I had an anxiety attack the other night. It was full blown meltdown and pacing. The cause. Disharmony, people pleasing and the biggest of all; lack of sleep. The stress of someone else’s opinion on my life caused me to lose sleep. The anxiety was a manufactured result of waking, sleeping, waking and crying and pacing. I finally turned on Good Luck Charlie and let that play in the back ground. My brain shut off and I was able to sleep.
I am not telling you my anxiety drama to be one of the cool kids. Anxiety is a part of life. I understand that it is our body’s response to fight or flight. It keeps us moving. I use to suffer from stress and anxiety a little more often. It would become a full body paralysis of shaking and indecision. Manufactured by someone’s need to control every aspect of my life and remind me of what I was doing wrong that caused them to react a certain way to me.
I had come home from a Halloween Party. I had, admittedly had a little more to drink than I should have, it was at a friend’s house and I was having a good time. I thought we both were having a good time; until the way home. I could tell by the look on his face that he was getting less and less impressed with me by the mile. I remember being happy and bubbly. Or something like that. What happened when we walked through our front door was another matter entirely. We had a two dogs at the time; they gotten into the trash. He was not pleased. The yelling began and the dogs ran outside. What happened next I am not telling you to have you roll your eyes or think I am looking for sympathy. That shipped long sailed. I made my choices and I also lived through the consequences. The lab ran outside because he was being punished and being yelled at. It went on long enough that I had cleaned up the mess and taken the trash out. I went outside as the dog was being drug out of the dog house and I placed myself between the dog and the man who was hell bent on making this dog learn a lesson. I looked into his eyes and I told him that was enough and to please stop. What happened next happened so fast I can’t recall the exact chain of events. I was shoved out of the way and unto the ground where I was smacked with the end of belt on my legs. I laid there for a few minutes after he went inside and the dogs came to see me. They were both still panting and anxious after all the commotion. I remember hugging them and apologizing that I was too drunk to drive us any where. I eventually got up and let us all inside. I went into my very tiny bathroom to wash up. I closed the door and turned on the water. The door was flung open and he got a chair and sat it outside. I continued to find face wash to wash my face as he began his manufactured reasoning behind his violent outburst towards me. I don’t think the words I am so sorry ever came out of his mouth. What I did get was a run down of the things I had done wrong that caused him to be upset with me all night. I can’t tell you what he said, I had sobered up some but my brain had also shut out the tone of his voice. Anything he said to me after that door had flung open I didn’t hear. I am not sure how long I was made to sit on the floor of that bathroom without leaving. Did I try to leave? Probably not. By this point, I knew very well that his need to prove himself right was more important then any rebuttal I could make. I got the biggest floral arrangement I have ever seen the following day. I rolled my eyes and threw them out.
To this day I have a very visceral response to any time I try to leave a room during an argument if anyone tries to keep me in a room. Now I know my anxiety response. I can get my brain out of the immediate flight or fight mode and calm myself down. That has come with therapy, lots of personal development and lots of thought work. I also left the relationship that was no longer serving me in the best way. He isn’t a bad person; he just wasn’t the person for me. My empathic self could not stand up until we had broken up and I had a lot of coming to Jesus moments with myself and with my therapist.
So my 1 am waking, walking, pacing, crying anxiety attack made me remember all the times I couldn’t calm myself down. All the times I stood shaking uncontrollably when something small happened. It took me years to be able to watch a scary movie or watch a show with violence in it. But that’s part of healing. The work. I didn’t expect to get there over night and I didn’t. Some days I have a step back but my self talk is better at getting me out before I get to caught up on the manufactured hamster wheel of anxiety.
As anyone knows after you go through some trauma in your life; you have choices. You can either sit in it and pull others in it with you every chance you get. Or you can choose to do the work it takes to heal yourself and become a better person for you. After all, you can’t control someone else and their behavior. You can only control what you can do for you. For me that comes in the form of some times being too stoic or appearing unsympathetic. I am much better at telling you how I feel but I also still hold back; still make too much space for other people’s emotions. I am a work in progress but I also learned that not all love shows up as love. Some love shows up under the umbrella of control. It’s why I tell my daughter things like, “It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with someone or if you think you love them; if you are unhappy or if you feel that you not being treated right and they refuse to work with you or blame you: get out. And don’t ever let anyone make you feel as though you are less then.”
My anxiety is less today. I started working out again after taking some time off to feel better after being ill. It makes dealing with life a lot better. I also got some sleep. That is the most important thing for your brain is good quality sleep. Drink your water, get at least 7 hours of sleep, get outside and move your body for at least 30 minutes a day.
Remember some people manufacture emotions.
verb manufactured; manufacturing\ ˌman-yə-ˈfak-chə-riŋ , -ˈfak-shriŋ , ˌma-nə- \