Monday, May 16, 2005

broadsided by anxiety

Do I really want to write this for all the (potential) world to read? Dare I go where I am about to go? Well...why the heck not?!? I'm not forcing anyone to read this.

I got hit with a monstrous wave of anxiety this weekend. It packed a punch, a big nasty bruiser of a punch. I'll put it to you this way...the past three days have consisted of...not sleeping well, waking up anxious and not knowing why, loss of appetite (which in turn means no energy), racing heart, extreme nervousness, numerous trips to the bathroom (anxiety does a number on my digestive track), and feeling as if I'm on the verge of a panic attack. It all feels almost identical to my experience with postpartum depression last summer. My dear husband stayed home with me and the kid this morning because, yes, he is "beyond awesome". My precious mother prayed with me on the phone.

What is UP with this craziness? I have no answers. I have no clue where this is coming from. So why am I spilling? Because maybe someone out there just needs to know they're not alone.


Blogger Clarissa said...

Maybe you're pregnant?!?

Or ... are you taking an antidepressant? Prozac worked for me much of the time, but years into it a doctor realized that at times it exacerbated my "manic" tendencies, and I experienced much of what you describe. It was very unsettling and frightening.

I recommend you make note of the symptoms and talk it over with the doctor ... whatever caused it, you are NOT alone in having such feelings, and you don't have to endure them alone. It may be a matter of spiritual unrest, or it may be physical in nature, or a combination of the two ... our bodies and minds are so complex. And I was only half-joking at my first suggestion up there -- hormones can cause all of what you described as well. Let a professional help you determine what's causing this.

I didn't see you Sunday -- I'm afraid you must've missed my solos! You've been asking, and then you missed them. Oh, well. Maybe they'll let me sing again someday! :-) You come to my house sometime and I'll sing for you.

Praying for a peaceful Tuesday for you ...

10:37 PM  
Blogger tine said...

I do not even know you, but I always enjoy reading your are intelligent and funny and obviously a woman of faith...but i especially like to read blogs of other young mothers like myself...and today's post was, for me, exactly what it said in that last line-an encouragement to know that i am not alone in feelings like this...i have had some similar waves of postpartum depression that i have read of previously on your blog...and this talk of anxiety also sounds strangely familiar...i think it is alot like clarissa said, both physical and spiritual, for me...i have been struggling to write the same post for a few weeks now, mostly being paralyzed by the reality of my last post written in love for a family who you are friends with that i do not even know...i have found myself feeling so hopeless and so overwhelmingly sad, and even angry, in these last few weeks especially when i think of the Hays family and all that they are enduring...but i will get into that further if i ever have the courage to post again...
i have really begun to ramble here, but all this to say...i appreciate your candid honesty and want YOU to know that you are not alone in this...there is something strangely comforting about knowing that there are other young mothers out there all over the place holding their babies and feeling completely overwhelmed with the responsibility and realization of Christ's love that it is to be a parent-i don't know what it is, but i feel very instant connections to other mothers and have been especially touched by your thoughts today...while i don't have any answers, i will keep you in my prayers during this time that you will find some peace and normalcy in a world that makes it a very frightening proposition to raise a child

11:53 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Clarissa & Christine - You two just don't know how much your comments encouraged me this morning. I was feeling a little anxious on waking, but then read your thoughts, and literally felt relief wash over me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, ladies!

P. S. Clarissa...I heard your solo on Sunday morning. You GO girl!!!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...


I'm so sorry that this is bothering you again!

I don't know what to do except pray for you....and offer my services as a babysitter if you and Brandon need to get away for a little while. Rick and I will be in town on Friday night if you guys want to go out......

Just thought I'd offer. :o)

11:12 AM  
Blogger DigiGirl said...

You're definitely not alone. The Mind/Body is such a delicate balance (some more delicate balance than others), and at times it's to our detriment.

If emotions can manifest themselves physically (i.e. your digestive unrest) who's to say that physical changes can't manifest themselves emotionally? I'm no scientist, but I know my body and it makes perfect sense.

I've struggled with anxiety and downright bitchiness for a few years now. I'm stubborn and refuse to take medication; but rather I focus developing positive "thinking habits", and listening to my body. It makes a HUGE difference to eat well and exercise. At least it did in my case. I also pay attention at how certain foods effect me. I thought my mom was crazy when she said she couldn't drink coffee past 10am, otherwise she couldn't sleep at night! I thought, 10am? You mean 10PM right? Nope, 10am. Come to find out coffee/caffeine was effecting me as well. I gave up it up entirely, and I feel MUCH better throughout the day. I still have my moments, but they're less often, and less intense. It was something about the chemistry of caffeine that did more than just help keep me awake. It was this obscure observation regarding caffeine and how it effects ME, that caused me to look closer into how I effect my balance.

Our bodies are like babies; When something isn't right, they scream at us. Unfortunately for us, our bodies have an infinite number of ways with which to communicate. In your case, maybe it's nutritional? Maybe it is spiritual unrest? Sometimes nurturing your soul can be the best medication of all. Are you making time for YOURSELF? Your hobbies? Your passions? Women tend to immerse themselves in their children, marriages, and careers; Thus forgetting they need to nurture THEMSELVES every once in a while. It's not selfish, it's necessary.

Well, that enough rambling... my point is, you're not alone. Doctors and pills help tremendously, but sometimes they can't do it all. Hope this helps.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Thanks for your insight, DigiGirl. I think you are right on about taking time for self and nurturing one's own spirit. But I feel SO MUCH GUILT about doing that. My good ol' buddy GUILT. Now there's a topic worthy of a few blog entries...

Seriously, I appreciate your comments. P. S. You're a good photographer!

12:41 PM  
Blogger MDM said...

Anxiety is such a mystery to me too. I always have such a hard time putting my finger on what is causing it..usually nothing in particular. I do know it physically can take the entire body over. Your husband sounds amazing to stay home with you. I hope you can get some rest and clear out all the muck! Praying for Jana.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Finally an Abrigg..... said...

I echo all my sister's above. you!!!
Jana, I am not married, nor do I have children, but oddly enough our anxiety is much the same. I remember times in my life during college where anxiety took over my body. Christine might remember during sing song....I couldn't eat or sleep, and because I was so anxious and not eating, I developed acid reflux. Gross, I knew, but had to start taking Nexium my SENIOR year of college.
I never know when my anxiety will come, but when it hits me it lasts for about a week. I can't control my body, but I can pray that the Lord will remove such anxiety. We should be able to rest in the fact htat we have a Savior that still loves us when we don't "trust" him. I feel like when I am overwhelmed by anxiety, most of the time not having a clue why, I am questioning the Lord and not trusting why He's doing whatever He's doing at that moment.
Even funnier, when I do have a "nervous stomach" I have a tendency to pinch it..causing bruises. My mom used to laugh at me and be afraid that people would think that she was beating me! :) haa...
Anyways, thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your heart! Christine, I'm waiting on your next blog! I love you!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Jana said...

Thanks, Molly. Our circumstances may be different, but our issues are similar...and it's encouraging to read your words. Hearing about others who deal with anxiety makes me feel like less of a freak! Thank you for your reassurance. And you're absolutely right: we may not be able to control our minds and bodies like we wish we could, but we can certainly plead with the Lord for his strength to deal with our wacky minds/bodies.

10:38 AM  

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