Good morning or evening I don't know when you logged on. My name is Johnnielynn and I am extremely anxious. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. Over my 34 years of life I've had to learn to cope and how to function not just with it but inspire of it.
Where my anxiety began
I don't know if my anxiety is a result of abandonment trauma or if it's a chemical imbalance. I do know that while I don't remember experienceing it until I was 7 my mom said I was much younger. When I was 3 my parents got a divorce. during that time and until my youngest sister was 3 we had a family councilor that was concerned with my self esteem, or lac of. My mom has told me that she was told to praise everything I did. "Johnnielynn you're sitting so nicely" "look how good you're..." I only remember being 7.
I remember being in second grade, and every day I was crying because my tummy hurt. As soon as I was out of school I was happy skipping to the car. Because of the frequency of the tummy aches my mom took me to a doctor, he sent me to GI tests and there was nothing wrong with my stomach. Between what the doctors said and the fact that I was happy, and healthy as soon as I walked out of the school it was decided I was faking, or just trying to get out of school. It got to the point that my teacher would check for a fever then send me to my seat. I also wouldn't go out for recess with out my bff, she was a grade below me so her teacher would watch me "help" her finish her work so she could go out side too.
It got worse
As I got older I started having panic attacks. I was about 10 when I had my first one. I was fighting with my sister and got overwhelmed and suddenly I couldn't breath. My chest hurt and I wasn't breathing. The best thing I was told was
"If you're talking, you're breathing."
I still think about that 24 years later. I very regularly have panic attacks, at least once a day but they're not bad and I can keep it mostly under control. But I always think of that when I am having one.
With the panic attacks came ER visits. I didn't go every time, but this coincided with my sister developing asthma. So I was given breathing tests, I didn't have asthma, so the doctors told my mom not in so many words that I was faking. Trying to be like my sister. It wasn't until I was 14 I was trying to talk my mom into homeschooling me but my new doctor told her not too and instead put me on anti depressants. I'll admit that I was a bit bitter by that, but I got through highschool. I hated the meds and now as an adult honestly I can cope well enough. I don't take them anymore.
I don't fault the doctors telling me I was faking my illness' growing up. I feel bad that my mom had to suffer through my childhood and teen years with the emotional mess that I was.
Coping with anxiety
If you're interested I can write a long post on all of the ways I cope with my anxiety. But the main thing that got me through was my cat when I was 12. She preferred to sleep by my feet but nights when I was struggling which honestly was most nights she would lay on my chest. Subconsciencely I would match my breathing to hers with made me realize if I slowed my breathing, and my heart beat the panic attack would end faster. After Angel died I had gotten two other cats maizy does the same thing though she curls up to my side. But I'd learned how to breath through panic attacks so I do alright being unmedicated. Which for the record I am not a doctor and I do to recommend you stop taking any kind of prescription
That's just a quick insight of my anxiety journey so far. If you have any questions about it just ask in the comments. I will happily go into more details. If you struggle with anxiety just remember you're not alone, and if you're talking you're breathing. Thanks for reading
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