Hello Unsanity readers! It’s time for a guest blog post this week! Bloggers come from all over the world, and Kristie was so excited to write as a guest for me regarding her anxiousness relating to my current theme. She’s nearly 12 hours ahead of me in the world of time believe it or not. My morning is her late night and I think it’s amazing how networking and blogging can bring us all together from different ends of the earth. Check out her story below and give her blog some love (linked below in the paragraphs) and thanks so much for writing your story!
My name is Kristie, I recently started my own blog, Kanzu and Kimchi, where I talk about my expat life, travelling the world and shamelessly pinning and posting anything pretty I can photograph. I’m 35 years old. I’m married, am a mother of two boys, have a Cavapoo/Cavoodle named Winston and currently live in Muscat, Oman. I love to travel, hate to fly and worry I’ll never have time to experience everything the world has to offer. I am obsessed with CrossFit, love to read and write and dream of being inspiring and creative enough to make a difference in the world. I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life. It has been tolerable, intolerable and at times downright debilitating. What am I anxious about? Everything and yet nothing at the same time.
I have nothing to be anxious about. I had an amazing childhood, came from a stable, loving household, went to University, earned lots of money, have beautiful perfect children and a perfect husband who supports every stupid, ridiculous thing I do… but it’s still there. It holds my hand and accompanies me to public events, keeps me awake at night with its incessant chatter and envelopes me in its suffocating embrace every time I board an aircraft. It makes me question and loathe myself as much as it propels me forward in a desperate attempt for perfection and success.
I remember starting to feel anxious about ‘everything’ the first time my mother was late collecting me from school. By late I mean, 5mins outside of her normal, ridiculously punctual routine. I envisaged she had been maimed in a horrific car accident, the victim of a reckless driver taken from my life forever. My chest felt heavy, I couldn’t breathe, and I felt like I needed to flick my foot, shake my hand or walk around in circles to somehow abate the nervous energy that had started to take hold of my entire being. My world felt like it was spinning, and no words of comfort could pull me back from the abyss. It just grew from there, a constant sense of impending doom. I was afraid to fail, feared I would never be good enough, afraid that a thunderstorm would turn into a hurricane or that the Gulf War would somehow find its way to my front doorstep.
By the time I got to my early twenties my anxiety had become debilitating. I was afraid to drive my car fearing death by motor accident, I stopped leaving the house, I struggled to sleep and started to convince myself I had a million health issues. To fight the exhaustion, I lived on sugar and made frequent visits to my doctor, worried I was dying a slow death. After my 1001th visit my doctor sent me off for tests. He knew that because my anxiety had become so bad that his words alone would never placate my obsessive thoughts, I would need to see it all, written down in black and white. Once I was convinced it wasn’t coming to an end we decided on a course of action that still serves me well today.
Sugar, as most of you probably know can be a trigger for anxiety. It messes with your gut, which messes with your mind. It had to go from my life. It’s hard to say no to all that delicious, sugary, sweet food, believe me, I know. When I would get anxious I would devour an entire bag of candy. The more I ate the more I wanted, so the more anxious I became. I could never break the cycle. Removing sugar had a profound effect on my overall wellbeing. Most of us Anxious types produce a lot of negative energy, that horrible titchy feeling when you need to move or feel like something is coming? It needs to be re-directed and expelled so it doesn’t consume you. My doctor said to me some people need to exercise every single day. I am one of those people. I do CrossFit five days a week. It refocuses the negative thoughts and those feelings of impending doom on something that is far better for me than obsessive worry. By the end I feel exhausted, but content. If I can’t get to CrossFit I try and go for a run or walk the dog. I’ve always been active but having a consistent routine really helps keep the anxiety at bay.
Today I feel like me and anxiety live together in sweet harmony. With the help of a super rational husband, changes to my diet and frequent exercise I’m able to keep my anxiety in a tolerable state.
“We must suffer alone. But we can at least hold out our arms to our similarly tortured, fractured, and above all else anxious neighbours, as if to say in the kindest way possible, I know.” (Sarah Wilson, Author of New York Times bestselling book: First we make the beast beautiful).