Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed, not even just whelmed.

Today is going to be one of those days I take a break from my typical light-hearted jib jab.
Why? Because there's a real life person that lives under my sarcastic skin, I promise.
A vulnerable and sensitive post.
Oh boy, here she is...


Anxiety. I've got it.
I've got the kind the doctor considers to be moderate to severe.
Moderate on my good days - severe on my worst.
I've got the kind of anxiety that proves to be an every day battle.

Anxiety is a massive bastard. Somedays he even introduces me to his colleague, depression.
It's a battle I didn't even know I faced until I turned 22.
22 is when I realized that getting cut off while driving is not means for a total meltdown on the side of a local highway. 
22 is when I realized that laying in bed at night, mind racing back and forth, panicking about an email box full of mail just wasn't normal. 
22 is when I realized that constantly thinking my house was going to be burglarized while I was sleeping wasn't normal.
22 is when I went and got help. 

Help meaning drugs, if we're being honest.
One drug by the name of Lexapro.
At 22 I began a numbing, empty relationship with a med named Lexapro that lasted for two years.
If you aren't a math buff, as I am certainly not, I'm 25 now and no longer in said relationship.
Why? Well, simply put... "I'd rather be crazy than numb." -My Ty Ty BFF
I am not saying the drugs are bad, because they aren't at all, they simply didn't adjust to my body.

For me the meds took the life out of me. I was empty.
Not sad. Not happy. Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed, not even just whelmed.
Sure, the insomnia was cured. The panic attacks? They vanished. 
I had absolutely no interest in feeling anything.
I wasn't worried about anything. Ever.

Two years of numbness later.. I went off the meds.

Today? Today I have anxiety attacks regularly.
Anxiety attacks stemming from forgetting my lunch at home all the way to not having my rent check turned in at least 5 days prior to the first when it's due.
I still think there's always someone behind me waiting to attack, I still lay in bed stressing about my Brita pitcher that I forgot to refill.
I still carry around my pepper spray like it's a bomb that will inevitably save me from anything.

Yep, mostly I panic about things I know are silly.
Most nights, even with the help of melatonin, I wake up somewhere around 3am worrying about something. Anything. Could be something as simple as bringing something to the post office the next day.
It's a burden, it's an absolute thorn in my life's side, but at least I am feeling.


My relationship with anxiety is an absolute mind over matter thing.
I try meditating when I can't sleep.
I try taking very deep breaths when I feel overwhelmed. 
I try not letting little things effect how I behave.
I try reminding myself that anything good that can happen will happen.

Somedays are great, somedays are not.
Such is the life of the anxiety sufferer.
At this point in life, I'm happy to be able to feel these struggles.
One day? Well, one day I may be fed up with this anxiety and go back on the numbness train.

Today, I try my hardest to be as whelmed (also see: normal) as humanly possibly.

88 comments:

  1. This is a great post. I also suffer from anxiety, I stress about everything. I can 100% relate to the staying up at night thinking about things that aren't really important, but your brain just won't shut off. Thank you for posting this.
    xxx

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  2. I absolutely I think I suffer from anxiety. I do everything that you mentioned, but never realized that a pill could help my road rage and short temper with dumb people. I guess there is a downside to all good things though, and you're right, I'd rather be crazy than numb - at least most of the time ;) Loved this post!

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  3. This is an awesome post because you're so not alone! My fiance suffers from depression and anxiety too. He also did meds and hated the way they made him feel - numb. So now he just braces himself through it and has done a really amazing job. I don't suffer myself but just by witnessing it first hand in someone else, I know it's a battle every day. You seem like you are doing really great with it though and everyone has *those* days. It just means wine and yoga pants later :)

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  4. I think this is a very normal thing for us crazy girls to battle. As a Type A kinda girl myself I can relate. I've never taken any meds though, like you said just not for me. Hope that today is manageable for you girl!

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  5. I suffer with anxiety and depression as well. It runs in my family. We found an all natural doctor and he told us to take Valerian root. It works. I usually take it before bed and it doesn't put me in a fog like drugs do. I hope you feel better. Go home tonight, snuggle with the pups and grab some wine.

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  6. I just love you to the moon and back. This post is so special to me, because I too have problems with anxiety that I sometimes forget to admit. And I always, always think I'm alone. Ty is such a smarty. I'd rather be crazy than numb any day of the week.

