Handling Christmas Outings & A Birthday With Anxiety

Happy Friday! It has been a long week of roller coasters, so I’m really excited to share it with you. The idea of sharing the daily life of an anxious person makes me really hopeful and excited. Anxiety is such an underrated condition that isn’t taken nearly as seriously as it should be. 

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Last Thursday night I had a lot of trouble staying asleep. I could fall asleep in a second, but it wouldn’t last. After spending some time on the phone will Will before he went out, I finally fell asleep for good around 1 AM. 

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I ended up waking up around 6 AM. I was wide awake. It was the earliest I’ve been up in a long time on one of my days off, so I just decided to get up and get started on work. I ended up getting a lot before my doctor appointment at 11 AM. About an hour before my appointment, anxiety hit for other reasons, and it was the worst attack when it came to breathing that I’ve had in quite a while. 

Now, the reason I went to the doctor is that I ended up going on anxiety medication almost a month ago. I have a follow-up appointment on January 11th, but since going on the medication, I was experiencing a lot of shakiness, light-headedness, and dizzy spells, especially while I’m at work, so I wanted to talk with my doctor about it. 

She asked if it’s unbearable and I told her that it isn’t so she asked me to push through until our next appointment. She said these symptoms are very common in the first 4-6 while your system adjusts, so we’ll analyze at my next appointment. Thankfully, the symptoms have gone away for the most part. I just get dizzy and light-headed when I get anxious now. I’ve definitely been having my moments, but overall I’ve felt more calm and productive in the last week. 

After the doctor, I made a run to Maurice’s to pick up a gift card for Christmas. 

Once I got home, I was still feeling really messed up from my anxiety attack earlier. If you suffer from attacks, you know that they are extremely mentally and physically draining. I just laid on my bed and watched two Joyce Meyer videos on YouTube. Watching those really calmed me down and gave the extra boost that I needed to get through the rest of the day. 

After watching those videos, I did something I don’t do very often, and I actually reached out to my best friend, Krystal so we could spend some time together. She suffers from severe anxiety just like I do, so our social comfort level is the same which makes spending time together very good for my anxiety. Plus, she always understands how I feel, even if it’s super irrational to a non-anxious person. 

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Krystal and I ended up going to Mr. B’s in Royal Oak. I love walking through Royal Oak. It has the cutest downtown area. 

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I ordered a club with parmesan fries, and it was so delicious. We sat there for hours eating, talking, venting, and laughing. Spending time with Krystal is one of my happy places, and I’m so thankful that I have her through my journey. 

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Walking a few blocks back to the car was absolutely freezing, but really beautiful. All the trees and storefronts were decorated for Christmas. We had planned on grabbing some ice cream after dinner, but I opted out because I was stuffed from dinner and ready to head home. 

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On my way home, I passed work and Will was there for a late shift, so I ended up stopping to visit with him for a couple minutes. Sometimes, I just need a hug after a hard mental day, and Friday was one of those days. I spent a few minutes chatting with him, and it was really nice.

As soon as I got home after that, I passed out. I got about four hours of solid sleep, but spent the rest of the night tossing and turning. 

On Saturday I woke up feeling really sick. I was shaky, dizzy, and light-headed and I knew why. My job makes me very, very anxious and I had to work at 7 AM, so mentally I wasn’t doing well. 

I managed to get through work and actually had a decent day, but I was feeling a little off before I left. I came home with the intention to just relax. I was in the “middle state” where something small could definitely trigger full-blown anxiety, but with a little TLC, I could make it through the day without a big incident. I had an early dinner when I got home, wrapped gifts with my mom, and then watched Christmas movies for a while. I tried to go to sleep early and get some rest, but I barely slept all night. I’m really trying to avoid depending on ZzzQuil so much, so I’m going to start trying Chamomille tea before bed and see if that makes a difference. 

On Sunday, it was Christmas Eve, so I woke up feeling really hopeful. My mom and I headed out early to do some super last minute Christmas shopping. We made a stop at Starbucks on our way, and I had a Toffee Almond Milk Hot Chocolate. It was one of the healthiest hot chocolate options. 

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After a two-hour shopping spree (this was in just one store!) with my mom, we stopped to visit my Papa for Christmas. I gave him a copy of my first book a long time ago, and he still leaves it right there on his table. It made me smile. 

Before I got ready for our Christmas Eve plans I finished the gift wrapping with my mom and watched Christmas movies for just a few. A little later, Will came over and opened his gifts from me and my family. My mom was super excited, so he had to open them as soon as he walked in the door. 

After that was done, he and I went to my cousin’s house for my family’s annual Christmas Eve party. I don’t get along with a lot of people in my family because they’re just not very friendly people, but I wanted to show face to the ones I’ve missed and give Will a chance to meet them. We stayed for about 35 minutes before getting out of there. 

Because of those that make me uncomfortable, it just isn’t a healthy scenario for my anxiety. I was a little off for a while after we got back to my house. We ate dinner with my mom and my brother while we watched The Grinch. During the movie, Will ended up falling asleep on the couch, so we just ended up going to bed to watch Netflix and get some rest until Will had to go home. 

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We were all pooped after a big day… obviously. 

Anyway, near the end of our night, anxiety set back in. One of my biggest issues due to my anxiety is codependency. And knowing Will was going to be leaving soon, triggered some fears inside of me. This is one of the things I hate the most about anxiety, but it’s something I’m still learning to cope with. 

