As of recently I have been struggling with anxiety attacks. I’m not sure what the source of this new development is. When I try to compartmentalize my life I go through the list of things that stress me out.
- Money (particularly not having any)
- Family relationships
- Romantic relationships
- The list continues but I won’t hold you hostage any longer
The problem is, I can’t point to one thing on my list and say YES YOU DEVIL, YOU CAUSE MY ANXIETY. I took to the internet as we all do when we have a question to find out what the hell is going on because the flip flopping heart palpitations is too much for my 22 year old sanity. I found an article about adult children of alcoholics and apparently high anxiety is a super common side effect of growing up in an abusive home.
Quick Side Note: it always blows my mind each time I read about “adult children of alcoholics” how reassuring it feels to know that my condition is just a cookie cutter of a million people’s lives and it doesn’t define me. It’s like the symptoms of a head cold. You know them well and you figure out ways to combat it
Ok now back to my terribly exciting anxiety attacks. From growing up in a home where I had absolutely no control or consistency, I have taught myself to always have a plan, always know the next step and never ever loose face. If I can’t control something 100% I let it go completely. I’m an all or nothing thinker to a fault and I know that if something has a glitch, or is going wrong I loose all involvement in it. Thus adding to my anxiety attacks and stress.
Breathing in Kindness to Myself
When I’m having these scary moments where my head hurts, my heart is racing, and my life seems to be crumbling, I resort to the oldest trick in the book and you’re going to roll your eyes with skepticism but stay with me. I take deep breaths. UGH I know you’ve heard it a million times but my method is more than just breathing. I talk to myself in third person. With each breath I say my name and follow it with a positive and encouraging statement. I tell myself I’m doing my best and that’s actually pretty good. I remind myself that I must be kind to myself as if I were my own best friend and need someone to lift me up. This moment in the midst of my attacks, I feel floaty and light. This gives me a quick break from the current mental state I’m in and realigns my thinking.
What Is Comforting
Breathing for me just isn’t enough, but when I talk to myself and treat myself like I am my best friend and I need me to comfort me and hug me. I know it is so over used and under appreciated but trust me, as a college student with two jobs, dating, and trying to salvage what little social life I have, I wouldn’t share this with you unless I knew how well it has worked for me.
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: The Intern