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  7. i recently found your blog and have been reading for a few weeks - your posts crack me up and i loooove your outlook on wine ;) this post, while absolutely different from the usual stuff i've been reading from you, is why i love the blogging world so much - you're real and you're human and you're willing to put that out there. i was on prozac for 2 years and got off of it because i'd rather deal with my "crazy" than not deal with anything, ever. good luck, girly...you'll find your balance!!

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  8. Whitney- you are definitely not alone. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder 10 years ago and had a 4 year relationship with Lexapro as well. But, I realized the medication was a band aid and I had never truly dealt with my excessive anxiety. I used to worry that my stomach ache was appendicitis or that my house would be broken into while I slept too....I still do. Deep breathing exercises and reframing has helped, but I still go down to the dark side. I don't have anxiety attacks daily anymore but it can be crippling and really hard to explain to people. I also hear "just relax" and I get angry because if it were that easy, I would have already. Have you though about seeing a therapist (who doesn't go straight to meds)? I see one weekly and it has been super helpful, even just as an outlet to vent.

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    Replies
    1. The "just relax" or "calm down" comments are awful! That is like telling someone with a broken leg to go run a race... obviously if we could calm down, we would!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this. I also struggled with anxiety and depression when I was about 21-22 for a few years. I still have some anxiety, but it's more manageable now. You are definitely not alone, girl! I think so many young women struggle with this because there are so many things to stress about as a young woman, to be honest. I hope your battle continues to improve. And you're right - it's better to feel than to be numb.

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  10. Love your blog! Read it daily! I also have struggled with this since I was about 18 years old. All through my 20's I would go off and on Meds and always felt the Numb feeling as well. In my late 20's I found a new med called Presiq. It is AH-mazing. Zoloft, lexapro all those made me feel numb. This makes me feel nothing just less anxiety and depression. I found out from a Dr. that it could take trying several meds to find what works with your body chemistry.He said you know you have the right med for you when you don't even feel like you are on anything just feel better. I have been on this med for about 4 years and LOVE it. Never thought I could feel this anxious.

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  11. I too found your blog recently and have been hooked ever since. I started Lexapro around 20. I'm 25 now, but was on it for about a year and half until I really noticed how I had NO feelings whatsoever. Not sad, not overly happy just never felt like ME. I too came off the meds and still battle with depression here and there and anxiety too but moral of the story is you are not alone and girls just like us are dealing with this every single day. This was a really great post. I've never met anyone that I felt a connection with because of this crazy anxiety/depression crap. I'm convinced wine is the only 'drug' we need! xox

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  12. Whitney - I suffered from (and still do) from anxiety for over ten years. I started experiencing it the summer after I graduated from high school. It took me a little while to figure out why I was constantly having these overwhelming feelings that I was going to have a heart attack while sitting in traffic on the highway or why I would get short of breath and feel like I was losing control. I finally saw a therapist and my doctor put me on Zoloft. It worked so well for me that after one short year, I was feeling 100% better and went off of it. I struggled with it on and off for a while, went back and forth on the meds, but after this long I've learned to cope with it. Eventually, I think you will find something that works for you and just realize that the feelings you are having are probably completely irrational. It always helps to remind myself of that. Hang in there and I know you will make it through!

    xo, kelly
    sweettea-lemonade.blogspot.com

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  13. Girl, thank you for writing this... not only for your post, but for all of the comments that will help us all! Add me to the list of people who suffer from anxiety. Mine came to a head about a year ago and I started taking meds... luckily I don't get the numb side effects, which I'm so thankful for because the meds really do help me a ton. My biggest wake-up was that I started yelling at my kids all.the.time. and I obviously didn't want to be that mom! I also had the overwhelming fears of me or my kids dying, of the house catching on fire while we were asleep... overwhelming fears of those things every.single.day. I was constantly in a hurry, rush-rush-rush... I could never slow down and relax, and literally struggled to take a deep breath... physically I just couldn't do it. So for now, the meds are a big help... I'd like to go off of them at some point, of course, but now isn't the time for me. Thanks again for sharing your story... it's important, and you're definitely not alone!

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  14. Girl, I totally understand! I'm the same way and just haven't gone to the doc because I wasn't sure I wanted to take medicine. My panic/anxiety attacks are about the DUMBEST things (to somebody else) and when I calm down I can rationalize it.

    I know you can totally cope with it. We need to take walks and deep breaths every once in a while... it's so hard to remember but I totally understand where you're coming from!!!

    Xo-L

    simplylowcountry.blogspot.com

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  15. You know what's weird? I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember, and at the age of 23 I JUST got help for it (this was a few months ago). I'm on medicine, which curbs most of the physical symptoms, but it's an everyday battle. I love this post and 100% understand what it's like. Keep your head up!

