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When Anxiety Hits You on a Bad Day

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It all looked like a typical day at our house: kids are screaming, throwing the cushions, demanding snacks every half an hour, and keeping me busy as usual.

But today didn’t feel like a typical day. I sat down at the table and cried — for no reason and for many reasons. I sat down to calm my anxiety and try to look all calm and coherent, but deep down I wasn’t. My body was under lockdown.

I felt like I’ve been carrying a weight on my shoulders for so long. They ached. My body was in a state of high alert, my breathing was fast, my heart was pounding in my ears, I felt dizzy and most of all, I felt like it was the end of the world.

That feeling of doom is what makes me hate those panic attacks, feeling like I’m out of control, there’s no escape, even if I’m doing nothing more than sitting on my sofa and watching my kids play.

That innate feeling that tells you to run, to hide, that it’s dangerous.

I felt I needed to hide under my blanket, close the door to the surrounding world; my mind was racing with a million thoughts. It takes so much strength to calm it down.

Sadly, having chronic illness means you deal with a lot of stress in your life. Medications also sometimes causes the anxiety as a side effect.

Your mind play tricks on you, makes you think you’re “crazy,” or you’re going to die. Your mind thinks it can predict the future and that you should trust it because it wants the best for you, right?

Wrong. My mind at these situations is neither my friend nor my enemy. My mind was designed to protect me but sometimes the way it overestimates its assessment of danger.

One thing I kept telling myself: this is negative energy that needs to flow out of you. If you want to cry, go ahead, give it an outlet. If you want to scream, go ahead, let it out.

And I did cry, for no reason or all the reasons in the world.

My daughter asked me, “What’s wrong, Mommy?”

I smiled and answered, “Nothing, Mommy needs to calm down, and sometimes a tear is all I need.”

That overwhelming feeling still fills my body and mind, feeling tired and sad, feeling useless or weak, but I still fight every day through them because fighting is all I have.

Crying is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of strength. For me it means I had a long battle, and I need to rest.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: September 8, 2016
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