Anxiety: I think I’m on the verge of a... - Living with Anxiety

Living with Anxiety

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I think I’m on the verge of a anxiety attack. My hands are shaking and they feel numbed. I don’t know what to do I’m suppose to go out with a friend and go to this event. I don’t want to cancel because I want to get out of my dorm. I feel like calling my parents and asking them to come pick me up and take me home. I want to go home honestly. However I know I have to push myself and get through this because I was just home last weekend. I can’t keep going home every weekend. Honestly though I think coming to college was the biggest mistake. I don’t think I’m fitting well and I certainly have had some of the worst anxiety I have ever felt. I want badly for my mom to say it’s okay you can stay home. She won’t do it though. Break is almost coming so I guess I can stick it out.

3 Replies

Just saw your pos, wander123. How did it go? Panic attacks are awful. And so is the ongoing level of anxiety you’re experiencing. I think everybody (pretty much) has some level of anxiety as a regular thing, although admittedly with some it’s buried so far they probably never recognize it as such. And these days with Covid, the economy, the climate and the political nightmare adding to our own daily issues it feels hard to just hang on!

Speaking of holding on - a few things I’ve found to be true that you might try to hold on to are

1. Anxiety itself is the problem. It is a chemical reaction or imbalance often aggravated by stress. Although it exists in you, it isn’t you.

2. For many folks like us, whatever problem anxiety lands on is often not the issue; the issue is anxiety itself. And anxiety is known to be a big liar. So even when you race around to address that issue and even succeed, you can be surprised to find your friend anxiety just races around and lands on something else. Like a household fly - brush it away and it finds another resting place. So don’t worry too much about the one issue - (although of course if it’s something you have to address anyway, getting rid of it can lower stress which exacerbates anxiety and that can be a good thing).

3. Anxiety promotes this cycle that includes finally reducing it, watching yourself every minute for any sign of it, worrying about your problem in a fixated way, beating yourself up for being like this, feeling immobilized and incapable, etc. Remember, tho, that the anxious feelings are real but it’s anxiety itself that causes you these feelings - not some underlying deficiency of yours. Addressing anxiety itself reduces all those symptoms a lot! I promise that’s true!

I’ve lived with anxiety my whole life (I’m 75....and, wow, did I just say that out loud?) and still have my times when it’s really bad. By now, however, I’ve done a lot of work on it and have a pretty large toolkit to help me. I could give you more on me but want to stay with you. I believe you can manage through even the worst anxiety but everybody needs help getting started with their own journey. A talk therapist would be a great first step-hopefully you’re on an insurance plan that will help with that. They may also be or will refer you to a prescribing physician for meds. Maybe you can get this done while you are on break? A plus may be that many anxiety therapists will work remotely with you so at home or at school a zoom call can work pretty well - at least it works for me for the most part.

Note: most or many of us hate being on meds but really it’s just for now. So take what is prescribed. Hopefully they will give you meds to settle you a bit now and might change to one or more other meds down the line. This can be a somewhat frustrating process but hang in - if you don’t get immediate results (unfortunately many meds take weeks to build to full efficacy) at least you’ll know you are doing something.

Beyond that, immediate things you could do that worked for me included cardio exercise, a diet lower in sugar and caffeine and absent alcohol, meditation even if you initially suck at it, forcing yourself to focus for awhile every day on something or someone other than yourself and being with people and being outside. For instance at one point when I was a wet alcoholic I joined AA. Turns out just being with that wonderful group of folks provided a structure that really helped - helping others and being with others regularly. Back at school you may be able to find volunteer organizations that promote group interaction.

There are lots more things you can do over time. The thing is initially the crazy feelings of your buddy anxiety will insure you don’t feel like doing them, right? That doesn’t matter. Keep doing them as best you can.

Sorry to write a novel and I truly hope it helps you both short- and longer-term. You can get through this but you’ll need to do some work,

Blessings - and please check in once in awhile, K?

Props in reply to Aard

Wonferful suport Aard - this is all you need to know Wander. Dont search any further for an answer. It's not you - it's the anxiety. All of Aard's observations are spot on - I'm a 67 yr old survivor and have grown to realise that making friends with yourself is the key. I'm a good person and so are you - you'll be fine x

Sorry you are feeling like this. The pandemci certainly does not help. What do you feel would help you to stay? You seem to be in tune with your feelings and sometimes we have our own answers. For me, I try "Fake it until you make it." I pretend I am not anxious and concentrate on just one step at a time. Blessings!

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