6.28.2011

What's Eating Ashley J

Alright. I have a confession to make. It's not something I'm proud of; however, I think it's healing to talk about it on this here blog.

I have been suffering with anxiety nearly the whole month of June. I've lost too much weight (7 pounds...eek!), I haven't been eating well, sleeping well or sometimes breathing well.

I'm not positive where it has stemmed from, other than the tremendous amount of changes I have gone through in the last 3 months:
  • Geared up (and freaked out a little) to live abroad in March.
  • Flew to Turkey beginning of March.
  • Stayed there for about a month, only to find my timing was off, and I had to fly back.
  • Got a new job, learned an overwhelming amount of info at my new job and started the job feeling a little in over my head.
  • Now, I feel better about the job itself, but I'm trudging through a weird schedule that has been inconsistent and tiring (probably what is messing up my sleeping cycle).
  • Also now, getting ready for a move to a new apartment.
There are a few more factors, of course, but overall these are the big ones. Mix in Ashley's infamous over thinking, and you've got a recipe for anxiety.

Monday was the first day I really realized anxiety was affecting me. But let me clarify, I've not been a twitching mess everyday. I have of course been laughing and smiling and dancing through the last month. However, overall there has been a buildup of anxiousness.

So yesterday, instead of my initial plan to stay inside and pack for my move, I decided to get the hell out of the confines of the indoors, and let my mind breathe a little.

I drove, drove, drove until I couldn't anymore. I visited friends in coffee shops. I went to the beach and took a dive into the sand (which was the perfect degree of soothing warmness). I laid there for over an hour, and got sand ALL OVER THE PLACE, which I found amusing and uncomfortable at the same time (ha).

I didn't think of work and responsibilites. I didn't think about anything other than myself, the earth and God.

While I was cruising, I stuck my hand out the window for good measure. I sang at the very top of my lungs to all my favorite songs..."Twist and Shout!"

I took my first real deep breath in a couple weeks, and I ate a huge meal, which I haven't done in awhile.

I let myself be me.

I'm writing this down because, surely, I'm not the only one to ever experience anxiety in their lives. The hard thing about anxiety is, you know how ridiculous it is when it's happening to you, but it's awfully hard to control. I suppose the first step is recognition, and something along the lines of breathing exercises and/or meditation and prayer. And lastly, focusing on gratitude. On how lucky I am, how great all my opportunities are and how I'm not perfect.

If you have any suggestions for me, feel free to share, as I have come to love this blog community and all the feedback you have given over the years. I'm sure I have posted on anxiety before, but it's been the worst this past month.

Lastly, I don't mind sharing my imperfections. Who has this thing called life figured out anyway? I'm thinking we can make it a collaborative effort.

8 comments:

  1. I think you handled it just fine. You are you, you do things the way you do them and things got a little out of hand.

    BUT...

    Instead of drowning in it or not acknowledging it, you took a day off. We ALL need a day off every now and then. I think as long as you keep doing stuff like that, you'll be just fine.

    And, you know, if you could stop that overthinking thing... ;)

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  2. I know exactly how you feel, we can only take it one step at a time.

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  3. I know how you feel as well. Anxiety is horrible. My stems from social situations but has evolved to other areas over the year. I used to be on Prozac but was able to wean off of it. Still, some times, the anxiety gets the better of me and turns into sadness and depression.

    I think what you did is the best. I try to go out with friends when I can and just remove myself from whatever is making me anxious, distract myself.

    Good luck!

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  4. This is what I generally describe in myself as "being neurotic." And getting out of the house is always a good thing, Sorry you've been anxious my dear, and hope that was the turning point. : )

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  5. Yes, I believe it was. First you accept it, then you do something about it. :D I will in fact be getting out more!

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  6. Oh you poor thing :( I used to suffer from anxiety, it really is dreadful. But I think acknowledging it and doing something to control it is such a crucial step; you did exactly the right thing! I hope you take lots of time for yourself and that things get a little easier. xoxo

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  7. you solved it beautifully. whenever i get really wound up and my anxiety gets to me i just need to breathe, take some time and find quiet. i fully believe in the power of fresh air clearing the mind.

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  8. "Shake it up baby!" Moving and changing jobs are two of the most stressful life experiences. You endured several rounds of this. Sounds like your coping mechanisms are far more constructive and recuperative than having a martini or 50, or chasing after an Italian guy with a Ferrari, or buying a Ferrari. You'll be just fine. This too shall pass.

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