What an anxiety attack feels like for me.

I have been overwhelmed lately.

Our house is under contract now and we have a closing date, but last week we had showings every day, and had to spend most of our evenings out of the house. That means we’ve been eating out or at family’s house literally every meal. It means the house being staged every morning before we get out the door for work and school. And before we had an offer, it was stress every day about how long it would take to sell the house, and what if we didn’t sell it after we already put a deposit down on the new build? It was stress about the impending inspection and appraisal and will we make what we need to get into our new house with money to spare?

On top of all this, we switched the boys school last week. The new school is more expensive, but we felt we had to do it to give the boys their best opportunity, especially Biggie who is starting VPK. The last day of our old school was a tearful one. These women have raised my babies since they were 3 months old- and Biggie is almost 5. The first day of the new school was Monday, and it was rough. We asked ourselves if we made the right decision, if moving to a more expensive school was a great idea with everything going on. In the end, we did make the right choice. We love the school already, and the kids are having a great time. Smalls is not sold yet, but he will come around 🙂

So I hope I’ve painted an adequate picture of all the big life changes going on in my house right now. Factor in some family drama, and I am hashtag over-fucking-whelmed. I am not sleeping well, nor getting enough of it.

Spoiler alert- I’ve been having anxiety attacks. I am pretty sure that an anxiety attack looks different for everyone, but here’s what it looks like for me…

It can come on all of a sudden, it isn’t usually something that builds up over time. I get an immediate sense of an almost panicky feeling, and/or feeling suddenly completely overwhelmed. My heart rate spikes, which makes me breath harder. Sometimes my chest starts feeling a little tight. It happened really bad the other night, starting on the way to dinner. Smalls screamed so loud in the car and I almost lost it. I was driving and it was just too much. Then we got to dinner and I had such an overwhelming urge to flee. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was fighting back tears. I can’t concentrate on what people are saying, because I can’t listen over the panicked voice in my head. I feel nauseous and lose my appetite. My hands and feet get clammy. It sucks.

So what do I do to combat it? I take my backup anxiety meds. I de-stimulate by going into a room by myself, by going to get a shower. In a perfect world where I had the time or energy to exercise (LOL), it would involve going for a walk. I take something to help me sleep. I play on my iPad. I tell Dading how I’m feeling and he tries to help me work through it.

And sometimes I can’t work through it. Sometimes I just have to ride it out. And that is the hardest part. Sometimes I just have to wait for the stressful thing to pass- like getting a buyer for our house and going under contract. Sometimes there isn’t time for me to get a shower right then, or have quiet. At those times, I think it’s important to lean on your people to help you get through it. In my case, it’s my therapist and Dading.

So that’s what an anxiety attack looks like for me. Even after all this therapy and self discovery, I still have times where I cry on the couch and wonder what’s wrong with me. Mental health is a journey, and there are always set backs. Sending out support to anyone who is going through some shit today and is having a hard time. You got this, and you are tougher than you give yourself credit for.

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