    Life Unsweetened

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  16. Also an anxiety sufferer here. Thank you for this post :) just keep breathing. That's all we can do :)

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  17. First off, I love you... Second off, I love you some more... Third, you are just amazing. This is something that I have recently, like within the last couple months, have started dealing with myself. My entire life I have known deep down that the levels of anxiety I have aren't normal, there are things that I do that I shouldn't to cope and I recently realized that I did need help... I hate the idea of medicine, however am all for trying anything. This post is beyond amazing and something that I just needed to hear, especially right now.

    You are a beautiful beautiful lady inside and out :)

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  18. You day, you will be stronger because you allowed yourself to feel those things. At least I tell myself that :)

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  19. Ohh honey boo boo, I had no idea about any of this which makes me feel like a bad BFF. I love that you're letting everyone in on other parts of your life than the sarcastic. It makes me happy for you :) Love you long time! xoxox

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  20. You are amazing for sharing this. I've always been a worrier but my younger brother has been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorders and after being on Lexapro for several years, he opted to stop medicating and started seeing a therapist to work through his issues. He still sees doctors who tell him he'd be better and more together on meds, but his biggest argument is exactly what you said-- he'd rather feel scattered and crazy than be numbed from the medicine and feel nothing at all.

    It's crazy how blogs can bring us together, isn't it? Stay strong, sweet girl!

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  21. Ugh - I hate this for you!!! But I'm so glad you shared. I started taking meds for anxiety and depression when I was 19 (I'm now 29). Lexapro is one I took for a few years...probably from about 21-23 or 24? I was a lot more "numb" then than I am now. This may have even been the time in my life when my mother made a comment to me, something to the effect of "not seeming to care about things that matter" (meaning I didn't show emotion). I got off that and on something else. I'm now taking Welbutrin XL and Zoloft, every day. I wrote about this topic a little bit recently myself in this post, though I was a little bit embarrassed/nervous (?) to do to so: http://www.bluegrassbelle.com/2012/11/on-not-properly-communicating-my.html

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  22. I am very happy you posted about this. I can see a few of the symptoms you have in myself. I am now 26 years old. I always had the crazy scenarios that I just couldn't stop playing in my mind as long as I can remember. I would stress myself out so bad I would be so exhausted and just sleep, and sleep. I started on 60 mg of Cymbalta December of 2005. Then 3 years ago I weaned myself down to 30 mg. And just about 6 months ago I got it down to 20 mg. I was trying to wean myself fully off but I found back then I would slip into the sleeping mode anything below 20mg. I still have those times when I freak out about silly things, but I can now cope with it and never dwell. I would like to wean completely off the drug, but I know I can in time! Lovely post!

    honeyandnutmeg.blogspot.com

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  23. I have always had anxiety but it was during a particularly stressful time my sophomore year of college that I just couldn't take it anymore and decided it was time for therapy. THis turned out to be on of the top 5 decisions I have ever made and I got my life back without going down the meds route (not judging those who do, it just was never an option for me). Through those sessions, I learned what triggers my anxiety the most, how I can diffuse it before I have a breakdown and what ways I can avoid my triggers. Sometimes nothing helps but for the most part, I still use the tools I learned with the help of my therapist. I totally recommend therapy to anyone and everyone because I've had two really positive experiences (individual and couple's therapy). If you find the right therapist, they will become invaluable to you. And it really is nice to have someone to converse with about issues who comes from a neutral place. Whatever path you choose to wellness, I hope you get consistant relief for your anxiety. <3
    --Erinn

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  24. This was a refreshing post from you, Whit. You are always SO happy and so funny I would have never guessed that you have anxiety. I too, have bad (BAAAD) panic attacks which send me to the emergency room. If you ever need to vent about it, find me. I know a lot about anxiety and how to deal (or not) ... Because I am on Welbutrin for depression, my doc just has me take Valium, yep.
    Not sure it helps, doesn't make me feel numb, just tired.

    xoxoxo
    Liz

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  25. Twins. I, too, carry my pepper spray around like it's my saving grace. It doesn't help that I got followed home from the train, all the way to my doorway, by a hooded ill-intentioned man a few weeks ago. Last night was the 2nd night I've had to be home alone since then and I was fully convinced I was going to die. But even without that.. all I do is worry, worry worry. Always thinking someone I love is going to die anytime they go anywhere, etc. Thinking my train is gonna crash, on and on ... and I've been in an ambulance a couple times because of anxiety attacks so severe I literally could.not.breathe.
    But I also went off and stayed off the meds because I did not like the numb feeling either.

