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I've almost always battled with depression; but anxiety, that was new to me, about 10 years ago.
I never thought I was going to be one of those people with an anxiety disorder, but here I am, going to be 40 in a few years and I suffer from anxiety almost daily. It's been a crazy wild ride getting it under control, but I'm glad I'm finally at that point.
When I was 15years old and was told by a high school boyfriend that I was fat and needed to lose weight. Mind you, I was 130 lbs at my heaviest during high school and that wasn't until I broke my ankle middle of my sophomore year. By the time I graduated High School I was down to 120 and by the end of the summer I was about 110lbs, that is until I found out I was pregnant with my oldest.
It pretty much went downhill from there.
Sure I was happy that I had a beautiful little man, but my life was just about to be a huge struggle. His bio father walked out on us, I lost my job, had to move back in with my parents. Met a guy a few years later, got pregnant again, and he walked out also, lost another job, moved back in with my mother.
People with Anxiety Disorder Suffer an endless Rollercoaster!
It didn't get really bad until 2013 when I found out my husband and I was about to have our first baby together. A few weeks later we found out that the baby wasn't thriving and that I was in the beginning stages of miscarrying. After 4 days of intense pain, horrible bleeding, I couldn't deal with it anymore and headed into the WORSE emergency room visit EVER! Everything just spiraled into an anxiety nightmare from there.
I've heard so many things from people over the past few years it's almost to the point I just tell people “Please, just don't. I don't want to hear it anymore.”
So I came up with a list that People with an Anxiety Disorder don't want to hear along with what we do:
“Instead of saying that, please say this!”
“You'll feel better if I just got out and around people more.”
Instead please say this: “I Heard of this awesome movie, I'll get it and we can watch it together”
- Anxiety is just not wired that way. If I'm having a great day, sure I'll probably continue, but if I'm having a bad day, my day will just get worse. The more I'm around people when I'm having an episode, the higher my anxiety rises and the more freaked out I get.
“Get out of the house more.”
Instead please say this: “I know your home is your safety net, I understand. I'd love to hang out there with you!”
- I stay home because that's where I feel safe. I know where my exits are, where my box of wine is and my anxiety pills are. I can get to any of them within 10 seconds. I also know that I can ask people to leave if they are making me uncomfortable. Which no one should ever do, in or out of their own home.
“It's all in your head.”
Instead please say this: “I can't imagine how you're feeling, but I'd like to help you, how can I?”
- No shit Sherlock, but now I'm going to be anxious over the fact that it's all in my head and if my worries and anxieties are legit. If you want to help me, ask me how to help you understand. Be patient with me and try to understand. It will take a while for you to get used to it, hell, I'm still not used to it.
“You're stressing over nothing.”
Instead please say this: “You seem really stressed! How can I help you calm the stress?”
- My stressors are different than your stressors. You may stress over being late to work by 2 minutes but I'll stress over being 1 penny off when balancing my checking account and stress for 1-2 weeks on if I'm going to bounce a check.
“You need to just go talk with someone. You'll feel so much better when you do!”
Instead please say this: “If you ever need an extra ear, I'm here for you! No judging from me!”
- I do talk to people. My husband, my therapist, my kids, and those who actually get me. Just because that person isn't you, doesn't mean I don't talk to anyone. If you want to be one of the people I talk to, make yourself available. Just listen. A lot of times my stress or anxiety is because I can't get the emotions out, can't run away when I need to, or I just have a lot on my mind and need to vent.
“I didn't think you would enjoy a girls night, you know, because of your anxiety.”
Instead please say this: “Hey, we're having a girls night next weekend. We'd totally love having you join us!”
- I do understand you're trying to be nice and thoughtful, however, I do like nights out with friends. Yes, I have good and bad days. I may have to cancel, but inviting me out with you, means you actually care about me and want to include me. Just ignore me, tells me that you could really care less about me. Don't invite me out of pity though. I will figure it out and will probably ditch you. Also, don't get upset if I drive myself to meet you. It's my way of reassuring myself I can leave if I can't handle it anymore.
“I feel sorry for your husband. It must be hard being married to someone like you.”
Instead please say this: “Your husband is so awesome! I love how he is able to be your rock when you need him to be!”
- Like me? Ohhhh gee thanks. Actually, my husband knew about my “flaws” before we even started officially dating. He also knew it wasn't going to be easy, but my quirks are the few things he loves about me. Making me sound like a huge mess up does NOTHING for my anxiety, depression, etc. It actually does more damage than just keeping your mouth shut.
“Will you just calm down! It's not that serious!”
Instead please say this: “Do you need to get out of here or sit down? You look like you're having an anxiety attack!”
- Acknowledging that I'm having an anxiety attack, helps me feel relieved that YOU recognize it. That means you care enough to realize that the current situation is making me uneasy. Telling me to just calm down and it's not serious just makes me feel worse because I'll feel that all eyes are on me. Imagine yourself in a locked closet and the walls are closing in on you. Now imagine the floor and ceiling and closing in on you also. It IS serious.
“You have it so easy. You get to stay home all day and not have to work. What could you possibly be so anxious about?”
Instead please say this: “Wow, you stay at home and work! That's so cool! What do you do? It sounds like fun!”
- Regardless of if I'm blogging, homeschooling, taking care of the home, etc actually sounds like fun, I can make it sound that way if I want to. I do more than just “stay home from work” because I do work. My blog is work. Homeschooling my 13yr old is work. Budgeting so we can purchase our first home, is work. Paying the bills on time is work. Cooking (though I don't do it all of the time) is work. Being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, is also work.
“I haven't heard from you in forever, are you mad at me? Did I do something wrong?”
Instead please say this: “We've both been so busy! How are you doing? I've missed you!”
- Honestly, if you keep asking me if I'm mad at you, I'm going to get irritated. I don't call people often. If I do it's for an important reason and I want to get the conversation over and done with fast. I don't want to be on the phone for hours. Just like I don't want you to pop over to my place unannounced. I won't answer the door even if you hear my TV on.