Say Hello To My Anxiety.
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
So what happened? Why not talk about it when most people know anyways? I've been a spectacle to those around me for over a month now, so what does it matter?
I've always had anxiety. But I never saw it as a sickness; I viewed it as an emotion that could be controlled. I've been to so much counseling, that my toolbox was well-equipped with coping mechanisms for when my anxiety peaked. I have the type of anxiety that can keep you up at night. The kind that makes a play by play of someone delivering news of a family death to you. The kind that makes you wonder what you'd do in the event of losing the love of your life to a car accident. Even the anxiety that makes you wonder how you'd react if a stranger dropped dead in front of you. But, I would ground myself. I would breathe, utilize all of my senses to bring me back and it would pass. It would always pass.
Then one day, I walked into a situation where I had to administer some first aid care in real life. I walked into a real life form of my anxiety. It wasn't a story I made up in my head. It was real; everything was real in front of me. I now know how I am when someone is unconscious before my eyes. I was calm and handled what I needed to and through the very classes I used to teach, those skills in staying calm and controlled during an emergency were no joke.
My son and I came home and found my husband after a near successful suicide attempt.
I didn't sleep for three whole days. I didn't eat. I took my son to daycare and reported to work about what was going on and I didn't want to sleep. I remember my anxiety being so high and I was so tired, but awake at the same time, I literally thought I was having a heart attack.
To be honest with you, I don't know why. I've always been the person who begs to understand the "why" behind just about everything. I'm a fixer by nature and the more I understand, the better I can be. But how's this for your anxiety? I'm probably never going to know why. Because he has some things he needs to figure out and I'm not a part of that process as much as I wanted to be.
Here's the thing, my marriage had good things come from it, however, it was a challenge, just as every marriage is. Hindsight is 20/20 and no matter what happens, we should all seek out ways to become the better version of ourselves and grow, even when the situation seems too hard. I'm not going to lie, it took me a while to reach a positive place, but I'm getting there! Sometimes we just have to find a way to be at peace with the situation for what it is and it's going to be a fight every time.
Well, since my anxiety already had me regularly imagining walking in on that type of situation multiple times before, once he was admitted to the hospital, I couldn't stop playing the situation in my head over and over. It was to the point where I couldn't focus on anything else. I thankfully reached out for help from a few different agencies and had the opportunity to see a PTSD/Trauma counselor. She has commended me for my self-awareness and the tools I already had to help myself through the very difficult situation, but she agreed with me when I expressed my concerns for always having flashbacks and thinking about finding him every 5 minutes. So the question was, "Why?"
My favorite question.
In Welcome to My Darkest Hours: Part 1, I discussed my experience when I found my Grandma when she passed. I was no stranger to this experience, but when I found my husband like that, I also started thinking about my Grandma. This worried me more because I didn't understand why it all came flooding back and stressed me out even more! But working with this counselor, we identified that I have serious abandonment issues. I mean think about it.
This entire blog has been a journey of me searching for a person or place where I can take off all my armor and be vulnerable, but I have never been able to. Everywhere I go, I get hurt. Every time I find someone, I lose them somehow. I had already been fighting a serious battle to fix my marriage and it was just the icing on the cake to find myself in loss again when I found my husband. Being able to identify that feeling that accompanied the memory made it easier to cope, because I understood what exactly was happening to me. But look, it doesn't make the flashbacks go away, it just makes you hurt a little less about it because the understanding can overpower the pain sometimes. But it's always a battle.
Unfortunately, my husband and I fundamentally couldn't find a way to level with each other. There were so many things going on with my husband that he is still learning to this day and I'm happy he is on his way, but it was with a heavy heart deciding to take a step back from the relationship. We lack communication, trust, and respect. Without those, there is no foundation to build your empire on. I don't know what the right answer is; I'm no expert. But I do know that sometimes you have to change course in order to bring in some light to your life.
But, here I am, right back at square one again and you get a front row seat, except this time, I'm not going to lose myself in all the hurt. I will fight tooth and nail to be constructive this time around. No alcohol, no depression, and I guess I'll just learn to make good friends with my anxiety since it'll be around for a while.
Stay tuned for more! And thank you for the forgiveness on my long break from the blog.