When I was 14 years old I had my first panic attack. I was in the car having just left the store with my then step-mom. I remember my heart racing like I’d never experienced. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. My whole body felt frozen within my own skin, desperate to crawl out. I reclined my seat and rolled down the window for fresh air. I don’t remember how long it lasted, only that I was completely overtaken by whatever it was.
Over the next year I spoke with my doctor and he eventually diagnosed me with anxiety. At 16, when I started taking birth control, my hormones were all out of whack. At that time, my doctor and I decided to start me on a low dose of anxiety medication to offset what the birth control hormones were doing. Through the years I have been on multiple different medications. Some worked well for a time, others exacerbated my symptoms.
Almost 2 years ago, I had come to a time where the medication I had been taking was no longer doing well for me. We decided to make a switch. Through a break up, my brothers deployment, a family death, moving positions at work, and starting a new company, I’ve since found ways to remain stable. Medication is part of that, but so is my overall lifestyle.
More than a decade of experience with anxiety has taught me a few things…
1) To avoid known triggers.
2) To build a strong support system.
3) To pray through.
4) To take the day.
Sometimes my anxiety is so overwhelming that I don’t want to leave my bed. We all have bad days. Sometimes mine are from life’s circumstances seeming overwhelming. Sometimes it’s because I forgot to swap out the laundry and my son doesn’t have his camp t-shirt dry for the day. Regardless of the cause, some days are simply more difficult to deal with. I’ve learned on those days to just take that day. To focus, to pray, to cry, to reach out to my support system, to rest, to reenergise. Whatever is needed to get through that attack, that day.
Some of you ladies may be dealing with anxiety or other mental and emotional disorders. If so, talk to someone. Don’t be ashamed. Get the help you need. Maybe that’s medication for you, maybe meeting with a therapist, maybe meditation, maybe prayer, maybe all of the above and more. Whatever it is, do it. Take care of you. This world needs you. We can only benefit from what you have to give if you are whole and you are stable and you are ready to give. I’ve been where you are, know it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to have a bad day. And it’s ok to get help. Be the best you and together we’ll make this world a better place.
Author: Cassy Dawn
Co-Founder of The Good Curves. A single mom based in Northeast Ohio, she seeks to follow Jesus humbly, raise her son patiently, navigate the dating scene, and help others live happy, healthy lives.