Living with Anxiety is like Living with Half a Brain at Times

I feel like I’m an open book and people can learn from my experiences if I share them. That said, I have been living with Anxiety for almost a year now. And let me tell you, it’s not fun!

women, health, anxiety

Living with Anxiety is like Living with Half a Brain at Times

It all started about 6 months post-divorce. No, I wasn’t having anxiety about the divorce at all. I knew that was the right thing to do so both parties could be happy.

However, over the summer I had to make a life-changing decision that sent me into a whirlwind of depression and anxiety. I made the decision to send me princess girl dog off to Rainbow Bridge. She was ridden with cancer and at her age, I just couldn’t fathom putting her through such an extreme surgery that wasn’t 100% guaranteed.

That decision rocked my world more than I’d ever know.

The Feeling of Hopelessness

The sadness of the princess’s passing not only affected me but my boy as well. We were empty and lost and did not know how to climb out.

I couldn’t get out of bed.

I couldn’t go to work.

My brain did not function.

Not only did I think of her loss, but it sent me into a panic mode of living single in a home at the age of 50.

Worries of finances cluttered my mind. I knew that shouldn’t but it did.

I had racked up some vet bills into the thousands from previous surgeries on my girl. How was I to pay it off?

What if something broke in my home? How was I to pay for it? Fix it? Who would fix it? Who would I call? I have no family to depend on and friends are a dime a dozen when it comes to really needing help it seems, especially since the divorce.

I devoted my life to a man who never appreciated me. I lost friends because my mother told me you marry and he is your life. I lived true to those words.

Apparently, those words were ones he didn’t know.

I felt hopeless and didn’t know how to help myself!

When You Hit Rock Bottom, It’s Time To Reach Out for Help

I knew I needed help.

I had to work! No work. No money. No home. No dogs. No life!

I contacted my doctor for an urgent appointment. I needed help fast but be careful of what you wish for.

My doc prescribed anti-depressants which made me feel like hell for about a week. I stopped taking them and contacted him for anti-anxiety meds. I wasn’t depressed. I was anxious! My brain wouldn’t shut down! I couldn’t sleep! I couldn’t eat! I was devastated!

Thankfully, the anti-anxiety meds eased my mind and I was able to get back to a new kind of “norm” for me.

However, like any medication, it’s not a cure. You have to change your lifestyle and find ways on how to deal with those manic, panic episodes that will still hit you when you least expect it.

Triggers Can Rock Your World

I feel I’ve come a long way. I’ve reset my mind to an extent. I’m learning to keep negativity out of my life, as well as, the news. Politics and negative news can be a major trigger for those who suffer from anxiety.

I’ve muted people on social media so I don’t see their unhappiness and rants.

I put my phone on DO NOT DISTURB at 7 pm every night and don’t touch it until morning.

Again, no news on tv or social media. Only the weather.

Recently, I came home from work and as usual, go to my mailbox.

Trigger Warning!

You never know what kind of mail you’re going to find, especially post-divorce.

I saw an envelope from the United States District Court.

That will make your heart drop!

It’s a Jury Questionnaire. It instantly sent me into panic mode.

I knew it was Federal and Federal cases can be anywhere for any amount of time.

This is unacceptable for me!health, women, anxiety

I am the sole breadwinner. I am single. Alone. And the sole caregiver to my dogs. I know many people don’t get it but when you have very little family, you’re basically on your own.

My boy dog is very antisocial. He has been that way all his life. He can’t help it. He is mentally challenged. He does not like people and cannot be kenneled. I have dealt with this for over 9 years so far. I am cool with it because I am all he has.

My girl dog is super-duper friendly and is no issue.

However, to be called to a jury, out-of-town, is just not going to happen for me!

I have no one to care for my pups, let alone the anxiety the letter alone inflicted on me is a major challenge!

So, triggers may pop up at any time and you have no idea how you are going to react!

I had a restless night and was late to work the next day. My brain was still kicking in high gear. I was made at the government for even sending someone who suffers from anxiety a letter like this!

I know this too shall pass, but again, living with anxiety is a major kick it the pants.

Half a Brain

No offense to anyone but if you deal with anxiety, you know what I mean

The triggers hit you and you know that you shouldn’t react and let them get to you but it’s unavoidable.

This is the “half a brain” syndrome

The rational part of your brain disappears when you are in anxiety or panic mode.

You cannot think rationally and to try to have someone talk you through it is basically a waste of time.

You need to find ways to work through it.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Go outside and just scream
  • Find a way to laugh at yourself

Something!

I rely on my dogs to help keep me grounded during these times.

The worse thing you want to do is to turn to alcohol, especially if you’re taking anti-anxiety meds. 

Just sitting with my dogs and crying about the trigger or just talking to them can sometimes help ease the panic mode. Not always, but sometimes.

Regardless, living with anxiety is not fun. Living with someone who has anxiety can be very challenging because you don’t really understand what that person is going through.

Be STrong. Push Forward.

If you are someone who struggles with anxiety or has struggled, I want to hear from you. Whether it is ongoing or was a brief moment in your life.

How do you or did you survive the challenges?

Thank you for listening…………….