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  26. I've been going through the same thing for about 10 years now, it all started in college and I've found ways to keep things under control without medication. My husband has been a big help because he is so easy going and doesn't stress out about anything. I do deep breathing, drink sleepy time tea before bed, the night time is my worst time. I now consider myself more of a worry wort than someone with anxiety.

    It takes a lot to be so honest on here and I love that you have shared your story in such a candid way.

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  27. This is such a great, honest post. I identify with you SO much, right down to the Lexapro battles. I too was on it and I too decided it wasn't for me. I take the mind over matter approach but that doesn't mean I don't lay in my bed at night and watch the tree branches outside of my window expecting them to turn into raging monsters at any moment.

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  28. This was such a honest post. You are being so open with your life and you should be proud of that! I have also been on Lexapro and also decided to get off of it because I didn't care about anything. It almost pushed me to be more depressed. I would go to work, come home, get in bed, and do nothing until sleepy time came around. I applaud you for opening up your mind and soul to share with all of us! We are, after all, all human! :)

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  29. Great post. I have never went to the doctor and got diagnosed, because I think that in itself is an axiety for me. But I deal with that every day too. But I DO NOT want to be on meds, so I just hassle it out with myself.

    Totally feel ya girl..

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  30. I'm on that anxiety train with you! I had a huge anxiety attack (and cried) on Jason's birthday because the AC was off at the bar and someone push up against me to walk through. I couldn't move, I couldn't talk, I was just shaking and crying. As soon as Jason was able to help me out the door and into the "fresh air",everything became normal again and I was fine. I wish there was a reason WHY these attacks happen. I love your posts (and you!) because you are always so relatable. We iz one in the same, girl!

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  31. Wow...what a great post! Thanks for opening up and sharing your struggle. I hope you learn to manage it so you don't send yourself into an early grave...however for now...CHEERS to feeling!!

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  32. Whitney, thanks so much for posting this. It's funny how someone baring their soul like this can bring calm to others. My DH suffered from anxiety a few years ago (and to be honest, I don't know if he still does). I never truly understood what anxiety feels like on the inside. He, too, took "numbing" medication and hated it. Your post painted the most detailed picture for an outsider looking in. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Lisette
    http://northernbellediaries.blogspot.com

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  33. I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but I love when people speak up about it. I think waaaay too many suffer in silence when they don't have to!! As for the medicine, maybe you just need to find one that works for you. It took a few different meds until I found the one that didn't either make me go to sleep or turn me into an emotionless zombie.

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  34. I love this. I suffer from anxiety over small things as well and only take anti-anxiety meds when I fly.

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  35. I wrote about my I-have-anxiety-realization last week and though I considered seeing a doctor about it, I decided against it for that very reason - "I'd rather be crazy than be numb." I may lose my shit when I can't find my keys in the morning and I may constantly think walking to my car, someone will abduct and rape and chop me into twelve pieces - BUT - everyone I know who has gone on meds said exactly what you are saying! I'm awesome the way I am, except for those batshit crazy instances that happen sometimes. Meditation, yoga, and cardio/weight lifting help me a lot. Sometimes a little alcohol simmers it down. It seems to be a common problem in adults so I'm hoping I can keep it under control sans the drugs. I like being whelmed.

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  36. Thanks for the post! I cant relate to everything you wrote. All I do is worry, worry, worry. I also wake up in the middle of the night and worry about the dumbest things that shouldn't be interrupting my sleep...like are the doors locked? Of course they are, I checked several times before bed. Or is the heat at a comfortable temperature? Sometimes I get anxiety that I'm going to have a panic attack or faint and I feel like a crazy person. But I'm with you...I'd rather be crazy then numb :)

    I found this pin on Pinterest the other day that I printed and put in my planner. It helps when my mind starts to race.

    http://pinterest.com/pin/267893877805958981/

    xo

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  37. I just literally teared up! You spoke straight to my heart sistah friend. Honestly the anxiety bug didn't bit me until after Miss P was born in July but damn it hit me head on along with post~partum and OCD craziness... I am actually on medication and doing amazing. I still "feel" yet I can make it through most days. I will say though my anxiety is at an all time high. The medication I am on more or less helps with the depression side... now if I can just get that anxiety crap under control!!!

