair a week ago convincing myself it was time for a major cut. My then shoulder-length hair has now become the picture below. Actually, I cut my hair because I had become anxious about my looks.

Anxiety causes you to do things you feel you have complete control over. For instance, today I wanted to cut my hair again. I feel that no one likes this style, so perhaps cut again. Now, we all know this thought has little logic to it or does it? Does it matter what others really think about me or is this one of those reoccurring racing thoughts I need to address?

Yes, it does matter and yes I do need to get to the root of this thought. I’ve never thought about cutting my skin for relief but I have constantly cut and plucked my hair. I have never told my therapist this because I was embarrassed and ashamed.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Yesterday was a good day for me. I overcame most of the anxiety I had about life, my mother, my children, and myself. To get away from the racing thoughts, I’ve always kept busy. You know, doing things in the home. At some point, it stops working.

I found that journaling my thoughts helps to calm my mind to the point of actually thinking one thought at a time. When I do that, I’m able to process and solve whatever I was anxious about.

Yesterday, I was so focused on the 2 separate mass killings. I wasn’t able to get anything done. So, I turned to what calms me. I like to shop online instead of going into a store. It helps me to deal with the social anxiety I have.

Another soothing things for me is window shopping. I do this online by looking at all the items I want and saving them to my account. When I feel calm, I go back to my thoughts and process them. It’s a great way to bring my emotions down to a level I can function at. It usually takes me about 30 minutes.

Today, right now, I’m just not feeling like doing anything. So instead of getting anxious, I’m going to rest until I feel like getting up. I’m not focusing on tomorrow because it’s too far away. I’ve been told to take PTSD one day at a time because you don’t know what’s going to trigger you. Don’t expect negative things, instead look and produce your own positivity. After all, it’s your life and your journey.

Until next time,

Every day is different. Don’t expect yesterday’s results to work for today’s and today’s to work for tomorrow.

Hidden Opportunities

There have been days when I wanted to give up and just lay down and sleep forever. I’ve been told that sleeping, among other things, is a sign of depression.

I have various mental and written tools I learned in therapy. I know by now, if I don’t use them, I could possibly take steps backwards. That, I don’t want to experience.

In therapy, I was taught to evaluate pain or distractions. Find the source. It will almost always be emotional or subconsciously blocked. I’ve never liked confronting anything or anybody for that matter, but I have to face my fears and address the hidden source of why I was sleeping longer than needed.

In late June, I had been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in both knees, type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. To top that, I have a long-standing case of vertigo for which I have no answer. I knew I hadn’t paid much attention to my health after the event. I just sort of “let myself go”.

Before my 30’s I was very health conscious. I ate healthy, exercised regularly and made sure my children did the same. After the assault and kidnapping, I didn’t want to have contact with the world. I just withdrew into my room. Soon, my body took action against me in my 40’s and up to my present age. I began having trouble with my knees(due to the type of work I performed). I had to stop working and now live with my oldest child.

I began to realize the guilt from not properly caring for myself, was the source of this current bout with depression and anxiety.

I took a hard look at what I had done to cause my body to react this way. I decided to take better care of myself mentally and physically. I took ownership and acknowledged what I have done to myself.

I decided to take 1 day at a time until I can come up with a plan. Until then, I won’t stop the healing process I’ve started.

Until next time,

Never let past actions stop you from your current path of healing.

That was it! That was the source of my current depression.

Gone too Long

I haven’t been active for a month or maybe 2. I don’t know. Nothing bad has happened, I just go through periods of nothing. Nothing to me is blank stages where things that previously made me happy are slowly drifting away. I want to continue with what’s meaningful, but I can’t find the motivation needed to press on.

Last night I decided to finish things I most wanted to do even if I lose interest, I’m going to see whatever it is through. I’m going to continue with this blog, continue telling my story, continue finding ways to decrease anxiety and heal from PTSD.