I feel like when I first started this blog (Simply Southern R.I.P) I did a lot more writing, talking about life a little more. Starting to think I want to get back into that….
Most of you probably don’t know that I was a psychology major, with no serious intention of pursuing the field, I find it to be incredibly interesting so I kept with it. There are times I actually miss my notes and wish I could hunt down my beautifully organized binders at the Tri Delt house in Ohio (another R.I.P). One of the reasons I have always loved psychology is because I was raised with the mind set that mental health isn’t something anyone should be ashamed or embarrassed to talk about.
Anxiety, Depression or anything else should never make you feel embarrassed!
With that I want to share my “journey” with anxiety with you. Mainly because it took me a long time to understand it and figure out how to cope/deal.
It all mainly started at the end of high school beginning of college. I was on YAZ (another RIP I don’t think it’s even on the market anymore) and someone I worked with that the Summer asked me “omg why are you on that?! are not super emotional blah blah” and I said “yeah? but that is just me…”. At the time, I had just started seeing a therapist. It was the summer after my freshman year of college and I can’t remember exactly what sparked it but my mom and I agreed it would be a good idea. I got off Yaz a week later and remember feeling a huge weight off my shoulders and a calm I hadn’t felt before. Mind you I had been on Yaz for maybe 3 years at this point. I remember calling my mom one day and saying “things aren’t getting to me as much and I have a more fuck it attitude”. At this point, I was thinking I was leaving emotional Emily in the past.
During my time in therapy, I learned a lot about self love and confidence which was great. I totally support going to therapy even if you don’t belive your problems are worthy or deserve it. It is helpful for anything you may be going through or not even ‘going through’ but feel.
BUT the anxiety was still creeping in….I’ll never forget in college breaking a bottle of nail polish..like WTF aren’t those industructable?! And hitting my friend (hey LB, again so sorry!!!) at a lacrose game because I was so embarrassed about something (which is/was a huge anxeity attack trigger for me) and so I shoved her. In front of all my friends just turned around and shoved her pretty hard. I barely remember it but I am still to this day mortified!
I used to describe my anxiety to friends and family like a glass of water. I could feel it rising and at points overflowing…an anxiety attack. College ended and I went into the real world and that feeling turned into crazy spikes in my heart rate. Someones attitude, response to a question, being embarrassed, overwhelmed, plans changing- to name a few were siuations that would spark a serious physiological response. It was getting to the point where it was effecting my day to day. I broke my iphone screen once because I thew it in my pruse so hard after reviecing a passive agressive text. I would brust into tears, screaming after an annoying day + a trigger on the way home.
Things that SHOULD give me anxiety weren’t giving it to me as bad as things that you should brush off. That is when I knew something needed to change.
My best friend in Nashville (shes been on here a bunch) also deals with anxiety and it was extreemly helpful to have someone who understood. But also someone who was on a medication to talk to about their experience. After a few weeks of mulling it over and coming to the conclusion that my behavior was no longer rational or healthy, I went to a Dr. She turned out to be pill pusher (mean girls refrence) and didn’t tell me shit about what she was giving me but it worked and I am forever changed. Thank god my mother works in the medical field and was able to get me formal information to keep me off the dark medical web.
I take 25mg of Zolof. The lowest dosage of an anti-deppresent also used as an anti-anxiety. It was the oddest feeling, those first few weeks when my heart rate wasn’t spiking, my reaction to peoples comments was OK cool…I had a new overall calmness. When I asked friends if I seemed different the general response was I was less jittery and nervous…well thats nice haha.
One of the fears I had heard about anti-anxieties from friends I had talked to was taking too much and losing your personality. Becauase I am an anxious person and that is part of my personality and I shouldn’t just completely ditch it but tone it down. And that is what this has done for me. My day to day is so much easier and less stressful because I am not on a physiological rollercoaster! I no longer have internalized hissy fits, panic if I worry something is not going to be 100% or get myself so nervous about something I don’t do it at all.
I know a lot of people are against meds, and I was at first too. It was when coping mechanisms that work for logical anxiety didn’t work for my anxiety. For example, if someone upsets you and you’re anxious- you’re told to take a step back sit alone, breathe in and out… but I was finding I could only do that in a perfect situation. Plus, my anxiety was going beyond knowing my triggers to a t and being able to prepare. I didn’t know that missing my exit on the highway was going to lead to an anxiety attack- can’t really pull over and take a minute – well I guess you could but not in traffic haha.
That was A LOT of sharing, if you made it through thank you and if you also have anxiety I hope this was helpful or comforting..something. If you have any questions about medication don’t hesitate to reach out! Clealy I am an open book.