It all started when I was a freshman in high school. I started having severe pains in my chest almost all day, every day.
I can't tell you how many different doctor's appointments I had over the course of a couple of months. I was poked, prodded and questioned. It was baffling why a 14 year old girl would have chest pain when she has a healthy heart.
Finally, I was diagnosed with GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder. Now all of my other symptoms made sense and everything, in a sense, starting falling into place.
What on earth would a 14 year old have to stress about? That's a good question.
I stressed about everything, things that most people don't even give a thought to. I worried to the point of making myself sick on an almost daily basis. I was constantly irritated and couldn't explain why.
My doctor was able to finally start me on a treatment plan. I began an anti-depressant medication. Depression? No, but depression meds are very effective in people who suffer from anxiety.
There are many medications out there and they all work differently for everyone. Unfortunately, I have been on just about every medicine you could imagine trying to "balance" my anxiety out.
This is a daily struggle for me.
I can't sleep at night for all of the worrying that my mind does when it races. I have a hard time studying when in school because of my inability to completely concentrate at times. I have so much tension in my body that I don't even know the meaning to the word "relax". I lash out at undeserving people sometimes because I'm irritated and on edge a lot of the time.
I worry about money even when I have my bills paid. I worry about my family, especially if I can't get ahold of them. I worry about my safety and am constantly checking my locks, checking to make sure the stove/oven is off, checking to make sure all of my cards are still in my wallet and weren't stolen during the day.
I'm a perfectionist to the max. If I can't do something right the first time, I feel like a complete and utter failure. Even if I eventually get it right, well, that's not good enough. I beat myself up about a lot of stuff.
Everything has its order, and I make sure it stays that way. I struggle everyday trying to "chill out" and let myself be lax. I try and stop myself, count to 10 and take a deep breath. Sometimes it works. I'm trying. That's all I can do.
I don't write this post for sympathy. I write it for 2 reasons. One - I need to step out of my comfort zone more when it comes to writing and my blog. This is an attempt at that. And two - A lot of people with anxiety feel alone, when it reality it's a lot more common than you'd think.
You are NOT alone.
If you struggle like me, even less or worse than me, reach out. I'd love to chat with you.
Disclaimer: Brunch with Amber will be back to it's regularly scheduled cheery programming soon. ;)