Where Did My Anxiety Go? I Can't Find It Anywhere!On Sunday, I took a 17-mile drive through the mountains into unknown territory.

Why? Because. Because I had a car, a full tank of gas…and no anxiety.

That’s right: virtually no anxiety.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might be saying “Whaaaaaaa?” (Don’t worry; I’m saying the same thing.)

You know me as the gal who can’t make it through an entire grocery store trip without feeling faint and shaky. You know me as someone who’s frozen up at the entrance of Target. You know me as the blogger who, once, had to run out of a wedding because dancing to Come on Eileen was too much for my panicky little bunny-rabbit heart.

So…why in the hell am I feeling fantastic? Why do I suddenly feel like a new person?

Well, I don’t really have an answer to that question, but I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately. After all, I certainly want to maintain this level of functionality. I want to hold on to it. I want to bottle it up and save it for my worst days.

For my own reference — and for yours, in case you’d like to try something similar — here’s my list of Potential Reasons For Feeling So Good:

1. My wedding is over. Wedding planning was a huge stressor for me. No matter how much I got done, it felt like I still had a million little tasks ahead of me. Flowers, cupcakes, centerpieces…finalizing the wording of the ceremony (that my husband and I wrote ourselves!)…coordinating hair, makeup, and dress alterations…it all felt so heavy.

“Wedding planning is supposed to be fun!” my bridesmaids said, so not only did I feel stress from the planning — I also felt like I must be doing something wrong because I wasn’t enjoying the process. Oh well. Some girls live to plan their wedding. Some don’t. I’m one of the latter.

2. I managed a seven-hour car ride to our honeymoon destination. There was plenty of Xanax involved, of course, but I still chalk this up as a huge win. My husband drove the car to Vermont and ended up throwing his back out while touring the home of Green Mountain Coffee…which meant, inevitably, I had to drive at least a portion of the way back home at the end of the week. I snuffed my anticipatory anxiety by staying in the moment as we spent our honeymoon boating, kayaking, laying in the sun, eating delicious food, and watching hummingbirds at the lake resort.

When it came time to leave, my husband drove until his back became unbearably sore. We switched seats, he reclined to take the pressure off of his back, and I promised to drive for at least a half hour. And, somehow, I managed to drive for two hours on I-87 without panicking. (When we switched seats again at the Pennsylvania Welcome Facility’s parking lot, I did a little happy dance to celebrate. And to stretch.)

3. Vitamins. During my last check-up, I asked my doctor to test for me any vitamin deficiencies. I’ve always wanted this done, but for some reason, I never asked. My doc agreed it would be a good idea to test for thyroid issues and vitamin levels, so I happily (well, not happily, but, yeah) let the phlebotomist stab me with her needle and take some blood.

And the results? Low iron and low vitamin D. I’ve been taking supplements for about two weeks now, so perhaps this is playing a role in my feelings of improvement.

Again, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know how triumphant I felt when I managed to walk the perimeter of a Super Wal-Mart store a few months back — alone, no less. (Also, I love you for being a regular reader of my blog! Hugs for you.)

Now, I feel confident enough to stretch my “safe radius” even further. I continue to challenge myself (and reward myself) daily by engaging in activities that I’ve always loved — like driving — yet have grown to fear. (The “reward”, if you’re wondering, is the joy of exploration. My next goal is to drive to an orchard that’s a slightly-uncomfortable 20 miles away to buy peaches. Mmmm…peaches.)

My pendulum is on the upswing, folks. I hope yours is, too.

Creative Commons License photo credit: raindog

 


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    Last reviewed: 25 Jul 2012

APA Reference
Beretsky, S. (2012). Where Did My Anxiety Go? I Can’t Find It Anywhere!. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/panic/2012/07/where-did-my-anxiety-go-i-cant-find-it-anywhere/

 

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