I am a driven person who does a lot, and I have to tell myself to sit down occasionally. 2010 was a great year, I was teaching, completed graduate school, had my second child, and got promoted; I was on a roll.
As I got ready to move to a different state in November of 2010, I experienced Vertigo where the room spun uncontrollably. I could not walk or open my eyes. I was scared; I had no control of my body. Due to the severity of the episode, I was taken to the hospital and was informed I had Vertigo. I’ve never heard of it. The doctors did their usual tests and concluded that I had low potassium, high pressure and an imbalance in my ear which caused my vertigo.
I’ve never experienced such a thing, I was frightened and those feelings brought on my anxiety. I left the hospital in a panic thinking it would happen again. While driving my heart would race anticipating the unknown. As the days passed my anxiety became worst; I wanted to get rid of it. I thought all I needed was some pills and I would be back to my normal happy self. Oh, boy was I wrong; it lasted for three years. I was on edge at work thinking the room would begin to spin while teaching, high alert while driving, and I couldn’t visit crowded places. I couldn’t be in any stores for long; I wanted to get out from the moment I walked in. I wanted to be home in my safe zone, but I could not let this anxiety change my way of living. The first year was challenging, the second year I reduced my anxiousness and by the third year, I was good to go.
Anxiety can be a terrifying thing for anyone, and no one should live in that state of mind. I didn’t want it to affect my way of living, so here are five measures I did to free myself from my anxiety:
⦁ Medication- When I got to my new location I went straight to a clinic and said I have anxiety and I need medication to get rid of it now. The attendant looked at me as if I was crazy and said you need to make an appointment. I waited three days, and I was challenging. All I could do was sleep, but it was hard when there are two kiddos needing my attention. I wanted to get rid of it ASAP!
The doctor recommended Zoloft, which is taken for depression and I knew I wasn’t depressed. I was hesitant to take it; I didn’t want to become dependent on medication. I tried it for 30 days and I did notice a change; my mind was not racing with thoughts, it was calm. I wanted to let go of my anxiety naturally, so I stopped after 30 days and the emotions came right back; my mind was going nonstop.
⦁ Counselor – The counselor was a big help; I met with her twice a month for 6 months. She packaged everything I’ve accomplished within the last five years into perspective. And it was a lot; from having two kids, several relocation, buying a house, school and taking care of family, it was a LOT. Our conversations allowed me to slow down and take more time for myself.
⦁ Running– This was my go to, whenever my mind started racing I was running. I ran after work, on the weekends and it helped tremendously. It stopped all the chatters in my head.
⦁ Music– I listened to music that was uplifting, lots of Rhythm & Blues (mostly Trey Songz) my favorite artist. When I went to bed, I wore headphones at the beginning of my anxiety phase. This method stopped the noise in my head and I got a good night of rest.
⦁ Self-Motivation- I am one positive person; my mornings were full of positive affirmations. One of my go-to sayings was “its all in my head” like the artist Nelly in his song ” Over and Over”. I watched many Super Soul Sunday episodes, laughed a lot and read motivational articles. I still do these things.
Having a positive mindset during the three years made the process better. I don’t have anxiety anymore, but like you, I get anxious at times before briefings, testings and it’s all natural feelings to have. Anxiety can be a monster; I didn’t let it consume me and no one should either.
Here are four sites with great information on anxiety:
Anxiety and Depression Association of America https://www.adaa.org
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry https://www.aacap.org
Resources to Recovery, https://www.rtor.org
National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.himb.nih.gov
Question-Do you know anyone who struggles with anxiety and what are they doing to control or get rid of it?
“Motivation Accountability Change”