So it’s been a while…

I really need to get back to writing. (even though I only have a few followers at the moment). Honestly, it is very cathartic for me and I can tell a HUGE difference in my anxiety when I do write. Let’s call it what it is, a distraction.

Distraction can be great. It’s not the way you handle the things that started your anxiety, but it’s a way to combat your anxiety sensitivity. If you are like me, you know what led up to the anxiety, but that is so far removed from your mind at the moment. You are in the vortex of hell…what is called the anxiety circle. You are anxious about being anxious now.

So, here you are. Dealing with not only what led up to this nasty little creature, but it’s torturous game of hell. Washmanaging-exam-anxiety, rinse, repeat. One minute you think you have a foothold, the next minute you are sliding back into the pit. Wash, rinse, repeat.

You and I WILL find our way back. We will climb out of the pit stronger than before. Until then, use the tool of distraction to make you “feel” better. Anything that will make you stop scanning your body for every little blip or feeling. It certainly helps me. And, I know that one day, I will be over the fear OF fear. I will stop giving it so much leverage in my life.

So here ya go…. (and, yes, most of these are cliche)

  • Write (even if it’s one word)
  • Watch funny videos on YouTube
  • Watch funny shows (I LOVE Reba, Everybody Loves Raymond, Golden Girls, Big Bang Theory, Friends, etc)
  • Get into a book series that you cannot stop reading (better if it’s mind numbing smut)
  • Find a monthly workout challenge and commit to it (I do one IN my house)
  • Gratitude journal – name three things every day that you are grateful for
  • Pray or talk to your higher power
  • Doodle, draw, paint…etc.
  • Find a goal that you REALLY want to achieve and just freakin’ do it. (last time I had a bad bout of anxiety, I signed up for a 15k. And, guess what? I trained and trained and it pulled me completely out of my anxiety for 9 years). — I have signed up for a half marathon and I will be training again come hell or high water!

Point is, do something even when you don’t feel like it and do it every day. Once your mind gets in the zone, those anxious feelings are relieved even if it’s just for a small amount of time.

One step at a time…

~ Crys

 

 

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I’ve Got a New Attitude

Okay, so if you didn’t just sing that little phrase, then you are: 1. too young, 2. never liked that song, 3. never heard it, 4. don’t give a damn. Ha!

Either way, thanks Patti LaBelle for getting that little ditty stuck in my head. Honestly, when you read the lyrics, it makes a lot of sense. (now, go Google it – I am waiting).

It’s been nearly six months since the straw broke the camel’s back. This is the third time I’ve dealt with severe anxiety. It’s a magnet for me. And, it sucks big time.

I dealt withanxietygirl it in college because I had to. I had to finish my degree, so I plugged along and dealt with it. Somewhat sucked it up. The main healing factor – college kept my mind occupied and off the obsessive thoughts.

The second round was after the birth of my daughter. I thought I was done with this crap. WRONG! There was the “Oh my…I have someone else to take care of besides myself, what the hell am I supposed to do now?” And, the thousands of “what if’s” that come into play. Soon, the main healing factor – she kept me busy and occupied off the obsessive thoughts.

Third time around…this one is a little bit harder to figure out. I was healthy, running tons and training for my 33rd marathon. (that story is for another day, but, yes…a key factor in the management of my disorder). I was teaching a TON of classes per week and was personal training as well. I was capable of doing it all. Or, so I thought.

Looking back over 2015 I now realize we, as a family, had a lot of both good and bad stress. Yes, good stress can cause just the same amount of adrenaline response in your body. But, I now know the two things that I was obsessively worrying about. They are SO common to most human beings…My daughter and finances. These, of course, were the two bad things. One of the major good things that happened is we spent two weeks in Germany as a family. That was the trip of a lifetime, but also a very tedious event (stress).

I have since come to terms with the main factors that sent me into a tizzy and have dropped a few of my classes as I was also overtraining. With the changes, my body is not quite healed. I am baby stepping my way back to “me.”

So, here is how I am dealing…. and, I hope that these tips might help you too in your journey to a new attitude. Some are like, duh..I KNOW that already. But, WE have to keep doing them daily.

Yes, I have a therapist and a doctor I see.

