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    Community Voices

    Anxiety - Body and Soul

    Part 1 of 3 Hello Beautiful Ones,

    I love you.

    It’s been a while between blogs!

    Life is busy and moving incredibly fast.I’m even turning 25 next year. No I’m not…My kids are a mix of near adults and pre-teens and the hairs on both the adult heads are getting more grey as each day passes.

    Also, we take collagen now. Like real old people do.  I asked my 90 year old Nana today, how old she felt – “ Not a day over 21 love.”

    Time is a vapour. A simultaneous thief and gift.

    So I’m gonna head right in to this convo: #Anxiety .
    #Depression .
    Yuck.

    I wish I knew their names 20 years ago. It was weird growing up in the 90’s with quite a common heredity predisposition to #Anxiety , yet having no clue whatsoever as to what was going on in my body. Since a diagnosis later in my life, I have spent the best part of the last 15 years wrestling with God about my own journey through #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder ( Generalised  #Anxiety Disorder). In the very beginning I screamed to Him, punched walls in frustration, removed myself from social settings, blamed God, blamed myself. It wasn’t until I got some real revelations about God and some real education about my condition that healing truly begun. Here is a little bit of my story so far.

    The Back Story :

    Since I can remember, #Anxiety has been a part of my life, of me. I wasn’t just scared of the dark, I lived in constant fear of death of a loved one, of being alone, I had #PanicAttacks all through primary school which worsened in high school. I grew up assuming this all-consuming sensation that took over my body and left me exhausted and petrified, was normal. It didn’t have a name until I was 23 and gave birth to my first child Samuel. Sammy had some complications during birth and his heart rate dropped rapidly putting his life at risk. At a time that my Mum expected me to completely freak out and lose my mind with panic- I actually went numb. My body decided it was too much and shut down to protect the amount of #Anxiety my body had produced. Post-Natal #Anxiety Activated. Looking back- knowing my condition then would have changed everything.What followed was 3 months of the closest thing to hell I have ever experienced. I couldn’t eat for 3 months, I was given nutrient shakes (vom) made by my family to keep me going. I couldn’t sleep for 3 months. I know that sounds strange and extreme, but it is what it is. My body and nerves were so over-sensitised that sleeping wasn’t an option. Sleeping tablets did nothing. I found myself in the emergency room at hospital with heart machines monitoring potential heart #Arrhythmia / heart attack. My body shook with constant adrenaline for weeks, essentially, in a constant #PanicAttack for the first month of my child’s life. Thankfully my family loved on him like no other love I have seen.

    As I began to see doctors and receive therapy and education I learned that what I had my entire life wasn’t a spiritual attack, it was a physical condition. Just as is #Diabetes , #Hypertension etc, my brain chemistry came in a certain package from birth and I now had to make adjustments, accept treatment and medication to help me live the best life I can. It was the best thing I have ever done in my life.

    My journey with #Anxiety and God really began here. Years of wrestling where God fits into #MentalHealth and where #MentalHealth fits into me and who I was created to be.
    Here is a few things I’ve learned along the way:

    1) #MentalHealth is a result of chemistry not a flaw in character.

    It is so easy to integrate the 2 but something so significant that I learned is that brain chemistry is as physical as #BoneCancers . If you came home with a broken leg or an open wound- you would be taken to the closest hospital for assessment and treatment. It feels emotional because brain chemistry is the control centre of emotions- that doesn’t mean what you are experiencing is made up or “in your head”- it is literally in your body and sending signals around your core system to feel and experience real symptoms. This is why deep breathing ( 4 seconds in the nose/ 4 seconds out t

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    Community Voices

    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is Notsafeanymore. I'm here because panic attacks have took control of my life since I've had covid and with the grief of losing my father to leukaemia. Chest discomfort everyday and night, constant thinking there is somtwrong with my heart because I got arrhythmia after covid and the loss of my father. Got beta blockers, stopped the arrhythmia but now I'm stuck in limbo with weird chest pain that has brought on terrible stomach throwing up, arm tingling, teeth numbing, muscle spasm, sore head, weird sensations that have me disconnected from reality that I don't feel safe anywhere anymore with these panic attacks. Started to plan for my funeral just incase there is something wrong. Doctors appointment in the morning. Wish me luck. David.

    #MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Grief

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    Community Voices

    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is Pheonix8. I’m new to The Mighty and look forward to sharing my story.

    I am a 60 year old woman. I am in a domestic relationship. I have 2 grown children, 2 grandchildren and 3 fur grand children.

    I have always been a perfectionists...so change I very difficult for me.

    Now my higher power (God), has a different road he wants me to travel.

    In 1998, I was diagnosed with multiple Sclerosis.

    In 2001, I finally left a 15 year abusive marriage.

    In 2011, I survived throat cancer.

    In 2013 was terminated from a 22 year medical manufacturing career, because I extinguished 22 weeks of STD.

