May 1, 2013
Guest Post: Dealing With Anxiety
So, I was asked by Edge of Insanity to come and talk about my anxiety for her readers that do suffer from an anxiety disorder. Many thoughts ran through my head (along with many questions): Do I talk about my day-to-day anxiety? Do I tell them how I cope? Will making fun of my anxiety be a turn-off to readers? I still haven't answered those questions, but have decided to see where this post takes me.
When was I diagnosed? Well, frankly, it's a long story. It all started with a stalker a few years ago, and when that situation was finally over, I realized that I still had some lingering fears. These were not normal fears- like spiders (eek!) or snakes. Instead, I worried over everything. (Actually, I still worry over everything....) It was this past year when we finally knew what I had: Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Or, as I like to call it- Mr. Doom and Mrs. Gloom. They are constant annoyances that won't go away!
My body reacts weirdly to this anxiety. I often feel sick to my stomach. I can't concentrate when the anxiety level is into the stratosphere. Getting out of bed some days is even hard. Stress seems to make it worse, and there's no magic wand to make it go away. Will someone invent that? How do we make that happen?
There are ways I do cope with it that may or may not work for some. I like to write. Writing takes me away to some magical place where no problems exist, and the temperature is always 70 degrees. On my good days, it allows my mind to stay engaged in what I am writing- whether it's some short, cute, little story that has no business being seen by other than myself, or working on my first mystery novel.
Another coping mechanism that I've personally been doing is meditation. Well, sort of. When I go to bed at night, I sit there in the quiet and meditate. Since having GAD, sleep has been impossible for my brain that's on overdrive. So, I try anything to help that. I've recently discovered a product that does help me sleep, but it costs an arm and a leg! It's called "Dream Water." The taste is icky, but boy do I sleep so well without those weird dreams.
It has taken me a very long time to accept that I have an anxiety disorder. For a while, I thought I was just paranoid and weird. While being weird is a good thing, and I still consider myself weird, I didn't want that heavy, dark cloud with the words "GAD" hanging over me. I didn't want the disorder to take over my life and cause me to become a recluse and scared of the world. So, my family has been so supportive in my "therapy." They push me to do things I wouldn't do for the sake of being able to say "I DID IT!" Some situations are more rough than others, and I need someone standing by for that support. I couldn't be more thankful for that.
I started a blog called "The Geeky Nutcase" so I would have a chance to not only share my love for all things geeky, but also share my day-to-day (or week-to-week) anxiety updates. If it helps someone when they are going through the same thing, then I feel better about it. Of course, I also tend to poke fun at myself. Why? I can come to terms with it better with humor. If I can imagine a Mr. Doom and Mrs. Gloom just coming over for coffee and muffins, then I won't be able to dwell on the fact that I have an anxiety disorder.
I had no clue how I was going to end this, so I've decided to end on this: Take each day as it comes. If you can get through a Monday, shoot for getting through a Tuesday.