Since the loss of Big Bubby, I have struggled with high anxiety. Riding in cars in rush hour traffic or late at night when other drivers might be falling asleep or drunk cause me to stress whereas I have never been that way in the past. I have always had high stress jobs where deadlines were basically in stone due to US government regulations.
So stress has always been part of my world. I always knew how to handle it and could easily calm myself by going somewhere quiet or taking a long lunch from work and just getting away for a little bit.
After losing Big Bubby, I have found that “getting away” doesn’t relieve the anxiety and stress that I am under. I have found that it is not coming from my job as it used to come from. Perspectives have changed and priorities have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do although if I was to explain it most of you would think I was capital C crazy….:)
Now my anxiety and stress come from a different place all together. I worry more about my surviving children, my husband, our extended family, grandparents, etc. Every time the phone rings early in the morning or late at night, I get a gut wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach that something has happened. I set holding my breath until my husband tells me everything is OK.
This month has been extremely anxiety ridden and stressful due to our current situation. Luckily things are starting to turn around for our good now. Things that were at a complete stand still for two weeks have started to move now and get done. It still doesn’t take away the fact that for the last several days, anxiety has riddled my every waking hour wondering how I can “fix” our problems in one swift action.
I know, I know, that is not how the world works. Believe me, if anyone can comprehend that now, it is me. It is crazy now the things that trigger anxiety in me. Stupid things that I have no control over what happens, I break down. I can feel it coming because my chest tightens and I can feel myself wanting to cry (which I don’t do because I am typically at work). So I have a yellow sticky note attached to my monitor that my pastor’s wife gave me when all of this started. When I feel an attack coming on, I do the following:
- Find 5 things I can see in my office
- Find 4 things I can touch
- Find 3 things I can hear
- Find 2 things I can smell
- Find 1 positive thing about myself or that I am thankful for
This doesn’t always help but if I catch myself in time, it does focus my mind on something other than the issue causing my anxiety.