Always, do MORE:

  1. Exercise even when you feel like hell. 30 minutes at least. I trudge along on my treadmill these days because I haven’t felt like going outside and running just yet. If you don’t have a treadmill…do jumping jacks, put on a YouTube video. I danced in my living room the other day and felt like crap the whole time, but I did it anyway. Those endorphins honestly DO help.
  2. I have reached out to several people on social media with the same issues. Look up Anxiety on Instagram (@anxietysupport), Facebook, Twitter and iTunes Podcasts (The Anxiety Coaches Podcast & Tim JP Collins) which is also awesome. They are out there. Make sure you stay off of Dr. Google though – that was my problem and still occasionally is. But, I have a note on my computer now that reminds me not to look up crap. It only makes you feel good for a second and bad for eternity. I mean, who posts anything good? Most people only want to complain. Think about it, you know it’s true.
  3. I made a list of “to do’s” that I am to do daily. No, it isn’t a list of groceries or whatnot. It’s a self care list of “to do’s”. Look up Tim JP Collins. He gave me the idea. I have a list of 12 things I need to do daily. Most will be listed here. You can make your own, though which is great. It will make you feel better and as if you have accomplished something. Really great for your self esteem.
  4. I write daily in a journal and have a separate journal for a one sentence “gratefulness” for the day. My journal doesn’t always make sense. And, sometimes, I write…”too tired, going to read.” Write it down! I have used it to complain, to whine, to say a prayer, to write affirmations, to write song lyrics, to attempt to be a poet, etc. Like this blog, it’s cathartic. Get that stuff out of your head.
  5. This one was hard for me in the beginning simply because I could not sit still. But, it works! I like Guided Meditation. You can meditate without it, but this type keeps my mind focused on something and I find that I don’t drift as much. I also love guided prayers. That breathing thing you are always reading or hearing about…guess what…that shit works!!!!
  6. Yoga is now my friend. I looked up Yoga for Anxiety on YouTube and now I do it daily. Even if it’s just a few poses. (this is separate from exercise bc I need things that get a good sweat going. This is relaxation for me.)
  7. I take an epsom salt bath almost nightly. It helps me sleep and magnesium is calming.
  8. I do read self help books and have 3 going at the same time right now, but I DO NOT read these before bed. I read a mind numbing, fiction book that gets me out of my head. Try it, it works. And, if you are reading from a tablet buy an app that changes the color of the screen. Otherwise, you will be up all night.
  9. Above all else…I pray and spend at least 15 minutes with God. (now, pray to whomever you higher power is…I have learned a long time ago not to be judgmental. We are all in this world together and we all have our own beliefs. That is what makes us unique, in my opinion).
  10. And, there are several more things I can list here. Like I said, I have 12 things on my daily to do list. I am not back to “me” But, If anything…these daily “to dos” are driving me towards my goal of getting better. I will kick anxiety’s ass! (yes, I do throw out the occasional cuss word. Judge FREE zone). And, my goal is to do as many of my “to do’s” for the rest of my life because I will have better tools in my arsenal for when anxiety comes knocking again.

With all of that said…”I have a new attitude!” (I know you just sang read it again) Ha ha.

Best,

~ Crys

 

The Standard Intro…

IMG_1068(#themetoomovement @anxietysupport ~ Instagram)

Hi there. This is a work in progress, as I am also a work in progress. Who isn’t, right?

Therefore… “It’s Time To Begin..” (thanks, Imagine Dragons).

Anywhoo, (well aware that is not a word, but I like it!) I am Crystal. I am a wife, mom to a beautiful girl, marathon runner, group exercise instructor, and a personal trainer. I love God, love to travel, love Germany, love Imagine Dragons (as if you haven’t figured that one out), love my Chuck’s (yes, I will be wearing them when I am 80!), love tattoos, love a good laugh, occasionally dance in my living room, and so much more.

“I am never changing who I am!” (thanks again, Imagine Dragons).

I live passionately. Sometimes, I am too passionate. Hence…I struggle from severe anxiety with a little bit of panic and slight agoraphobia (and when you feel fear for a long time, depression tries to get you, too) thrown in just for good measure. Funny thing is, with as active and healthy as I try to be, you wouldn’t think I would be. But, I have a seriously bad habit of worrying over everything. And, no amount of exercise can get rid of the repressed emotions I’ve stuffed down into my soul.

I’ve dealt with panic and anxiety since I was a freshman in college. I can still remember what class I was in when I had my first panic attack. You never seem to forget that moment, do you? Geesh. It hangs on like a bad odor.

So, today, I have decided “It’s Time” to begin a new journey. I am going to be open and honest about things. Writing has always been cathartic to me. Therefore, this blog will be a compilation of eclectic things my brain decides to purge. Mostly, it’s a healing process for me to kick anxiety in the ass AND, hopefully, help or make someone’s day a little bit brighter.

Hang tight and enjoy the ride.

~ Crys

Ps. Disregard any grammatical errors you may find, too. It’s been a while since I put my Communications Degree to use. (I hear my grandmother “tsk tsking” my ear).