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  38. Lexapro was awful for me as well. I switched to Wellbutrin and it saved my life. This was all after my dad passed away and I've been off it now for 4+ years but it was a live saver. I also have a prescription for Xanax which I use in emergencies and also this OTC stuff from England called "Kalms" that I live for.

    What REALLY helped me? The Anxiety and Phobias Workbook by Edmund Bourne. It's UNBELIEVABLE. Really is.

    Keep fighting the good fight. And enjoy that chardo xxoo

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  39. I have major major anxiety and I'm trying to fix it without help of medication and it is so hard. I have decided it is a spiritual thing and having people to talk to helps. But I have experienced everything you have. I am weird about the littlest things. Sharing this is wonderful. You are not alone girly.

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  40. Anxiety runs in my family big time. My sister couldn't sleep at night for over 2 years so she finally went to see someone about it. She was with you on not wanting to be numb, so they put her on adderol during the day so she would keep her mind off the thoughts that induced anxiety and then Clonopin at night. It helps her a TON, she wouldn't be able to sleep without it. I've started seeing some of the same symptons in myself - mainly the not being able to sleep because of an issue waiting in my work email - but am trying to reduce it natrually first. It seems like, from the other comments, that you are certainly not alone in this!

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  41. Ugh I can totally sympathize with you. My got really bad sophomore year in college. I was on Zoloft for a few years and then decided to take myself off of it because I hated putting medicine in my body. Because I'm a doctor and all not...

    I hate this for you because I know how awful it is :(

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  42. Thank you so much for sharing this! Your boyfriend was cheating on you with me... and we didn't have a great relationship either. Lexapro made me feel like I was in one of those movie montages where the main character is standing still and the world is rushing past them on all sides. I'm with you, though, I'm much more happy and fun being a little crazy than I was being a lifeless statue. Here's to mood swings! :)

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  43. What an honest and heart felt post! I have been surprised to see as I have gotten older than soooo many people suffer from anxiety. The good thing is that you acknowledge that you have it and understand that it is mind over matter. This way there is some ability to talk yourself down. Many people in my life suffer from anxiety including myself (though not bad).

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  44. I have the worst anxiety. I haven't been on medication for about 8 years now, but I've been thinking about going back and trying something new.

    My anxiety is absolutely crippling on some days and has physical side effects (yep, i'm admitting here that I pooped my pants in the car while taking my son to school his first day this year).

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  45. I could not agree with you more... seriously. Anytime I have taken any medication for anxiety or anxiety's twin brother depression I feel like a zombie. Numb. Like I am walking through the world in a bubble. Nothing effects me. At least with the anxiety and with the depression I can feel something. It may be pain, physically, mentally but at least it is something. I have been struggling soo much these last few weeks and this post just reminded me that I am not alone. Thats why I love this blog world so much. Thank you for sharing and I hope today you get to jump into some footsie jammies and have a whole box of wine... okay maybe not a whole one but at least half!
    www.amessofbeautifulchaos.blogspot.com

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  46. I totally know some people need those meds, but I've seen and heard too many stories where people were that way with them - numb. Jarrod was one of them, and it lasted for 2 weeks before he was off of them (adjustment, whatever).

    And wait...laying awake and fearing your house being burglarized every night isn't normal? :\

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  47. I feel you! I don't have severe anxiety, but there are certain things I definitely get anxious about. Brita refills made me laugh b/c I hate that. I commend you and think it's awesome you don't want to feel numb and are handling it yourself. You are awesome girl.

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  48. oh girl. i am so glad you wrote this post. it took me until i was...well...older than 22 ;)to realize i needed to get help. i am currently riding the numb train, grasping onto my bottle of lexapro, and my bottle of buspar, and my bottle of xanax....for dear life. and you described that feeling of "numbness" perfectly. i basically just don't give a rat's ass about anything anymore...and i truly hate that, and it is so refreshing and eye opening and almost hopeful for me to see your perspective on this because so many times you only hear from people who are on the meds and never want to come off and that's ok too, but it's nice to see another side. since going on the meds and noticing how much of a 360 i've taken, i never considered that i would or could ever go off them till i read this post....but it's true, feeling numb sucks too. maybe not as bad as waking up at 2am in a cold sweat becuse you forgot to shut down your computer before you left work, and maybe worse than that. right now, that panic is too fresh in my mind to feel comfortable welcoming it back again, even in small doses, by going off, but you made me realize that i really am tired of not feeling anything.


    i think you're pretty rad :)

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  49. This is beautiful! You're such a strong woman for dealing with this AND being able to open up about it. Its because of posts/stories like this that other people are able to come to terms with their own self. As much as I love your light hearted sarcastic posts, this was amazing!

