mental health, Uncategorized

I am Not My Anxiety 


One of the hardest things to remember while I’m in recovery is that I am NOT my mental health issues. While in recovery I’m crazy aware of how each thing I do will affect my mental state. And sometimes, I forget I control myself. 

Yesterday, I was in a constant state of panic. Could have been caused by too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or the fact that nothing is wrong. I spent so much time making one little thing into this irrational state of panic, that I couldn’t do anything else at all. At one point, I couldn’t even smoke a cigarette. I had had it. I was fed up knowing the rational reasoning yet, still in a complete panic. 


This is what it looks like when I’ve about had it. I wanted so badly to just give in to the panic, but I couldn’t. I tried all day to keep it away, afraid I’d turn to someone for comfort when it was way too soon to turn to them. Eventually, I made a choice. I decided to force it. I decided not to give into the panic, but to force it to happen. This photo was going to be my “before a forced panic attack” photo. 

How do you force a panic attack? I’ve honestly got no clue. My entire life I have been accused of faking anxiety attacks to get attention. Then, I sat down and thought about it last night. I have no clue, after 10 years, how to force myself into panic. I had been right on the edge all damn day, I just needed something to push me over. I begged for something to send me falling into panic. 

I did what I knew had made me panic in the past. I turned off the lights in my bedroom, laid down, and turned up the music on my, “Cry, Cry, Cry” playlist. Name inspired by Johnny Cash, of course.

The first song that came on is one that usually makes me cry. “I Wonder” by Kellie Pickler. It talks about a girl whose mom wasn’t there for her, then she up and moves to Tennessee. My life, right? Well, usually it brings sadness but, ever since I was able to record a cover of that song in a studio, it brings joyful memories. Next, was a song called, “God Sent Me You.” Normally, this one makes me cry because, “I drink whiskey, and I’ve smoked weed.” The lyrics are also my life, and this man is breaking down calling out to God in forgiveness. And then, God sends him his angel. But, I don’t have my angel, so usually, I get sad. But this time, I was full of wishful thinking and hope. Nothing was working, and then I began to cry. 

Then, I got a text message. It had been one I had wanted all day to come. But, I know people have lives so I remained patient. Little does he know, not only did he save me from an anxiety attack, but he made me feel understood. We were able to talk about what was happening. I didn’t mention that I was trying to make myself have an attack, but I did say anxiety was kicking my ass. He put a smile on my face when there had been no emotions just hours earlier. I had felt like self harming again yesterday, I’m thankful I hung onto hope. 


While I’m not happy that someone else pulled me out of a panic attack, I’m also glad they did. What I mean by that is, I want to be strong enough to not have to turn to someone every time. It’s not healthy to have the number one thing on your go-to list being to turn to someone else. Because, eventually that becomes just one person. And if you turn to that person every time, you’re giving them too much power over your emotions. And, if they don’t answer, you’re stuck and it usually makes the panic worse.

However, I’m glad at the same time that it happened. I didn’t turn to him, he had no clue how I was feeling when he texted me. I was only honest when he asked how my day was. And he understood. I wasn’t desperate for his help, but I allowed him to help, even though he probably has no idea how much he helped. 


I could tell that something good was on it’s way yesterday. It may already be here, or it may be on its way. But, yesterday was too calm, the sky too perfect. When I looked up, it was as if God was trying to tell me to just trust in Him. Yesterday, I didn’t have the strength to. Today, I currently have the strength and will keep trying to remain strong in my faith. I’m giving my power of control over to Him. What happens next will not be because of my actions, but because of His grace and His promise. He truly does have a better plan for me, I just need to wait. 

I want everyone who is struggling to remember, these are just passing moments. The anxiousness, fear, doubt, whatever it may be, it’ll pass. Eventually, happiness will come and it will pass too. But, you can rest assured in hope that happiness will always find its way back to you. Why? Because we all deserve to be happy. 

-Liz

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