For the past week, I have been experiencing elevated moods and feelings of contentment. The change in my mood happened almost instantly, and I’m holding on to my bliss for dear life. It was as though a bolt of lightening hit me on the head and said “wake up and smell the roses girl.” This lift in my mood happened right at the peak of one of my anxiety attacks.
For weeks (maybe weeks or years) leading up to the attack, I had been obsessing over everything I saw wrong in my life: my finances, broken relationships, aging, etc. Each worry brought on another and another and another. When I get caught up in my anxiety, I become consumed with trying to “fix it.” I try to control this beast with positive thinking, excessive life planning, journalling, diet, and exercise. All of these things work for short periods of time, but it isn’t long before I’m sinking back into the worry cycle. If you have read any of my previous posts, you probably have noticed a pattern of “down one day, up the next.” The inconsistancy of my emotions is extremely hard for me to handle. During these times, it’s common for me to try adjusting my medication. I will up them for a month, and then decide I want to cut them almost right out (currently, I have decreased my dosage). It’s a whirlwind of frustration and trial and error.
Last week it came to a head right in the middle of my kitchen. I could feel the familiar warmth spread through my body, and my heart began to race. I couldn’t sit still, and every part of my body tensed up. The sides of my tongue curled at the taste of metal, which brought on saliva just before my mouth dried up completely. My head pounded, and my every sense was on high alert. This is what they call the “fight or flight” moment. Luckily, I have had a lot of therapy, and I’ve mastered the art of catching my attacks at this stage. I stopped dead center of my kitchen and repeated the word “breathe” over and over. I focused on the magnet on my fridge and mentally talked myself down. “everything is ok; you are ok; calm down…. calm…. breathe” With each breath I let go — I surrendered. My body felt weak, but my mind felt peace. I allowed myself to feel vulnerable without feeling scared.
Ever since, I have felt different. I have had the ability to think clearly in order to address my stressors. I am taking steps forward rather than running in circles, and I feel hopeful and optimistic. I have been kinder to myself in recent days, and I don’t want this feeling to go away. I am hopeful I can stay here for awhile and enjoy my life — even if it’s only for a moment. Today I feel happy, joyful, content, optimistic, and excited about all of life’s possibilities. Today my emotions are on an upward spiral, and I’m fueling the momentum with gratitude and appreciation.