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  50. I have always had anxiety and I am sorry you are suffering from that bitch, too. I have always been opposed to medication, that's just me in that regard, to each their own, and have found my pick-me-up in yoga. A regular practice of yoga at least 3-4 times a week has made a huge difference in my emotional and mental balance, I would have never expected that. I can only recommend it. It is not only good for your mind and soul but for your body, which is a nice little add-on. Yoga grounds me and helps me feel more centered and in control of myself and my thoughts. Even my bitch of a mind has no desire for anxiety in the worst possible situations sometimes as long as I go to yoga on a regular basis. Maybe it can work for you as well!

    Oh, THAT, and I eventually went to see a therapist a couple times a month ... she did magic, seriously.

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  51. You are so brave to post this! I suffer from the same, but was dealing with a different medicine that made me a Zombie. I'd rather drive back to my house and make sure I unplugged the straightening iron, read an email fifteen times before hitting send, or asking my husband 18 times if he paid the electric bill. This is why we like wine :) Anxiety sucks! Thanks for sharing, it's so nice to know I am not alone :)

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  52. Hello beautiful girl! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, I'm sure it wasn't easy. I suffered from anxiety for a long time - not really to your extreme (I mean that in the least offending way!!), but it was because I was in a really terrible relationship with my ex bf, I was unhappy with myself, and everything in my life drove me crazy. I was also put on Lexapro and it made me rip my hair out in the middle of the night, as well as not feel one single thing. When I finally made the decision to go off of it I spoke with my therapist and she suggested that I start taking the things out of my life that gave me such anxiety. The first, obviously being my boyfriend. Are there things in your life that you could do without, things that by subtracting them from your life will also subtract some of the anxiety that you face? I am thinking of you and sending hopeful thoughts your way!

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  53. HONEY! What a post! I can SO relate to this! I have MAJOR anxiety! I was on Lexipro for 6 months about 4 years ago. It helped but as you say, you were numb. I don't deal well with numb. I think there's real freedom in sharing your struggles. I pray that as you've opened up with this struggle that perhaps you are helping others but it will also help you. Prayer is a big thing for me. The ONLY thing for me. I truly know that WITHOUT GOD and WITHOUTH PRAYER, and the Bible and my Church I COULD NOT MAKE IT. COULD NOT. I find that when I'm really truly worrying about something or anxious about something, if I go to Him in prayer about it and TRULY LET.IT.GO. He takes it from me. Get a prayer journal. Write out these anxieties. As big or as little they are. He cares. He'll hold them for you. I've heard it said before 'if you are worrying, you aren't praying' and I know that holds true for me. I pray you will find peace amidst this anxiety without meds and that you can live the life God intends for you. A life of FREEDOM! Praying for you sweet girl. I know how debilitating this can be!

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  54. Sorry to hear you are dealing with this! I struggle with anxiety and depression as well, and I have had panic attacks because I tried to grab too many bags of groceries at once, or because the bowling alley was a little too warm, or even in my sleep. Hubby used to tell me I sounded like I was running a marathon in my sleep, I couldn't even relax then. After years of fighting it I was put on a very low dose of celexa, and I have been on it for a few years. I still struggle, and have my full range of emotions, but my "lows" aren't quite as LOW. It's a relief, but I am glad to not be numbed to anything. I am considering weaning off the meds and giving life a try without it again :) Thank you for sharing your story!

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  55. i so admire you talking about this Whitney. I actually have the exact same anxiety issues, and I think a lot more people do than they want to admit it. Seeing that you needed help is great and I am sure a lot of other people probably would have been a lot easier to get along with if they had too.

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  56. I had major anxiety in my early 20s, that I learned to cope with and control in ways like you mentioned.

    I am happy to say its mellowing in my old age.

    Hang in there girl. And kudos for this post.

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  57. I totally understand! I breakout in cold sweats thinking about what could, would, should, but prob won't happen! Thank you for posting this, so that others know that they are not alone! I love your blog, because you are so honest and straight forward!

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  58. Hey girl, I just found your adorable blog and love it! You are so honest and relatable! Newest follower! xo.
    Megan

    I'd love for you to check out my fashion blog!
    www.forallthingslovelymr.blogspot.com

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  59. I have anxiety too - it's really bad. And what's worse - every anxiety drug I've ever taken actually makes my ADHD I out of control. It weird because you would think the two would be related. I totally know how you feel though, I'd much rather be anxious than numb, although being anxious sucks too. I feel for you and I can totally relate to what you're going through. It's really hard to share stuff like this publicly, so thank you for that. It's nice knowing that I'm not al

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  60. alone. My dog hit send. Sorry about that!

