|I can do that, thanks.|
For too many years now, I've been trying to tough out anxiety. Mind over...mind, I guess? When you KNOW something's 'all in your head,' it gets tough to pit the brain against itself, because the brain will always win, which isn't fair or nice to the losing side.
Things that make me anxious are:
- sudden loud noises
- constant excessive noise
- decision making ('where do you want to go eat?' sucks, trust me)
- my heart arrhythmia (a benign condition, but if you have an arrhythmia you know how it can wreck your nerves when it shows up)
Not an exhaustive list. You get the idea.
I can't pinpoint WHEN precisely this started, but it was manifesting right around the time menopause had truly taken hold and my body was working on a whole different hormone system than it was used to for 40 years. Even something like a nice boat ride on the lake to go get lunch with the family would get me going.
By 'get me going,' I mean vomit.
Somehow it seems that my vagal nervous system detects the stress and gives my body something to DO about it, which in my case is puke, or at least spend some quality time dry-heaving as a potential way to tell the brain 'there, I think we have gotten rid of the bad thing that's making you feel bad. Can we go do something fun now?' and that kind of worked for a few years. A crap system, but one that worked, kind of.
As time went on, though, the issue (ha!) became more frequent, not helped at all by the development of what may be Meniere's Disease (though we're not yet sure of what's going on with my vestibular system) which is ANOTHER source of stress more powerful than the items in the list above. Adding vertigo to the mix was powerful bad.
Obviously, I needed help, beyond grounding/counting activities or getting outside and being in nature. Spending the day agitated, dizzy, nauseated, and with my head in a trash can is no way to go through life. It also, not surprisingly, prohibits one from 'getting outside in being in nature,' in case you were wondering.
At first, I signed up for online mental health support offered by the company I work for. Very helpful for those grounding/calming tools that can help self-identify triggers and get the brain focused on something other than the trigger, right in the moment. Not enough to banish the issue, but enough to get over it, momentarily.
Then, some nerve-calming yummy gummies were brought in to play. Lemon balm, natural remedies, etc. Good news - they seem to work. Tried a couple of varieties, with the same ingredients by and large, and the calming effect is noticeable (currently using the OLLY brand, which I bought online but I believe are now in CVS stores and presumably other pharmacies). Can recommend.
Then, I saw an ad for 'nerve patches' that were getting good reviews online, so I bought some of those for extra-horrible days. Full truth - I have not yet used one, because I'm a little intimidated by the full power of one patch, but having just read that they can be halved or even quartered depending on the dose needed, I'll be busting them out this week to handle what promises to be a VERY DEEPLY challenging work week.
Here's hoping that at least I won't have to work with a trash can in my lap, as it has potential to mess with the acoustics of team meetings. Nobody wants to hear that mess going on.
Next is to figure out the whole vertigo thing, because that's not normal. And so, we press onward and hope for a simple, manageable, explanation.
P.S. - I know the photo above is quoting a verse that is meant to be encouraging (Phillippians 4:6). Let me take it the wrong way, just this once, mmkay?