I have suffered from them my entire life.
I remember my first one, I was maybe 5 and I had watched All Dogs Go to Heaven.
It devastated me. My mom was out Christmas shopping and my dad let me watch it alone. He didn’t notice that I had curled myself into a ball an hour after the movie under the couch pillows crying.
After that it was the constant fear of separation anxiety that stopped me from going to sleep overs with friends.
When I was 8 I got up the nerve to go to a friends house to spend the night. A friend who’s house wasn’t right across the street. If I changed my mind like I often did in the middle of the night my mom couldn’t just walk across the street and get me.
I was excited. But that day I didn’t spend the night. I had to come back home because in the span of me being with my friend that day my dog, one of the best I had ever had became critically ill and was dying. He died that night in my arms.
It was cemented in my head I couldn’t leave home because something bad might happen and I might not be there. It made me so sad that my dog had been suffering and I was having fun.
I had tried to get a handle on my anxiety in high school. I tried to put myself in social situations I normally wouldn’t. I did somewhat succeed. I had a couple of groups of close friends and got along with everyone. A class my senior year helped me. Human relations. It was a life saver. It took a group of kids that were all trying their best to be normal and survive the awkward days of high school and through out semester made us all friends. We laughed. Cried. Bonded. Broke down walls and held each other up when needed. Some days were light hearted, some days were heavy. But we all came away feeling better. We all managed to take something away from that class. It really helped me.
But after high school at 20 years old I was diagnosed with what I had known I had, had for 4 years. Cancer. Doctor after doctor told me the lump was nothing, but I knew. But it didn’t matter that I knew. I was “too young” or a hypochondriac.
All the hard work I had done to overcome the anxiety was shattered.
My anxiety had been validated.
All the walls I had broken down instantly were rebuilt and this time closed me in. A prisoner in my own mind and body.
I stopped talking to my friends, extended family, I stopped going out, I only allowed a close few in my circle and I clung to them for dear life.
As I got further and further away from my cancer and closer and closer to my 5 year mark being cancer free my anxiety got better and better.
I had Noah and my anxiety came back into my life, but not as extreme as I thought it would.
Then surprise, I got pregnant with the twins. My anxiety took on a new life the day I found out I was pregnant.
I immediately was afraid. I just knew they were going to come early. I started drinking protein shakes everyday trying to bulk them up as fast as possible. Other moms assured me it would be ok but something in my head…that little voice told me that it was not going to be ok.
Then sure enough my fears were validated.
Then I became my anxiety.
I was living in one of my worst nightmares. It was like my oxygen had been replaced with fear.
Every breath I took was like the one you take before you jump out of a plane when sky diving or waiting for the roller coaster to go down that first big hill.
That feeling never went away and it still hasn’t gone away.
I am fighting being consumed by it.
Today I am having an anxiety attack. My third debilitating one this week.
Noah was a little cranky before nap. Wanted an extra bath. Just a little extra fussy.
My brain latched onto whatever negative it could and somehow I ended up Googling, childhood cancer symptoms.
Google is like crack to anxiety.
I know better but I am afraid.
When is the next time my anxiety will be validated.
I feel like I am flying too close to the sun.
I love my husband dearly, he is perfect. Noah, he is too good to be true. And we were blessed with twins.
I feel like it is all too good and one day it will be taken away.
Everyday you see car crashes, cancer statistics go up from something like drinking soda or another sad story in the news that hits too close to home.
I don’t know how to break the anxiety cycle this time.
I just know I can’t live like this.
Before it is suggested I am looking into talking to someone professionally. If for nothing more than being depressed and having post traumatic stress disorder from the NICU, how could I not have anxiety. But of course, I am at the point where I don’t have insurance and I worry about the costs and if I have an hour or so here or there that I can escape to go get the help I need.
It is so frustrating to me because I am logical. I get it.
I know when my brain is being irrational but I can’t stop myself from falling into the traps of an anxiety attack.
This is embarrassing.
It is painful.
It is eating me alive.
I try my best to keep my anxiety hidden. There are a select few that even know how long and how hard I have suffered with it.
But I had to get it out.
Today I had to get it out.
As embarrassed as I am that people will talk or that people will judge me the writing helps.
I sat down at this computer not knowing how or where to begin I just knew I had to begin.
So that is where I am at…the beginning.