Anxiety affects more people than we actually realize. I personally have been diagnosed with chronic anxiety, depression and conversion disorder. My disorder is so bad that I can put myself in the hospital, and in a coma. I have been battling with my anxiety since I was a child, but it really started to become an issue in 2012-2013 when I was 17 and left alone to raise a baby all on my own. I felt like my child and I were not good enough. I struggled in school because everyone would stare at me and judge me. I got called so many hurtful names. I would lash out at people because I was tired of being judged. I even got into a fight when i was pregnant. A group of girls kept judging me for days and I finally snapped. I told them that they better stop, and the girl goes “or what?” I told them if they didn’t stop they would find out, and then she called me a name I turned around so quick and punched her in the face. Them judging me just added to my anxiety. I started blacking at school and after the fourth time of blacking out I was admitted into the hospital for a week.
My anxiety was to high and my daughter didn’t like that. I had to wear a heart monitor the rest of my pregnancy, I was put on , and I had to go to the doctor two-three times a week for stress test and ultrasounds. I was in and out of the hospital my entire pregnancy, until the day my blood pressure was so high i had severe preclampsia. Twenty four hours in labor and she was finally here. I had to be cut open and i tore. I had a total of thirty-eight stitches down in my area. After my daughter my anxiety got even worse, and then i was diagnosed with depression. I never wanted to leave the house, I didn’t want to get up and shower. I would put a ton of diapers and wipes next to me to change her. I would fill bottles up of water and have a huge can of formula so all I had to do is pour it into her bottle and shake it up. The pain was so bad I couldn’t move. I was always terrified that I was going to tear myself that I would actually have panic attacks about it. I also lost a lot of blood after her birth. Being a new mom is already stressful, but adding anxiety and depression on top makes it ten times worse.
I had gained ninety pounds being pregnant. I blew up so quick that I had gotten really bad stretch marks, and my stomach never went back to normal. The first guy I was intimate with had called me vulgar names and it completely destroyed me. I was already insecure about who I was and then he said that to me. I started dating really bad guys. Ones who degraded me, lied to me, used me, cheated on me. I still hear those words in my head “no one will EVER love you.” When you have been told you’re not pretty and you’re fat constantly that’s all you begin to believe. When someone tells me I’m beautiful I just look at them and don’t believe a word that is coming out of their mouth. I mean how could you, when you are told you’re not constantly. I eventually stopped going out a lot because I didn’t want anyone to look at my “ugly, hideous face.”
I was always afraid people were staring at me, and judging every part of me. I was constantly snapping, especially my family. Anyone could tell me something and I would give them such an attitude about it. I would get so frustrated and quit at every little thing because I never thought it would be good enough. My anxiety put me in the hospital more times than I can count. It was literally tearing my stomach apart. When they could never find out what was wrong with me I would get so frustrated because people looked at me like I was crazy! They ran a test finally that showed my gallbladder was not functioning. I did have to have surgery to have it removed, but even after I was still having pains in my stomach.
In February, 2017 I was at work when my body started going numb, and I felt like I talking funny. I started feeling very weak and dizzy. The other teacher I was working with started walking towards the door to tell our director, but before she got even close to the door i passed out and hit my head on a bookshelf. I was sort of responsive at first but then I was going in and out of consciousness. My eyes kept rolling in the back of my head. I was shaking uncontrollably and my body was blue. I could hear people talking to me and a friends tears on my cheek. I was trying to answer but I couldn’t. I was rushed to the hospital where I was sent home with just a uti. Everyone thought I was having a stroke or dying except the doctors. When I woke up and came to my parents, daughter, best friend, and her dad who is a pastor was there. All were very ticked off when I was sent home with just a uti. The next day i started having the same symptoms. My body was numb and my face was drooping. My mom took me to a different hospital. When we were signing in and they were getting my blood pressure and stuff, I started to daze out and become unresponsive. I was rushed to the back and my mom told me that there was one doctor and two seconds later there was ten. My mom was terrified. It turns out I didn’t have a uti. I actually had an episode of Bells Palsay. MY brain was so over loaded with anxiety and stress that it decided that it needed a break and completely stopped working. My eye would not close, I couldn’t open my mouth, and nothing on the right side of my face could function.