    In 2017 I left my children to "help" my 80 year old mother and her 2nd husband to be thrown out of their house in the dead of winter 1 week before Thanksgiving. We left everything because everything they had we were supposed to inherit. So at 55 years of age, we are starting over.

    In March of 2020 I survived a widow makers heart attack.

    In June, 2020 I had a double bypass with complications.

    In December 2020 was hospitalized with arrhythmia.

    In January 2022, I tested positive for COVID, can't imagine what it would have been like without the vaccinations.

    I know I have more to give I am still searching for what that might be.

    Then I met a wonderful lady who is very much into living in the NOW, and has found and embraces her inner child

    She keeps telling me it is I side me but I have no idea on how to even begin searching. She is truly amazing and I need what she has found.

    #MightyTogether

    #MultipleSclerosis

    #Anxiety

    #Depression

    7 people are talking about this
    Community Voices
    Alishia D

    Looking Back on Coping With Grief and Schizoaffective Disorder

    We drove along the crystalline coast, weaving between spouts of pythonic redwoods that hid us from the rays of a boiling sun. My car, a hybrid, crawled along with electric engine humming, no gas wasted. My partner fell asleep. We were on our way up to Fort Bragg to see some sea glass before driving into Mendocino County. I had a freeing haircut and had lost a great deal of weight. I enjoyed the beauty of the outside and the silence in my head. We pursued the cliffside, took pictures, smiled, laughed, slipped in the ocean, found an old steel boat rusting alongside some rocks. We poked a sea urchin before setting it loose in the tide, and learned how to take live photos on my new iPhone. Everything was perfect. In Ukiah, our Airbnb gave us time to rest. I don’t get a lot of rest. My primary diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder, and along with all the stigma that comes with that term, I also have terrible insomnia and endless energy when I’m not medication, and loud voices that ruin my sense of peace. I worried greatly our Airbnb host planted cameras in the studio room and when he spoke to us; I often heard attitude and implication in his voice my partner said wasn’t there. I didn’t trust Mr. Airbnb, so I kept our curtains closed. I did trust one person, and it felt strange that she hadn’t texted me in over 24 hours. We usually spoke every day as we’d done since we were 11 years old. Now we were 25 and trying to figure ourselves out. I found out on Facebook that she’d passed away the day before, while I was smiling on a big rock at Fort Bragg. At first it was just tears and denial and confusion, and then it was shock. I spoke with my therapist that day via Zoom without a tear, without even mentioning the loss. I didn’t want to ruin our trip, so I sucked down the emotions the best I could, tried to enjoy Vichy Springs, and cried myself dry on the way home. To process my emotions, I did absolutely nothing. I tried to go to work, I tried to eat, I tried to exercise. And for a while, I did. I went to the memorial/viewing service. I was too anxious to speak with her family, and I wasn’t sure how to approach them, so I didn’t ask much about the funeral services and they didn’t tell me. I missed her being lowered into the ground. Then I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t walk straight, it seemed, or breathe without reminding myself to take a breath. My panic attacks came back. They were triggered by loud noises, cars driving past, bright sunlight, hot weather, cold weather, hot showers, cold showers and finally, voices. In my head, I would hear them share their own fears: if I walked alone, I’d have a heart attack. If I rode my bike, my heart would explode. They wanted to protect me, if anything, and so they put parameters on what I could eat: nothing with heavy carbs, no fat, no sugar, including juices. Soon I wasn’t allowed to stand without the threat of their cacophonous judgment. I couldn’t drive because I’d be trapped either in an accident or lost on the road. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without the threat of dying, and so I stayed in bed, shaking, crying, confused. I stopped working. I took three months off work to try and get back on medication. While doctors struggled with listening to my needs, I struggled with trying to stay alive. I felt suicidal for the first time in many years, and I couldn’t find myself to talk about my grief. Even if someone asked me about it, I couldn’t quite put the pain into words, and I simmered in the loss, the voices, the delusions. Three months passed and I couldn’t eat without coughing everything back up. I worried things were in my food, poisons, drugs, that were causing my panic attacks and ruining my heart muscle. I thought I had a resulting arrhythmia that would kill me in my sleep, so I didn’t sleep, and the cycle continued. I had to leave my job of five years as a peer worker and get on social security disability. Then, I took myself to the hospital. In the hospital I stayed to myself as usual, watched some television, participated in groups, and lost more weight. I thought they decided to weigh everyone because they thought I had an eating disorder and wanted to force-feed me. I nibbled only on carrots, broccoli, and some egg in the morning, after all. Those were safe foods, according to my voices, so I ordered the same meal every morning, afternoon and evening. I don’t remember feeling my stomach growl. The funny thing about grief is that it lodges itself in our body. Sometimes it’s in our heart, sometimes our joints, sometimes our heads. For me, it stayed in my head, and I lost a sense of myself, a sense of the space I occupied, a sense of reality, a sense of truth. I didn’t know what mattered, if anything, and I worried none of us had a purpose. Being unable to find words for this pain, it shone itself in delusion, hallucination and panic. Not only did I learn how fleeting life was, I also learned pain is powerful. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Pain reminds us of who we are. It gives us something to feel, even when we think we can’t feel anything. It’s a darkness worth navigating, because in the end we’ve experienced something new, something hefty, something beautiful, a piece life everyone goes through, and that’s a unifying experience. I miss my best friend, but I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned and for the memories I have. I’ve since returned to peer work, a year later. It gives me the sense of purpose I briefly thought didn’t exist, and gives me a chance to be around people who understand me. I get to give back to the community in a way that’s beneficial. I’m writing again, spilling what I couldn’t during that time onto pages for others to read. I’m going to university to finish my bachelor’s in cognitive science. I’m traveling again, driving and keeping a piece of my best friend with me while I do. Pain hurts. But we’re not defined by what drags us down, we’re defined by how we navigate the darkness and what we learn. A year later I can smile in a picture again. What can you do in a year?

