It’s been over 10 months since she has befriended me. First, she just came over for a cup of heart race and a feeling of mild nausea. It’s OK … it must happen because of the flu medicine. I asked her to have a seat, hoping she will leave soon since her visit was unexpected and I had so many plans that day.
She smiled gently in the corner of her lip, as if she had given an answer to my untold thoughts and served me a sudden *short of breath*.
Wow! These antibiotics sure have some strong side effects.
This is how anxiety befriended me and I had no idea who that guest was. I gave it so many names until I have found the actual one …
It all started after a year of rampant stress, intense emotions that would lead to sleepless nights; scripts that would just drag me through pain and would leave me crouched in the corners of my house.
My grandmother was dealing with cancer for over 2 years and that had brought me into a place, where there seemed to be only imminent death and thoughts on how to survive the following trauma.
I live abroad, so I just saw her couple of times that year, before she passed away. My family was taking care of her and I was just this quiet witness to my mother’s pain, who would shed few tears on video calls, try to hide her thinned shoulders and gently smile while sharing some story about our cat.
I used to feel useless and small. I would look at the tip of my finger and would imagine that that insignificant I must be when confronted with all the giants that have decided our faith.
Being under pressure for undetermined period of time, ended into an unexpected problem.
I had no idea that mental disorders could mean me not going completely insane, but being insane enough to look at a bunch of papers that would show that my sugar level is OK, my thyroid is OK, my ECG, my kidneys, my liver and … still feel ill.
My first critical point happened when I was at work, which made it quite difficult to handle. While staring into my screen, I felt this numbness in my hands and a burst of shivers. My breath accelerated, there was a pressure in my forehead and I was hyperventilating as if someone was running after me with a military gun.
I, somehow, managed to find my way to the bathroom and I stayed there for more than 15 minutes, cursing my doctor for prescribing me such bad antibiotics.
That crisis was followed by sleepless nights, tenderness in my hands and forearms along with tingling sensations, constant muscle tension followed by these awful needle pin bites in my upper back, that would keep me still for about 20-25 seconds .
I would manage to sleep only couple of hours before work and when waking up, the numbness would just stare at me from my mirror, while nausea would greet me at the beginning of my day.
One night, I have experienced such symptoms, I was almost sure I was having a heart attack: Strong pain in my left arm, hyperventilation, shivers and sweat. I felt like I was losing control over my body and I went directly to the clinic asking for help, panicking nurses around me, convinced that I will die soon if not attended. The pain in my left arm was excruciating and I had already convinced myself of a fatal encounter. I was connected to all sorts of plugs for short time, and I was shivering and trying to figure out if the nurse’s expression would show any diagnostic. She kept on telling me not to move because the result will be compromised if I my body is not still. This is what they ask from dying people ?
It turned that my blood pressure was perfectly fine, my ECG was showing a normal functioning heart and the investigations that I have made after, were showing that nothing was physically wrong there.
Given my quite young age, I guess no one took me seriously after. The doctors would just smile at me when I kept on asking for tests. I was unlucky enough to have an insurance that would cover only few general checks and no one thought to research further.
None of those authorised figures was giving a name for my condition, so I had to start my own research.
I would carefully write down all my symptoms, the hours when I would feel them acute, I would stay still in bed for hours trying to figure out what was going on in there, checking my pulse, adding pressure on different points, trying to see if there was any discomfort or pain.
I knew, somehow, that everything is experienced in my inner universe and eventually, my answers will be coming from there.
I named all my organs and I would gently send a flow of thoughts, questions and energy to them, asking forgiveness for tiring them, for not providing them enough healthy meals and for all the stress and tension they would go through.
I would hug myself in the depth of the nights, and feel like arms of so many shadows and bad dreams would keep me cold. My light was never switched off because I feared so many spectres that I would feel around and dream about after. I wanted to open my eyes, anytime, in a burst of peaceful light instead of seeing a darkness that would only mirror my bitter, cloudy world.
One morning, while at work, I randomly took off my jacket to fix a button and I saw this perplexed look on my friend’s face. Considerable weight just melted away in a very short time and I realised then, why I stopped wearing more than half of my pants.
She hugged me and I started to cry, making my tears a confession of all the suffering I was going through.
We cried together and I felt how her arms are confused feeling such a fragile body …
After researching and reading hundreds of posts of people going through the same thing, along with medical reports, doctors answering to patients concerns, I had given a name to all the demons that were haunting me: anxiety.
I took a decision to take more care of myself, to nurture my soul and to keep away from stress.
I was trying to eat healthier, drink plenty of fluids and have an intake of vitamins.
I started to listen to people who would experience the same and I tried to follow their advice.
At the beginning, my hyperventilation would go on for hours and hours … my heartbeat would be felt in each every part of my body, making it so difficult for me to focus on anything .Going to bed was a challenge: other then my overwhelming thoughts, I used to feel my heart running with them. For hours. Sometimes for the entire night .
I started yoga and meditation.Patiently, I managed to focus on my exercises, be more mindful and to challenge my breath to follow the music and the body movement. The breathing exercises helped.
Inhaling air and releasing it gently with my lips parted, would feel like that unbearable forehead pressure was melting down on my cheeks and there were moments when I would feel balanced and healthy.
I have found a technique called EFT – Emotional freedoms Technique. Tapping for my freedom and for my inner peace was something wonderful.
* Even though I have this anxiety in my body, I still love and cherish myself. *
Anxiety is something that so many of us might experience in this life, for long or short episodes, with mild or clinical symptoms and sometimes can be challenging to explain people around us what is happening. Asking help is very important.
Taking care alone of any mental condition is like a battle that has to be fought with two fractured arms. You might get there but it can lead to self injury and vulnerability to other conditions.
Having people around you to share your story is fundamental; they can help you become less frightened, regain your self confidence; you can find together solutions, they can offer you emotional support. Where there is love there is always a way.
Self nurture, the affection and care that can be exchanged with the world around you, will help you raise your vibration, be more peaceful and overcome easily any kind of heart torment.
I still have days when I feel tension, when I find it difficult to relax and accept the rhythm my life might take, but I try to accept my body’s response to external stimuli, to speak its language and understand that our inner world needs as much tenderness and care as we would like to receive from the surrounding world. It is very important to understand that none of this means weakness, none of the things we are going through mean anything, actually. It is the way we choose to look at them.
We are human beings having a spiritual experience, we delight in the sun of life but, as well, we have moments when before us, enormous gaps are thrown by Divinity and we remain still, quiet and confused.
With the right initiative, with the faith that we are not just wanderers without purpose in this world, holding our heart up and our minds open, we can defy any challenge and conquer all the seen and unseen. We have angels around us who lead us to paths filled with joy and sorrow, only for us to learn and reach enlightment .
* I am not an authorized person to offer any medical advice nor I am invoking the fact that medical treatment/regimen/therapy would be less effective than alternative medicine.Circumstances have forced me to research and follow methods that, thankfully, have served my purpose.