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  61. Yes! This! I hate to hear that you suffer from anxiety. It is nice to read about someone else who copes with anxiety without taking meds, and will work through it. No, this doesn't mean that I think badly of people on meds--it can REALLY help the people who take them. I'm just one of the people who choose to work through it and have learned to manage it as best as I can. Does it make me feel nuts some days? Absolutely! Does it make me feel good when I can find ways to push through it? Even more so. Thanks for sharing this post. I'm sure it's going to help at least one other person who feels the same way we do :)

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  62. You are a strong woman! My brother suffers through severe anxiety/depression and just watching him go through it breaks my heart - so of course I'm sending lots of prayers & good vibes your way. <3

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  63. I feel your pain on the numbness train. Lexapro was one of the numerous drugs my doctors tried me on. Three years ago, I pulled myself off of my last script. Last year, they tried me on all kinds of crap(my insomnia, anxiety, and depression were way out of control). I pulled myself off all of the meds. Now, the only thing I stay with is my panic pills (Serax). When I have a really bad anxiety attack, I pop one and it instantly calms me down enough to function. NO numbness, no foggy brain, just calm enough to breathe. I love being pill free and knowing if it gets really, really bad(the omg I can't breathe, heart pounding out of my chest, I AM going to die feeling), that I have a non-narcotic solution that I don't have to be on for the rest of my life.

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  64. I just started some meds because the anxiety made me a crazy person. Literally.
    I've heard so many people get that nothing feeling you described and am definitely am looking out for those signs in myself because I am 100% with you- I'd rather feel crazy than nothing.

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  65. Thank you so much for sharing this honest story to which so many people can relate. I commend you for being able to realize that medications were not allowing you to feel anything or be truly yourself, and then learning how to function without them, even though it's a constant battle. And I completely agree about mind over matter!

    Julie
    justjuliec.blogspot.com

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  66. I came across your blog via PinkLouLou. Thank you for sharing your story. I too suffer from anxiety and can totally relate to this post. People who do not deal with anxiety have no clue what we go through on a daily basis. It's nice to read about someone who understands how I feel.

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  67. I just now had the chance to read this post and girlfriend, you are SO strong! I also suffer from anxiety. It's not severe, but it's definitely a struggle. But admitting vulnerability like you did in this post isn't easy. But it's something that you should be proud of. And know that you're not alone! :) xoxo

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  68. girrlll.. i suffer from anxiety too and IT SUCKS. just know that you are definitely not alone! <3

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  69. You are not alone girl. I started getting bad anxiety when I was 22 going into my last semester of College. My boyfriend at the time (husband now) accepted a new job 3 1/2 hours away - at a place I thought there is no way in the world I would ever live (which I do now) and we were building a house, on top of me finishing school. It was just too much. I was physically and emotionally sick. The Dr. put me on Lexapro... although it helped with a little of the anxiety symptoms, I wasn't "me" I went through the day almost emotionless. When I finished school and moved in our new home with my (then fiance') the anxiety was still there. I was in a new town, hours away from my friends, not knowing where I was going to work. It was awful. I knew that something needed to happen. I weened myself off of Lexapro and almost instantly I was back to myself. Although I still have anxiety flareups (especially recently) I know I do not want to turn back to these drugs. I've been getting bad tension headaches (which often make me think something else is wrong) or my heart will race and I'll be short of breath (which makes you think you're having a heart attack) I try to talk to my husband about it but for someone who doesn't have anxiety, it is hard for them to understand. Admitting there is a problem is the first step. It is a struggle but deep breaths, exercise and positive thoughts help me.

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  70. My husband, a 3rd year medical student, just finished his Psych rotation. Let's just say... that any woman who prefers to stay busy, be productive, and get things done suffers with anxiety (of course, it's probably not as severe as yours)Some of us are just better at covering it up than others. His dad is a psychiatrist - he taught me that there's a huge mind over matter way of defeating those stressful, overwhelming feelings and after some time you just master the ability to fight it off. Needless to say, I think it's incredible that you made the decision to live- rather than be trapped by the medicine.

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  71. I have it too. Sometimes I amaze myself with how anxious I get. I try to laugh about it and make light of it, oh that's maria being cray cray again. Eh, it is what it is.

