I’ve had several major life changes in the last few months that have rocked my stability. I didn’t know what a panic attack actually felt like until a friend of mine defined a melt down I had over a number that just felt wrong (a new phone number for me).
I have since discovered that I have situational anxiety (Job loss, loss of home, loss of volunteer positions, removal from my church, relocating 600 miles away back into my ‘Rents house (I’m 47), all this took place in less than a week. Yeah, situational anxiety.
Reading this has really helped me to understand, not only what I have been going through, but what many of my friends who have GAD go through. I found this to be a valuable tool to put into practice while helping my friend through a particularly bad time. I love them and want to do right by them as they do by me.
Let me start by clarifying something. When I refer to my “anxiety”, I am not simply talking about my fears or situations that make me nervous. I’m not talking about the kind of anxiousness that everyone experiences throughout their life. I am talking about Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)- a mental condition which affects nearly every aspect of my life in one way or another.
You’ve probably noticed my nervous behaviors. Bailing on plans at the last minute, making excuses to stay at home, chewed nails, sudden crying, shortness of breath, restlessness, fearing new situations, inability to go to places alone. Panic attacks.
I try to hide my struggling, but I know you see it. You see it because you care. And because you care, you often try to help. You tell me to take deep breaths. You tell me to calm down, or to stop worrying. With good intentions, you…
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