(This picture is very embarrassing for me to share with you guys, but I wanted to show you what I looked like)
That same night I was also diagnosed with conversion disorder. Conversion disorder is when your brain plays tricks on you. For people who do not have severe anxiety, and just normal stress and anxiety their brain lets them process their day and cope with it. For someone who has conversion disorder the brain doesn’t let them process and cope with their day. Instead it tells them that their stomach is going to hurt, or head will hurt. It will make you focus on the pain that more than likely is not even real. When I am in pain or vulnerable my anxiety is heightened. So it makes the conversion disorder even worse.
After all this happened I was told I needed to see a therapist and a psychiatrist to get help. I felt like I was this insane crazy person who can’t function on their own. I didn’t like that I needed help. It’s not something that I was wanting to accept. I knew if I wanted to get better I needed help. I’m a single mom. My daughter NEEDS me, so I did it. Not for me, but for my daughter. My first therapist I was not crazy about. I felt like nothing ever was accomplished. There was no connection between us. I don’t want to open up to someone about all my issues, especially someone who I don’t feel comfortable around. While I was working on trying to make a connection with my therapist, I also had a meds appointment that I had to deal with, She asked me all kinds of questions and I had to be open and honest about. I’ve learned that being open and honest is actually good for your mental state. She asked me what are some of my biggest fears, and I told her my three biggest fears.
1. Losing my daughter. If something were to ever happen to her I couldn’t live.
2. I am terrified that when ever I have sex that I am pregnant. No matter what. I instantly think im pregnant and my mind tricks me to think I am and that im having the symptoms, and my belly is growing. I make myself sick and throw up, and I have the cravings. I have to go to the doctor for tests and ultrasounds to prove im not. Otherwise I will continue to believe that I’m actually pregnant.
3.Being a disappointment to my daughter. I never want to let her down. She is my everything and I never want her to say “my mom wasnt a good mom.”
This was a very uncomfortable talk for me, because I don’t like to really open up to strangers. At least not tell them my biggest fears. She put me on anxiety meds, something to help my mind shut down at night so I can try to sleep, and panic meds. While I was waiting for the meds to start working I had finally found a therapist who I completely fell in love with. We clicked and connected, he understood me, and he made me feel like I wasnt this insane person. I was a human being. We accomplished so much in our time together before he had left. We tried different medications and dosages, and we finally found something that works for me! I have not been on any of my panic meds for 6 months now. Dont get me wrong i still have panic attacks and horrible anxiety, and stress over EVERYTHING. Its different though. I don’t have as many panic attacks as I did. There are days that I don’t have ANY panic attacks. I have found so many different coping skills that help me get through it. I still don’t like meeting new people or trying new things. Going out in public still gives me anxiety, shopping for clothes, a new job, or anything new happening with my daughter triggers a panic attack. I tell myself its going to be okay, and I have nothing to worry about, It doesn’t always work and I just have to let nature run its course, but it has gotten a lot better this past year and a half.
Next week my anxiety will really be put to the test when I am home alone by myself for a whole week. I hate being alone. I’m terrified that someone is going to break in and kill me and my daughter. Next week is the true test to see how far I have come. My therapist also diagnosed me with ADD. Which adds to my anxiety because when I can never focus on one thing and I feel scattered brain the next thing I know I have a million different projects going on none are completed, and I freak out because I don’t know how I will complete them. Working with my therapist we have decided together what tactics work best for me. I have a planner that i write EVERYTHING in and check things off as i 100% complete them. I am making myself more organized which most certainly helps me. I want to share some coping things that work for me with y’all, but it does not mean that they will work for you. Everyone is different!
1. Essential Oils
4. Blogging/ Journaling
5. Arts and crafts – for me painting works the best!
6. My passion is makeup. I will watch makeup videos to help me.
There are a few others, but I am always on the hunt for new things because I do get burnt out on them and they no longer work.
When I first started therapy it was the most frustrating thing because it was all pretty much trial and error. Especially when it came to trying to find the right blend of meds and dosages. Dont give up it does get better i promise you. I deal with it every day and as it is still a struggle its easier. It gets easier. So have faith, and if you do decide to do therapy make sure you stick to it! It’s worth it in the end I promise. Your life doesn’t resolve around your anxiety. Just remember that! I hope that this helps someone out there battling with anxiety, and depression, Just know that you’re not alone in this world. There is hope, and people who care and that want to help you.