Author Topic: Anxiety  (Read 88 times)

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Offline WhiteLillies

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Anxiety
« on: April 13, 2019, 07:28:25 PM »
Has anyone else struggled with anxiety following bereavement? Aside from the usual exam or new job type nerves I never experienced anxiety. Since my Dad's suicide 7 years ago I've suffered with anxiety of varying levels of intensity and my Auntie's recent death has sent me into the level of anxiety where I suffer with panic attacks that I don't know how to manage/control. I feel like my stomach is doing continuous somersaults and I get the shakes/shiver like I'm freezing cold. Is this just me?   

Offline Emz2014

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 08:19:23 AM »
I also experienced anxiety, and lost alot of confidence.  Its taken quite some time but I'm on the journey to regaining my confidence. I guess it's understandable - with a loss the foundations often go beneath our feet and everything can feel really uncertain - which can certainly drive anxiety

I definitely recommend learning a good calming breathing technique, as that will be invaluable for panic attacks.  And grounding exercises, really pay attention to your surroundings - alot of panic is based in fear, of the unknown etc, so concentrate on sounds around you, what you can see, what you can feel  :hearts: xx
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline WhiteLillies

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 09:41:55 PM »
I'm glad I'm not going mad. Sometimes it feels that way. Thank you for the suggestions, I'll try some breathing techniques to find which one works. I think half the battle for me is that I lose my ability to stay connected to my current surroundings so maybe slowing my breathing will help me to re focus..xx

Offline Emz2014

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 07:25:05 AM »
You could try using an object too, maybe a keyring, or gemstone, something small and portable. Something you can bring your focus on to when you are feeling a panic/disconnected.  Focus on how it feels in your hand (shape, texture, temperature) and how it looks, whilst doing calming breathing  :hearts:

I assume thats also the theory behind 'worry stones' I've seen in shops xx
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline Karena

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 10:25:00 AM »
I had panic attacks in the early days and generally became more anxious -but not as frightening as the panic attacks - i agree with Emz and object you can hold helps - i have a crystal in my pocket but sometimes change coat or whatever and then find it isnt there -  so it could also be a piece of jewellry you always wear.- pick something special so it has some meaning - i also have a bracelet which was made from small gemstones - not expensive - but when i bought it  i took it to a very tranquil beach and put it into the water on the edge before putting it on - so its the calm and the warm and the sound of the sea that was in the first moment of wearing it that i think of as well as the feeling of something solid.

Offline CarolineL

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 04:15:17 PM »
Hi,
I truly sympathise as I have also suffered from anxiety and had a few panic attacks shortly after my husband passed. I had never suffered from them before he took ill. I would find myself in a large store with not a clue why I was in there couldn't remember what I needed to buy then a crushing scared feeling (panic attack) would hit me. I just ran home and all I could think of was just get home without falling apart and embarrassing myself. The pain and frightened feeling was so intense I thought I would die.
These have diminished over the last few months but on this merry go round of grief who knows they could come back.
I have learnt that they cant hurt you these feelings, yes they are awful but they can not actually hurt you. I found that when they come now I just go for a sit down somewhere and wait until they pass. I try to stay focused on my children too, they still need me, I'm still here for a reason.
Big hugs x

Offline WhiteLillies

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 04:50:43 PM »
Thank you, I have a necklace I wear all the time so this could be a good grounding object for me as I always have it.
Sorry to hear you guys struggle too..thank you for offering suggestions. Although this certainly isn't a new experience, it's certainly hitting me really hard...xxx

Offline Karena

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 12:00:34 PM »
It is part of this horrid journey but at least you know now that you are not alone and that you are not mad (i thought i was really losing the plot)

As well as adopting methods to overcome panic attacks, you will find over time you can also find ways to overcome or go round the obstacles that general anxiety can throw in your path.and avoid those that create the greatest anxiety - that doesnt mean not having a life, but sometimes we think there is nothing but dragons to slay to get that without realising that rather than just trying to slay all dragons, some you can let go, and others you can simply walk around.
 