21 thoughts on “Living with Anxiety is like Living with Half a Brain at Times

  1. Hi Bren,

    Living with anxiety is a serious problem that needs to be addressed squarely. But many who have this issue are not taking the necessary step to tackle it. Your article is times and a valuable resource.

    1. Hi Moss. You’re right. It is a serious issue and so many are afraid to ask for help. I thought by sharing my stories and awareness may help others who suffer. We are never alone. Appreciate your comment!

  2. Hi Bren so lovely to have you join us at #MLSTL and thank you for your frank and honest post. I’ve experienced anxiety and it isn’t fun! You have provided some excellent ways to overcome your fears and simple things like turning off the news or social media which can send anyone into a tail spin. Take care and thanks again for joining us. x

    1. Hi Sue! I must apologize for my delayed response. Was a “down” weekend for me. Ugh, I hate them! Anyway, it’s great to be back in the swing with such wonderful midlife bloggers. I hope to be able to keep up again because you ladies are so helpful and supportive. Thanks for hosting MLSTL! Muwah! xox

  3. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal post with us. I survived a brief bout of anxiety when I was promoted to the first job that I didn’t feel competent at. I felt that I was very publicly (around my office) failing. That passed. I learned my job and I was good at it. But the anxiety remained. I was able to overcome it with meditation, physical activity, spending time in nature, and talking with loved ones I trust, I do have some close family members that battle anxiety on a more permanent basis. It’s a tough one for sure. May you be well-supported and surrounded by love on your journey.

    On a side note that might make you laugh–your blurb on #MLSTL is cut off at “Living with Anxiety is like Living with Half a Bra.” I was so curious to see what that meant! 🙂

    1. Hi Christie,

      I appreciate you sharing your experience with us. I often wonder if anxiety ever truly leaves us or we simply find better ways to manage? I think anxiety is more prominent in our world nowadays and mental health awareness in general needs for publicity. Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of as you know. I do find breathing exercises to help me better now plus I started taking hemp/CBD oil for those racing moments and it helps!

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us and the giggle on my blurb. Oh shat! Really says that? Could be for another interesting humorous blog post! LOL

    1. Oh, thank you, Debbie. Isn’t being honest and real what people can relate to? Appreciate your well wishes! Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Oh Bren, I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been going through. Death and divorce are two of the biggest stress inducers we can experience, so I’m not surprised that you’ve spiralled down and into anxiety – especially having to start life again on your own. Sending you a big long distance hug from Australia and also a thumbs up for how lovely your blog’s looking these days.
    Lovely to see you back linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    1. I appreciate your kind thoughts, Leanne. The things we endure can only make us that much stronger, right? I’m happy to be back and hope I can keep up! I missed all my midlife gals for sure! I have lots of catching up to do! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you for sharing. Anxiety or any other mental health issue is so swept under the carpet and people don’t like to talk about it, so I appreciate you being so open and honest.
    You have gone through so much and sound like a very strong woman, and I agree, reaching out for help is a great idea.
    Now that you’re divorced, this is YOUR time! I think if you found things you truly loved to do and people you truly love to be with your anxiety would lesson. Please keep us posted!

    1. Oh girl! I know this is my time and I’m been ready! You’re right though, so many feel embarrassed to talk about mental health issues but I feel it’s important that others know they are not alone. It is better to talk about it then hide it in the closet and suffer alone. Strong, maybe but I have the power to conquer just about anything thrown in my way and that is how I choose to live. I may be knocked down, but I’ll eventually get back up. My mission hasn’t been fulfilled yet. 😉 Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

  6. Anxiety is real and no joke. I have helped my daughter with this for years. It can be debilitating at times. Know that you can also overcome it. Go with the meds while you need them. it sounds like you are doing a good job of figuring out how to help yourself. Hang in there!

    1. Oh my gosh, Michele, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she has found a way to manage with support from friends and family and medication if needed. I know many that suffer and I believe more awareness can make us feel less alone. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us and for stopping by!

    1. Thank you. Part of it is finding ways to get through the rough o essence. The always looking for new ways. Appreciate you stopping by.

  7. Sorry to hear that you’re experiencing this awful problem. I also suffer from anxiety, although fortunately it doesn’t rear it’s ugly head too often these days. Life sometimes decides to give us something challenging, without considering if we can handle it or not. My copying mechanisms include just breathing, focusing on something different (like you talking to your dogs), or lie down for a few hours and try to sleep (which is kind of like running away from the problem). I’m not very good at coping with anxiety, but these three things I do help me. Good luck with it, and don’t forget that you’re strong and can get through it. Pinned, visiting from MLSTL. 🙂

    1. Hi Cheryl and Welcome! I’m sorry to hear of your struggle as well. I have found many that are midlife and all of a sudden get anxiety. I wonder if age and body changes has anything to do with it. If you can sleep you’re way through it, I think that is great. I find with mine, my heart is constantly racing and I can’t sleep without some type of sleep aid. You are strong too and can push forward just like I can. I think it’s a bit comforting to know i’m not alone. I appreciate you visiting from MLSTL!

      1. Thanks for the warm welcome, Bren. Anytime you want to talk, just reach out, to me or others. As you said, knowing you’re not alone is a comfort. Take care and have a nice weekend. 🙂

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