Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Anyone else out there experiencing anxiety?

It's one thing to be unmotivated during these winter months, but to then experience anxiety on top of what are classic signs of depression, I think I could lose my mind. I'm not talking worry. I'm talking anxiety (panic) attacks that hit out of the blue that take over whatever it is that I'm doing at that point in time. Whatever it is that I had the panic attack over (could be anything that has given me fear, whether it's rational or not) lasts as lingering anxiety until either it has been proven (and I do mean, proven) that my fear is totally irrational or that I have found a new problem to worry about. It is very disturbing. I try to let these things go, but just can't. I feel like I'm a pretty strong person and most times, I am, but when this anxiety takes's debilitating.

What? Is this the same person who has strong belief in God? How can this be? Honestly I struggle with this. If I had all of this faith in God, why wouldn't I just give this to him? I simply don't know. Faithful critters know that I understand that it's normal to have faith and fear, and that I work hard to hand over my will to Him, but during the times of anxiousness, I can't let go of the fear until it runs out of steam. What creates it? What stops it? I don't know.

Have I been on meds before for this? Yes. I'm sure I blogged about it last year at this time. But the difference is that there was 'usually' a direct underlying cause to my anxiety...this is mostly irrational fear. I even wake up with these panic attacks and it is extremely frightening...heart races and there is this fear that I should be doing something or that I have forgotten to do something. I'll even get up out of bed prepared to rush off to fix the matter and then stand in the kitchen and wonder what the heck I'm doing there. One might diagnose this as a need for control or frustration over my lack of it.

What? Yeah, say it. She's crazy. That's what I think sometimes, too. I know it must be a chemical think? But the meds that one is put on for depression etc is just as bad, at times, as the anxiety. It creates other problems. I probably should have been put on something in the fall so that it wouldn't have gotten this bad in the winter months, which hit me the hardest.

People who know me usually don't have any idea this is happening to me, unless I tell them. I usually keep it to myself until I've worked through the anxiety for whatever reason. For the first time, I let my husband know more about how I feel when this happens. I usually go about the day and struggle with it on my own. Even admitting depression is easier than explaining to people how I feel when struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. I know others struggle with this, but at the time it's happening, it is very personal and even to talk about it with my family is almost impossible.

Who should I also be talking with? Jesus. I try. I try praying and making time for devotions. But during times of great anxiety, it's the only time I've ever not been able to communicate with my Redeemer. Even in the worst stresses of my life, I've been able to, but when I get these attacks, I can't focus on any one thing, including my faithful Counselor whom I know tries to break through the clutter and noise clunking around in my brain.

Then I think that if I could just see the sun! Michiganders (as of last week) only rec'd 14% of the possible sunlight for the month. My hubbie tells me this as I can't even swallow food at a restaurant because my throat has tightened for no apparent reason, oh wait, I was thinking about that worry that I had had a panic attack over a few days before. I've lost weight. I just can't eat at times when these episodes hit. The attack itself doesn't last long, but it's the lingering fear of another and the irrational possibilities that ramble through my head seem to go on and on that takes away what little appetite I had.

Again I say, what? I consider myself to be a fairly healthy person. I've been starting to exercise a little more...okay so I hadn't been. The weather has been so awful that I just want go from home to work, work to home and feel drained just doing that. So, I'm exaggerating here, and do more than that, but that's what it feels like. If I hadn't been eating fairly decent, I would definately be changing that, but I've been pretty good in trying to keep a balanced diet. That is until the anxiety increases for no unknown reason...I wonder if it's tied to hormones, and yes, estrogen make me anxious, but it isn't always linked to that.

Could you understand my scrambled thoughts? If you've got this far, treat yourself! I know I could re-do this, but wanted to keep it real.

So get on meds or not? That is the question. I will be praying on this issue. Please pray for me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Got Snow?

Last week was a tough week. It's tough to stay positive in the gloom and doom of winter in Michigan. But I really had to remember to be thankful for the things that we take for granted. Last week, I was certainly reminded of this.

Snow, ice, snow, rain, name it, we had it last week. One never knew what the roads were really going to be like. One day it was ice and snow covered, other days, it was just snow, sometimes one could even see dry pavement.

On one of the worst driving days I've seen in a long time, I was very thankful that my car handled the ice and snow without any problems (of course I have 'some' experience driving in Michigan winters) ;) The big questions that morning were, was I going to stop at the intersection or how could I get through as many lights without stopping yet not running any red lights. Or avoid the moron who cut in front of me (yes, I actually leave a space between the other car in front of me) and fish tail either on the front or side of me. Yikes!

When I pulled into work driveway, I said a small prayer of thanks to God for getting me to work in one piece. Of course I didn't appear that I would be able to get my car back out of the driveway any time soon, but that was a problem for later.

I made me way through the snow and ice to unlock my work door. It was frozen shut. My key got stuck in the lock, and oh did I say that it was only about five degrees with wind chill of 10-15 below? My hands and feet are already freezing when I decide that 'no, I can't open the door.' I went next door and asked the guys if they could fix it. I think I could have used the word de-icer, but said, that stuff that unfreezes the door or something like that. Where had my intelligence gone, I wondered. But within ten minutes or so, I was inside. Again, another prayer of thanks.

Of course anyone who knows me will know what I did next...went straight for the thermostat to turn up the heat! My boss turns it down quite low so it's about 60 degrees when I walk in on a normal day. We've had issues before here with the furnace so when my eye caught the needle down past 50, I knew I was in for an even rougher day. I cranked up the heat to 80 to no avail.

I called next door (as we lease from that company) to have a repairman come out, knowing full well on this kind of day with high winds, below zero windchills and ice/snow that they wouldn't be out for a while. By afternoon a guy came in asking me what was wrong with the furnace...I had all I could do to remain calm. How do I know?

In any case, he went on to say that they wouldn't risk getting on the roof since that's the type of furnace it is. I nod my understanding, afraid of any unkind words slipping out. 'Please call me tomorrow to let me know when they planned on coming out,' I finally muttered. Oh wouldn't plan on anyone coming until the afternoon. Two days without heat? Well, okay no problem.

Needless to say, since I am intolerant to cold anyway, I had dressed in the warmest clothes I owned that would be acceptable to an office setting, even long underwear! I kept on my coat and clothes and thankfully had two heaters going, but it only kept the heat to about 54.

The heat was back on the following afternoon so all went well. We have had more snow and rain and thunder since then, and scary road moments, but I'm still here! Frozen, but here!

The bottom line to all of my rambling? I am reminded of how good I have it, and how I take for granted the little things that not only make my life more comfortable, but survivable. It's weird but that day helped to keep things in the right perspective. I thank God for all of his wonderful blessings!

But I need more work before I'll see all of this snow in a positive way...hey, I'm still working on it! ;) Oh and another snow advisory out for tonight and tomorrow...imagine that!