This post is a little late in coming, mainly because I’ve been enjoying an amazing vacation and didn’t really want to spotlight this particular problem that’s been lurking in the back of my mind.
I’ve discussed it many times before, but it’s time to really hang my dirty laundry out to dry. Anxiety… stress induced anxiety, or just plain old anxiety disorder, in which you worry about anything and everything. Whatever the cause, or nature of your particular brand of anxiety, it sucks. It starts to take over your life in small ways, that soon grow, and before you realize it, you’re structuring your life around what may set your senses on fire, sending you into a tailspin of crazy.
Crazy… I can say that because that’s exactly how I’ve felt these past few months. I can say that because we all have our own ways of defining our mental state of being. You may be offended by my definition of how I feel, and for that I will not apologize. It’s MY feeling, and though I don’t enjoy it, I own it.
This post has been lurking in the back of my head due to my most recent issue as we were flying out to beautiful Cali. I need to make it clear that I don’t have anxiety on planes because I’m fearful of flying. My anxiety comes from being in such close quarters with lots of people, and having to sit for so freakin’ long. Anyway, we were seated on the plane, ready to take off. My heart rate was higher than usual, as is usual. I was practicing my breathing. Yes I do deep breathe. No it doesn’t always help, and the last thing I want to hear someone say is “just deep breathe.” Really? If only it were that easy.
The breathing wasn’t helping… but I powered on. Then it was like every thought and worry I’ve had over the last few months, were being amplified over and over in my head. I closed my eyes, I kept deep breathing, but it was awful. My chest started hurting but I also had that” butterflies in my stomach” AND chest feeling. I’ve never felt like this before. I literally wanted to go fetal ON the plane. It was frightening, because the last thing I wanted was for that plane to be diverted thereby causing me to miss my much needed vacation. It was also frightening, because I am always so proud of myself for how I can pull myself together, and no one ever knows I’m dying inside.
That almost didn’t happen this time. When I reached the “I need to be fetal and crying” point, I just couldn’t take another minute of it. I took my bag down from the luggage storage, pulled out my bottle of Xanax out, took out a pill and swallowed (chewing it a little to make it hit faster) without water. I didn’t even care if every person on the plane wondered what I had just taken. They should have just been thankful I had it, because I am telling you now, I wouldn’t have made that whole flight without it. I could not shake that awful feeling, and that’s scary.
SO, that being said, before you judge someone who needs a Xanax, look at your own vices first. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t take a 12 pack , or two to three, to four glasses of Xanax every night. and I certainly don’t take it as often as you might have a cigarette. I try painting, reading, writing, eating… I love to eat, but not when I’m losing my mind.
I don’t know if this is a menopausal thing, or what. I know a lot of it is stress. I know a lot of it is worry over lack of control of things in life that we just aren’t meant to control, but knowing these things doesn’t make it go away. Sometimes all we can do is face it head on, and sometimes all we can do is concede and take a Xanax (only in the evening, by the way… I’m not a day time Xanax person unless I’m on a plane), because our sanity, and our heart health is important.