I believe everyone in their lives have something they struggle with. Whether it be weight, alcohol or drug abuse, their relationships, anger problems, and so on. For me, my main struggle in life is anxiety and panic attacks. I wake up wondering if today is going to be a good or bad day. Will I have a panic attack? Will I be able to make that drive across town without freaking out? Will my husband get mad if I have a panic attack out on our date tonight? Well six years, hundreds of panic attacks, and countless missed opportunities later I have finally had enough. I am taking back control over my life and I am taking the plunge into full on counseling from a psychologist and the supervision of medicine from a psychiatrist.
I met my psychiatrist last Tuesday. Dr. Matisi. She is wonderful. She helped me put a plan in place for medicine. I will be taking 20mg of Lexapro. I was on 10mg earlier this year but it stopped working so I weaned myself off…which took forever. She however suggested I wasn’t taking enough so here I go back on. She also gave me Xanax for those moments when panic strikes and I can’t handle it, however I am trying to refrain from taking that as it can be very addictive. It is nice to know though, that I have a backup medicine.
Yesterday I met with my psychologist for the first time. His name is Dr. Lee. We talked about my issues. I cried like a baby recalling all of the time that anxiety and panic has stolen from my life. My quality of life has diminished drastically, it takes a toll on my relationship with my husband, it makes me feel worthless and I wonder “what did I do to deserve this?” He spent half the time listening to my problems, my fears, my triggers, and my life in general. The rest of the time I spent listening to him. He gave me some great tips, advice, and assured me I WILL get better — and for the first time I really feel like I will beat this. And when I do I am going to get a tattoo. I don’t know what of yet…but something that is special to me and will always be a reminder that I am strong, brave, and I beat this hand-cap (as he called it)
One thing he told me I would like to share with you. This at first made no sense…the first few minutes he was talking I was kind of letting my mind wander and I was starting to get bored….then it all finally clicked. He said:
We all have a part of us – and this part is not FOR us..it is AGAINST us. This part of us likes to cut us down, make us feel stupid, inadequate, and it tells us we will NEVER be good enough. This part is AGAINST us and yet we seek it’s approval. We will NEVER get it’s approval. Ever. — Say you get into an argument with a friend, or co-worker. This part of you will say “You need to go talk to that person.” and if you do, that part of you will start chiming in “you idiot, you should have never opened your mouth!” Or maybe you didn’t go talk to them? That part of you chimes in with “You spineless, good for nothing loser! Are you always going to let people walk all over you?” This part of you is not FOR you. It is AGAINST you. And in extreme cases this part of you will tell you that you are so worthless that you should end your life. Why would you listen to something that is AGAINST you? It tells you that you are fat. It tells you that you are no good. It tells you that you are a bad mom or dad, that you don’t deserve what you have…so what do you do? You become depressed, anxious, nervous…We need to deflect this. How? Start telling yourself that you ARE a great mom. That you ARE a FABULOUS cook; That you deserved that promotion you got at work because you are a hard-worker. Remind yourself of all the things you do in a day. Remind yourself of all the people you positively influence in your life. Talk nicely to yourself. Forgive yourself. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself. And when that part of you chimes in do not listen. As if someone is throwing stones at you and you just walk away. This part of you creates anxiety and panic. This part of you wants you to think you are in danger, it wants to scare you. Don’t let it. Do not listen. Do not give in to it. Continue telling yourself that you are the perfect you. I am the perfect Staci. God made me this way and He doesn’t want me to listen to the part of me that is AGAINST me.
So if you are struggling with panic, anxiety, depression, or whatever it may be I invite you to do this with me:
- Everyday tell yourself what you like about yourself. Remind yourself of all your positive attributes.
- Treat yourself daily to something you want. Whether it be a new purse or just some very deserved alone time with a book. You deserve it!
- Don’t listen to the voice that is against you. Anytime it chimes in, walk away from it. Don’t give it a second thought.
Every journey begins with a single step. You will never finish the journey if you never start.
Please leave your comments below. Click on the leave a comment link up at the top left of the page in teal. I would love to hear about your journey.