There was once a discussion on here about eating out alone, it was between people who had been widowed - some-one had done it and i was pleased for her,but at the same time was thinking i could never do that and actually getting anxious that i couldnt, - but then i realised actually it doesnt matter - eating out isnt something we did much before he died and usually only as part of a journey to somewhere - rather than an event in itself - so actually why stress about it when it isnt something i need to do or particularly want to do, so that was one dragon i could just let go and i have - it isnt as though there are no sandwhich shops if i am out and about, -

But actually being out and about is something i really do need/want to do - i have to travel to see my familly,  at the extreme end of that, my eldest lives in south Africa -There are plenty of potential hazards in that,  the plane could drop out of the sky i could get attacked by a shark or bitten by a snake or mugged and stabbed, but it isnt any of those dangers that truly worry me the anxiety is actually risiculousley worst at the airport.(no animals,no muggers,just officials)
So No 1 i (almost always)  make sure i have plenty of time to get there - (queue familly laugh number one when i leave home for a 3 hour airport run 8 hours before i need too, but which actually paid off practically once when a train broke down
 No 2  generally be as pre prepared as possible,know my luggage isnt over the weight limit, know what has to go through security,etc etc so my clear bag is ready packed change already separated, metal jewellry on a chain so i,m not depsparately trying to get a tight ring off while sweating and shaking (and i know if i set the beeper off they wouldnt care about a ring, but i dread setting the beeper off) (queue laugh number 2 when i have a gift jar of  rosehip jam in my hand luggage that is confiscated because i didnt realise it is a "gel" )

No 3 I go straight to the gate then work back from there to the facilities, so i know where the gate is in relation to where i am,  and the same in transition,
where i will already have googled every airport map available as well  (laugh number three my folder of paperwork, every communication with the airline, airport maps country specifications over meds and (in the case of some countrys acceptable clothing)
It is ridiculous and a bit of a familly joke the obsessive way i do this, and at the end of all that it still doesnt mean i am not still seething with anxiety but when my brain starts to tell my body to panic,  it helps if i can re-assure it that everything is in order. - so the dragon is still there but i am putting actions into place to side step it.

I know its over thinking - but it isnt all negative,last time, on the way to the airport to come back i had done all that, everything packed anxiety mounting, but we had  decided to have a last day at the beach en route to the airport, went snokelling and time slipped away, - no time to change or park up, me and my luggage spilled out of the car and  i got on the plane with wet hair, wet rashie in my hand luggage, my also damp swimsuit under a beach dress,and flip flops on my feet, (luckilly a small familiar airport,  but i knew exacly where my passport and ticket and security bag was and for a brief moment in time i was cool young traveller  rather than middle aged over anxious fat woman (laugh number 4 -me laughing at myself, because thats exactly what i am, and i would never tell my familly i thought i was a cool surf dude type, even if it was just for a split second  :rofl: ) Anxiety isnt funny but learning to laugh at yourself helps too.

Anxiety is, i think something more common than we believe not just in grief but in a lot of other people, -its  one of those things we dont like to talk about.
The comedian Rod Gilbert did a programme about it, he could stand on a stage at the Apollo in front of massive audiences, but couldnt go into a cafe and order a drink,since that programme I often look round the waiting areas at the airports and wonder which other people on their own looking like calm  seasoned travellers are actually doing exactly the same as me - showing a personna on the outside while underneath it anxiety is bubbling away.

The main message is, with grief anxiety often fades, but if it remains with you as it has with me, even in a lesser form, chose your dragons and  never let them stop you doing the things you really want to do,  but remember you dont have to slay the ones that perhaps society sees as important but which are less so to you, you can avoid some altogether, and for those that are still in the way, you can arm yourself with more clever weapons than a spear and they will move out of your way. :hug:

Offline WhiteLillies

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 12:12:01 PM »
That's amazing! I'm always impressed at others abilities to cope with things like anxiety, I feel I'm always failing. I never experienced anxiety before my Dad's suicide. Since then it's always been something I've learnt to recognise and manage. I've also had experiences where I've used it and channelled the adrenaline. Biggest one was training to teach group fitness classes (& doing so successfully for three years) as I've never been confident to stand up in front of anyone. Perhaps it's not an inability to deal with anxiety but an inability to recognise that I've done it before and I can do it again. Grief just seems to knock me sideways and my (already little) self-confidence disappears entirely. I also start to get caught up in other people's judgements of me and I end up feeling like everything is controlling me rather than recognising that I can and have fought this before. Sorry, a huge ramble. Learning to laugh at yourself is definitely helpful. As is strong boundaries when others try to undermine the fact you need to feel prepared! I'm super grateful I found this site..xxx

Offline Emz2014

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 09:49:24 PM »
I dont think its overthinking karena, its all good coping mechanisms  :hug:

If I'm travelling anywhere I've not been before I will look it up on google streetview - if for a drive I can check points along the journey so I will recognise turnings/landmarks. I do the same if travelling by train and need to work out walking somewhere.  All ways we can build some confidence to manage the anxiety

Oh, and polos work wonders too - the sugar and mint help calm any panic  :hearts: xx
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. 
Hold on in there xx

Offline WhiteLillies

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Re: Anxiety
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2019, 09:58:07 PM »
I agree, I google map in advance. It's being prepared so it's one less thing to think about on the day. Thank you for the mint suggestion, I'll get some to keep handy in the car!  :hearts: xxx