    Tessa Koller

    How It Feels Being on a Monitoring System for Heart Disease

    It didn’t fully hit me until my parents and I were sitting at my kitchen table talking on the phone to a woman who worked for a First Alert system. She was young and had heart disease like me. She kept saying that I sounded so young and “normal,” which she hears a lot as well. At some point in 2019 or 2020, my heart health took a plunge into arrhythmia issues. A cardiologist diagnosed me with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). If you’re not familiar with this type of arrhythmia, I’ll tell you how it feels living with these new changes to my heart’s function. For me, the symptoms of SVT range from either two high of a heart rate or two low, causing a domino effect of severe fatigue, chest pains, nausea and, on frequent occasions, digestive discomfort. Recently, when I was sitting for a couple of hours working on an art project, someone noticed my heart rate skyrocketing to 147, and I was hoping that was the time. But it was, in fact, my heart rate. Within seconds of this slightly longer episode, fatigue made my energy levels plummet. I was in a situation where I couldn’t lay down and take a long nap. Though I love an afternoon siesta, the fatigue has now become like an internal war with my brain and body. My brain wants to do things, to be creative and work. My body, though, denies the urge. It’s frustrating beyond belief to want to work but physically not have the ability to. When I’m down, after I’ve slept for at least an hour or two in the afternoon, then I’m awake and doing work. Still, exhausted and sitting down. I’ve been trying to walk each day. Some days, it takes everything in me to walk around the block of my neighborhood. Even if I’m walking slowly, I’ll break a sweat and my heart rate will either be through the roof or too low. To add insult to injury, within the last year, I started on heart medication, a betablocker to be specific. These episodes were too brief to pursue a pacemaker, so a First Alert System with the betablocker should make me feel more at ease. But none of these circumstances feels settling or easy to deal with at the age of thirty-seven. It’s nerve-wracking to find myself in situations of being forced to tell clients or strangers what’s been going on. Adding to my list of disquieting thoughts, my health is somehow always interfering with my life. I’m someone who loves being busy, and even though fatigue has been challenging my day-to-day routines, still, I keep plugging away. Heart disease has taken a lot from me, but I’m trying not to think in such a manner. Instead, I have transformed these hard feelings into work that I love doing. Those times when I’m down, I’m actively creating something whether it’s an art piece or an art tutorial. As someone who used to deal with insomnia, I am mindful to get sufficient sleep by minimizing distractions. My brain never rests and that’s the toughest hurdle. Its as if I am literally in a fight with various aspects of myself and when I notice this uneasiness creeping in, I find strategies to not slip down a rabbit hole of negativity. I used to keep my health issues a secret, but if there is anything this Coronavirus pandemic has taught me, it’s that if we’re sick or having problems, it’s courtesy to be honest about where you are and how you’re feeling for the sake of yourself and others. This First Alert system, while it makes me uneasy at times just to have, I also feel lucky that there are these devices that can save my life if in the event of an episode. I want to live a long life and there is technology, now, that can facilitate these desires. It’s also comforting knowing I have a tool to use in a crisis.

    Community Voices

    My Furry Friend
    EDS
    POTS
    Depression

    <p>My Furry Friend<br><a href="https://themighty.com/topic/ehlers-danlos-syndrome/?label=EDS" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce7a00553f33fe991e01" data-name="EDS" title="EDS" target="_blank">EDS</a><br><a href="https://themighty.com/topic/postural-orthostatic-tachycardia-syndrome/?label=POTS" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ceac00553f33fe99a8c8" data-name="POTS" title="POTS" target="_blank">POTS</a><br><a href="https://themighty.com/topic/depression/?label=Depression" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce7600553f33fe991123" data-name="Depression" title="Depression" target="_blank">Depression</a></p>
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