Sunday, June 28, 2015

When saying "It's going to be Ok" is not Ok. My lesson in dealing with Anxiety

I was raised not to question what grown ups did but one of my traits is I am very inquisitive. Not the badgering, over the top, nosy just to be in your biz type of asking questions but asking questions to get clearer picture of information presented. Imagine my surprise when the conversations with my daughter at times have bought up things I grew up believing and was still doing or following just because.

For instance the wearing of a hat and gloves in the Winter to not catch a cold when in truth it's more about germs than bundling up. How about the no swimming after you eat or saying bless you after you sneeze? Hang with me a little longer I am building a point.

illustration by ifthedevilhadmenopause.com

Ever stop to think why we use certain phrases in certain situations? Like calm down, when someone seems too irate for our own good or have a drink, it will relax you. You'll get over it or it's no big deal. In time you will forget or as time passes you will feel better. It's not a big deal or it's going to be ok. I want to stop here because now I want you to think about this...

What if the person you are saying that to doesn't see that at the moment or any moment any time soon? What if that person you offered that drink to so they can relax has an addiction? What if those words are hurting someone more than they are helping? Perhaps we would like to think that more than likely we are dealing with rational people all of the time and rational emotions most of the time. We tend to be wrapped in our own bubbles floating around not really listening or truly understanding at times.

illustration by robertfitzpatrick.blogspot.com

This just happened to me. Several days ago a friend of mine and I got to talking. It was a conversation relating to our goals, plans and aspirations. How far we have come, where we were going and the things we were doing to get there. Fast forward to my phone buzzing at 5:30 am this morning. It was a text from same friend saying they were having some issues and needed to talk.

So of course I called back hoping it was just a quick minor thing when in reality the moment I said hello I knew this was going to be something totally different. I'm hearing lots of words, lots of teeth chattering, lots of interrupted breaths but couldn't understand a single thing that was going on. I said please slow down and take a deep breath. I asked several questions, the answers blew me away. Weren't we just talking and everything was fine? Weren't you just looking forward to some great new things coming your way? Don't you have some new things lined up for your life? As it turns out the yes answers to those questions were driving my friend to loss of sleep, nausea, sweating, shacking, light headed, can't focus on anything, I am losing my mind full head on Anxiety attack.

Personally I have never experienced anything this severe, nor have I ever been around anyone going through one. I tried using every positive word, phrase and example I could think of at this time in the morning. I repeated over and over please just breathe. I even said make yourself throw up so you can let go of some of that "weight" and I didn't mean pounds I meant the kind of weight you feel sometimes that makes you sick to your stomach, literally. We spoke for over an hour but it seemed to just get worse not better, my friend finally did throw up but it helped very little. My friend was more concerned about waking me, keeping me up and me having to get to work in a few hours than the situation at hand.

illustration by myptsd.com

We did some breathing exercises I use in my Yoga and Meditation practices and I suggested some music videos on You Tube to help in falling asleep. After what seemed like forever but less than two hours later, we hung up and I just said a peaceful mantra/prayer that my friend would be fine shortly.

Gratefully when I called to follow up my friend did pick up but things weren't sounding any different so as we talked I Googled "How to deal with someone having an Anxiety attack? Guess what? Some of those positive things I had rattled on at 5:30 that morning were totally wrong! You can't believe anything positive is on the other side when you feel as if your drowning. You can't believe things will be ok when you feel the walls closing in. Luckily I did one thing correctly which was suggest breathing and a distraction which was listening to music to fall asleep. As I read other suggestions I kept my friend on the line and suggested one more thing. I commented on You Tube having numerous videos on a particular subject very near and dear to my friend's heart. As we continued to talk I read off some of the videos I had come across and asked to please just give it a try.

Several hours later I received a very excited, positive and grateful text saying Thank You. Expressing how the shared information had bought peace, comfort and a new outlook on things. I was so relieved we had finally made some progress. I was proud of myself for looking for help when I felt my hands were tied. My friend was coming along and found something to help along the way.

What I learned from this was please watch what you say and if you don't know ask or research. Carelessness can do more harm than good. We all want our loved ones to be happy and safe all the time but sometimes life deals us cards we are not prepared for. With support, love and good research we can take the necessary steps to healthy choices and a happy healthy life.

illustration by everythingedrecovery.com

I'm including some links on anxiety to keep in mind for the future or if you yourself know someone or suffer yourself from Anxiety. Remember to breathe and get or ask for help! Anxiety has no age limit also remember that.

webmd
nimh.nih.gov
kidshealth.org
adaa.org

Always stress free xo.

13 comments:

  1. Here from Merry Monday.
    Thank you for posting this. Lots of time people only mean to help, but it doesn't help sometimes. So glad you were really there for your friend, and researched how to help her the best way.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your comments. I'm glad I researched too, I was really feeling backed into a corner. Thank heavens for Google lol. Thanks for having me over at MM

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  2. You are right, Mari: sometimes, it isn't going to be okay. I'm dealing with this very issue with my tween daughter right now. She has effectively lost her 2 best friends to messy moves, and there is nothing okay about it. I'm figuring out other things to say as we go along. Blessings to you!

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    1. Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by. Best of luck and don't forget to use all resources available and Google any questions that come to mind there is so much info out there xo

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  3. As someone who lives with an anxiety disorder, this really resonated with me. Often times the "help" people offer really isn't much help, rather it comes across as the person telling you that it isn't a big deal--when in your mind it truly feels like a life or death situation. Kudos to you for doing your research and doing the best to help a friend. Understanding and support are the best thing in this situation!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

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    1. Brandyn, thank you so much for those kind words. I must say I was really feeling helpless and lost and was so relieved when I found some answers. As I said in post no one wants a loved one to be hurting. Always appreciate your words and support. Best of luck on your journey chat soon xo

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  4. Wow, what an intense experience! Your friend is lucky you were so thoughtful and did your research... it sounds like you really helped her! Thanks for sharing this experience at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

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    1. Meredith loving MM! Thanks for stopping by, I don't know about the luck part I was just grateful to have the research available for sure :)

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  5. Whew as I'm reading your post I holding my breath. Thank God you were available at that time if the morning when most would've totally missed that call ie: phones on silent or vibrate and slept through something so significant. A ton of respect and good will coming your way for helping a friend in need (for real) good work Mari and a great share it's needed.

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    1. Thanks John for visit and comments. I was glad I could help for sure.

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  6. Great post. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for bringing this to our party and we hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

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  7. Thank you so much for showing us 'different side' of the story. Behind every anxiety sufferer there's family & friends!
    Your post has been featured this week :)
    http://milaslittlethings.com/2015/07/idea-box-thursday-link-party-18.html
    xx
    Mila

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    1. Mila thank you so much xo! I really learned a lesson from this experience for sure but I am grateful I found useful information and that my friend is doing so much better today with new help.

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