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  72. I love this. I love this to PIECES. (totally odd subject but while tervis shopping I thought about you when I saw the wine cup) This is perfection. It so nice to know that you are not the only one. I though I was coocoo for cocoa puffs. Even though I know that all of my kiddos signed out at school, my mind makes up that maybe I missed one and they are sitting in the dark classroom. Thank you for being so honest. Thats amazeballs. Mad loveeee!

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  73. I NEEDED to read this right now, so I'm thankful you posted it, and thankful I didn't read it yesterday like I normally would have. I have been sitting here obsessing that there was something I was supposed to do at work that I didn't do, then my mind flew and I thought maybe I'd left a candle lit. I don't even have a candle in my office! I'm nuts. Anyway, I have battled with this for awhile. I have been on a few different ones. Ones that made me feel numb or even more anxious. Finally I'm taking something that is working OK. It doesn't take away all the extra anxiety(I say "extra" bc I think some people get regular anxious feelings and serious anxiety confused) but it help. I rarely have panic attacks anymore, and generally just feel better, but I know meds aren't right for everyone. I was at my wits end right before I found what I am currently on. I hope it gets better for you, and for me, and for anyone who has felt such overwhelming anxiety.

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  74. This post. It's like you took the words straight out of my own mind.... except for the fact that I'm convinced my thoughts are still "normal" and not anxiety. Although I cancelled two job interviews because of it... AH! And because I unplug the toaster oven, and microwave, and cell phone charger, and laptop charger, and.... probably everything else you can think of when I'm not using them.

    Thank you so so SO much for posting this. Even if I still tell myself it's "normal", it does make me feel better knowing I'm not alone!

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  75. Preaching to the anxiety choir here girl.
    I used to be ok but I've struggled with it alot since I moved back to PA. I'm all out of sorts sometimes.

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  76. I'm so thankful you posted this. I had my first panic attack when I was in high school, and was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression at the age of 20. It was always something that my family didn't understand, because of course, they loved me and why would I be depressed? Sure, my childhood was difficult and I had issues accepting the issues stemming from it (my Mom had me when she was a teenager, I could have been a famous baby on 16 and Pregnant 80's style), but to my parents I should be fine. I still struggle with anxiety that turns normal every day things into carefully planned annoyances. Now that I'm going through infertility issues, I feel more anxiety than I ever have probably felt in my life. Thats another story though.

    I don't think people can truly understand anxiety until they have it, and the more severe it is the more it debilitates you, which I don't think a lot of people understand. Thank you for writing this, Whitney. It truly helps raise awareness to the fact many suffer from it and it doesn't make us abnormal. :)

    Xo
    Megan


    abrinkadventure.blogspot.com

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  77. What a great, honest post. I love it! So many people do not understand the world of anxiety and depression, which for me are blurred together. :) While I felt a slight anxiety attack coming on while reading this post I feel better knowing that there are other people out there that UNDERSTAND!! :) You have some great readers! :) Love the blog!

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  78. you are far braver than i am. i've done the rollercoaster and gone back and forth with wanting to JUST FEEL, and then not wanting to feel at all. currently though i'm in the middle. i'm on meds but not a high enough dose because the side effects were too much to deal with. so i take the meds and i feel enough to still have anxiety day in, day out, but the depression usually doesn't come with it. anxiety is the worst, WORST thing there is.

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  79. I have bipolar, anxiety and OCD. How's that?
    I stay awake at night worrying that I offended someone because I said I don't see the point of Duck Dynasty on my (personal page) Facebook update. No joke. No sleep last night. I'm on meds for the BP but not anxiety. It really sucks sometimes.

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  80. I'm in the same boat as you... Struggling with anxiety/depression. Lexapro has helped me though.

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  81. Stalking...and found this post! I took lexapro for about a week and I threw up every night and hated it. Anxiety blows, but this is probs why I can relate to you muchos. Hope its gotten better since this post...Love the new design too :))))))))

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  82. I FEEL YOU. Just got married last weekend and HOLY SHIT I WAS A HOT MESS!!!!! Xanax <3

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  83. I know how you feel! When I heard sounds outside my house at night I grab my pepper spray (that normally sits on my book shelf at arms length) and keep it under my pillow! I went to the doctor for my anxiety at 20 years old and they gave me the option to take pills too, but I said no way. I knew I'd feel empty, awful, and weird inside. Instead she gave me a list of tips on how to mentally over come it. Deep breaths, not sweating the little things, trying not to over think things, etc. It's starting to help! :)

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