My Anxiety… An Explanation

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I have had anxiety my whole life.  I remember being a tiny child and feeling like my world was ending, often.  Because of this, I would throw terrible tantrums, even as an older child.

Then I got into high school and had so much anxiety over my school work.  I would make everything a big deal.  I would question everything and obsess.  I would care so much what others thought of me (obsessing over every conversation that I had with people).  I would worry that I was bothering people.  I had a sick stomach often, and I had a racing heart often.  I just felt like the world was ending often.

I remember that after I was told I have generalized anxiety disorder (by a psychologist), I told a previous teacher (that I had for 2 years, and I babysat her kids… she was the superintendent’s wife), and she said it made so much sense.

I had severe anxiety in college.  I tried to pray it away, and sometimes that worked.  But not often.

After I had Karis I had postpartum depression and anxiety.

Then after I graduated, I started trying to work.  I had severe anxiety and panic attacks.  Every. Single. Time.

I had to quit jobs 6 times because of severe anxiety (and severe depression).  My anxiety often leads to depression.

I have had two times in which I had hyperventilation syndrome (basically panic attack 24/7… the first time this lasted about 3 months and the second time about a month).

Fast forward to going to La Hacienda for alcoholism.

I met with a psychiatrist 3-4 times, at 1-1 1/2 hours each time.

He diagnosed me with mild bipolar 2 and severe anxiety (general, panic, social, and obsessive/compulsive).

It all made sense at that time.  I am anxious in general.  I have panic attacks (when I work, especially, and I had that hyperventilation syndrome when I started homeschooling the boys).  I have social anxiety.  I used to drink alcohol before social events to help me get through it… and I struggle with dealing with people in general.  Part of this is because of abuse, but part of it is just my anxiety.

And the biggest is obsessive/compulsive.

I obsess over a lot of things.  One example is when Karis was a baby.  She had a lot of tummy issues at first so I thought it was from her bottles.  I would buy a whole, huge set of bottles.  Then when that wouldn’t work, I would buy a whole new set.  I ended up buying like 5 different sets (we ended up finding out she was allergic to dairy).  I would also compulsively buy stuff for her on credit.

Another example is curriculum.  I would try one curriculum and when I decided I didn’t like it after like a week or two, I would obsess over something different, researching for hours every day.  This was my life for almost about a year.  I would spend so much on credit (Paypal credit).  I’m compulsive when it comes to spending money (especially on credit).

When I was doing the THM diet, I stocked up on THM foods (including a case of Wasa crackers that I will never eat) and spent so much money on credit.  I did so much obsessing over that diet.  Same thing with the 21 day fix diet.  And counting calories.  Working out 2 hours a day (which was part of my hypomania as well).  All of that consumed my every thought.

I recently finally closed my Paypal credit account because of compulsively spending even more on it (I used Paypal credit for my Boxed.com orders, but I’m going to pay that back with curriculum money).

Today we decided to cut up credit cards because I obsessively buy things on credit.

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Luckily, I’m really good about buying things in person (at HEB… I try to spend very little).  But.  I do obsess over that as well.  I wrote grocery geek posts early (for this week & next week), before I even bought groceries, based on my grocery list.  I obsessed and kept changing what I was going to buy (and re-did my list about 5 times because I can’t handle just crossing things off that I decide not to buy).

I think my house being clean all the time, laundry being caught up all the time, my household notebook, etc, are all part of me being obsessive with my anxiety.  If I can control things in my world, I feel better.  Now, I won’t stop doing those things because it does help, but it’s hard when things are a bit messy or I forget to plan my day on my planning sheet, I struggle.

My anxiety is actually much better lately because of a lot of self care (including lots of medication).  My life is all about self care right now.  Self care makes me a better wife and mom.  If I were working, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

If you struggle with anxiety, you’re not alone!

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