Ultimately, I know that the closest thing to a solution is building my confidence and my self-esteem as an individual. I need to work more on being my own person and making my own happiness. But, this is a post I want to save for another day because I definitely have a lot to say! 

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I woke up around 8 AM on Christmas morning, and of course, my mom was up. She gets just as excited for Christmas morning as she did when me and my brother were little. I woke my brother up so we could open presents for my mom and we got started. I got a ton of new clothes and things I really needed, so I’m super thankful for that. 

My favorite gift was a necklace my mom got me. It has two crosses; one regular size and a smaller one. It has a really special meaning behind it, and it really meant the world to me. 

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Once all the presents were gone from the tree, it became the new hangout for all of the animals. 

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After presents, we all ate breakfast and relaxed for a while.

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I started getting ready around 11 and then stopped and picked up one of Will’s friends, Jon, on my way to Will’s place for the big Christmas party. We spent the entire day there, and we did have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs, but mentally, it was a really difficult day for me.

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Being surrounded by so many people for so long is really hard on me. I was completely exhausted, and I was there until 2 AM. I was drained, so I actually ended up calling into work for the following morning. Mentally, I knew I couldn’t handle it. 

Yes, I should have gone, but I just couldn’t do it that day. 

I woke up around 9 on Tuesday, and my throat had been really sore for about 3 or 4 days. Since I wasn’t going to be at work, I figured it was a good day to head to Urgent Care in case this sore throat was turning into something. The first one I went to was closed so I ended up having to drive an extra 25 minutes to a different one. I got tested for strep and mono, but both came back negative. It ended up going away the next day anyway. 

The rest of the day on Tuesday I was dealing with a situation that would normally send my anxiety through the roof and put me in bed to sleep for the rest of the day just so I wouldn’t have to deal. That is how I’ve been handling my anxious days, but I made Tuesday different. I fought very, very hard on Tuesday to keep myself together so I could have as normal of a day as possible.

I continued with my deep breathing and positive self-talk throughout the entire day. Whenever I felt myself growing anxious again, I would close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and talk myself through it. The other thing that really did the trick was throwing myself into my work. I’ve been focusing all of my time at home on my blog and my next book, so putting so much effort into them all day long really, really helped keep me calm and focused. 

I didn’t have any photos for Tuesday and Wednesday, and I’m really sorry for that! Wednesday was a simple, boring day! I went to work, came home and did more work, and hit the pillow by 8:30. I ended up sleeping really well that night!

Yesterday was a crazy day. I woke up feeling more hopeful and productive than I have in so long! My bed was super warm and comfy though, so it was tough to get up, but I did it. I was out of bed and ready to start my work by 7 AM. I had just made some hot chocolate at home and was ready to settle in when Will showed up! 

It was a huge surprise, but that was the plan! He ended up right on my front doorstep before the sun was even up. He only a had a couple hours before he had to be home to get things done before our night out, but it was so nice to spend some time together, and I love those kinds of surprises! Needless to say, something like that is extremely soothing for my anxiety. 

After Will left, I was able to get in about three hours of work before getting ready and heading off to run to Whole Foods. I really want to find an organic face wash for my sensitive skin, but I couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy. I’m going to check reviews on Amazon instead! I ended up picking up two boxes of tea. I grabbed lemon ginger and chamomile. 

After Whole Foods, Will and I spent the rest of the day together for his birthday, even though it’s a couple of days early. He has to work late on his actual birthday. We headed to the same restaurant and movie theater that we went to on our first date. We ate dinner at Buffola Wild Wings and then ran next door (literally because the temperature was in the negatives), and we saw Pitch Perfect 3. We were both expecting it to be corny even though we love the first two. Once you get to the third movie in a comedy series, they’re usually just dragging it out at that point. 

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He got sleepy while we were waiting to go into the movie. 

It was definitely really funny but had some stupid parts too. Overall, it was better than we expected though. During our time out, I went through three different anxious episodes. Those without anxiety may not realize that episodes like this are very common, but it’s something I try to improve every single day. On our way back to my house we ended up getting pulled over. 

Neither of us had any idea why because Will hadn’t done anything wrong. Once the cop came up he told me that my tabs were expired on my car. This here is one of the joys of anxiety. You get so entirely caught up in your own made up world, that you completely forget to do really important things, like renew your tabs! I now have a ticket and a court date. This was my third anxious episode. I was frustrated with myself for completely forgetting to do something so important and then really stressed about paying for the ticket. 

It even woke me up this morning. After a long, terrifying nightmare last night I woke up with a fast heart rate, trembling body, and uneven breaths. The nightmare mixed with the thoughts of all of my anxious episodes from last night made me feel so overwhelmed this morning. I tried to calm myself down for a while before finally just calling Will. He says to call when I need help and he knows just how to walk me through it and calm me down. We were on the phone for nearly a half hour before I was finally able to get myself under control. 

I’m still working through my anxieties today. After this morning, I was already prepared for a tough day, but being here on my blog is helping so much! Let’s hope the next week brings better days! 

Have a great weekend!

Questions For You
How was your Christmas?

Have you seen Pitch Perfect 3 yet?
What is your favorite thing to do when you go out with your friends?

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