Saturday, November 19, 2011

Overcoming Anxiety and Around the House

Hello again my dear friends!!!! I have a little down time today between cleaning and rushing to the grocery to get the last bit of items for my Thanksgiving dinner so I decided I would pop in for a little blog time.

Thank you all for your kind comments on my last post. Some of you asked me how I overcame my anxiety so I thought I would let everyone know what I did. As I stated before, I had severe anxiety and panic attacks. Depression also hit me due to my panic attacks and anxiety. For 6 years I didn't leave my house much and for 1 year of those 6 I spent in my bedroom. If I did leave I had severe overwhelming anxiety and panic symptoms. I would get shaky, my heart would race, I would feel like I was about to vomit, pass out and have a heart attack all at once. It really was a debilitating time in my life. 

For the last 2 years of the 6 I was able to go around my little town a bit. I could make quick trips to convenient stores and to my mom's house (she did live in town at the time). I could also pick my children up from school. However I still couldn't leave my small town and I could not go to a grocery store without hyperventilating. I really felt as though I would live that way forever and there was no way out of my own head.

During this time I kept a journal of all of my feelings and the #1 thing I would write was......" I HAVE to overcome this anxiety" I knew I wasn't living. I was missing out on school programs because I couldn't sit through them. I was missing out on shopping and all the joys of being alive and doing not only what one wants to do but what one has to do.

So I decided to take charge. I began by leaving town even if it was only 5 miles. I would make sure to steady my breathing and concentrating on breathing slowly to keep my heart rate at bay and the anxiety feelings low. If I did start with a panic, I would blatantly tell myself, out loud, that I was being silly. There wasn't anything that was going to hurt me, to just go and get over it. I would also write about my feelings, ponder over why those feelings came to me. I just decided to live my life and not let life live me. I pushed through! 

So what exactly is anxiety and panic attacks? Well I have learned a lot about them. First, they are more likely to strike when one is super stressed. When I had my first one in December 2003 we had moved from Florida to Ohio, my hubby had already lost one job due to cutbacks and we were behind on bills and we had just found out that the company my hubby worked for at the time was closing its door a week before Christmas. We had 3 kids at the time and we didn't know how we were going to get by. Super Stressed right?

Second I learned that anxiety and panic attacks are usually the adrenaline filled fight or flight feelings we get when we are in danger BUT usually one with anxiety and panic attacks have these feelings when there isn't any danger OR that person is having an irrational fear of "WHAT IF" something bad happens and the most notable WHAT IF is "What if I have ANOTHER panic attack". If you are prone to anxiety the "What if" thoughts are your worst enemy. They will keep you in your house for 6 years and in your room for 1 of those years.

Third I learned that NO ONE has ever died from a panic attack. The best thing to do is to feel the symptoms. Don't fight them. Let yourself feel them and analyze them. What caused these feelings? Why at this moment? Is it rational or irrational? You will be amazed about what you learn about yourself and your symptoms.

Fourth I learned that with a little work and a little bit of pushing yourself, YOU CAN OVERCOME YOUR PANIC ATTACKS!!!! You just have to turn the negative, get your heart racing feelings and self-talk into positive self talk. Instead of saying "Oh no I am going to have a panic attack, what if I pass out, what if I crash my car, what if, what if," you can say "Wow I am really excited about going to the mall, I can't wait to get there and catch some good deals, This is going to be fun." 

I also learned that panic/anxiety disorders are hereditary. My maternal grandmother and my mother has dealt with them. My daughters also have panic/anxiety moments. The best thing I can do is to teach them the things I have learned and help them find their way to cope and ease the symptoms. They are just symptoms and will go away.


Now for some pictures....

My African Violet I keep by my sink in front of my big ole window is blooming so beautifully. Doesn't it look so happy? My mom kept an African Violet in her kitchen window. I always remembered it as I grew up. I thought it would be nice to have one of my own and share those memories with my kids.

I have lots of house plants this year! I had to bring them in to keep them alive but didn't really have a spot for them all! My lovely neighbor had this wonderful baker's rack and she gave it to me just today for my plants. On the top I have my basil and mint plants. Behind the rack, going down my stairs I have Lavender and Rosemary. On the second shelf I have my mom's spider plant which I blogged about here. It is thriving and putting off babies which I think I will root and give to teachers! The last shelf is a nice storage spot for now.

The next two pictures are of my new Christmas Cacti! On my friend Mrs. Teresa Kasner's blog she shows us her beautiful Christmas Cacti blooms. I just love the one which I believe was her mom's. So when my hubby said Lowe's got an order in I told him I needed one. Well he brought me two!!!! I can't wait until they bloom!

Finally, I wanted to show you all my fireplace. I have it decorated a bit. I just love those little pumpkins I bought from the Amish store! I also have my Christmas Cacti, my scented wax warmer, my lamp, and the pic of my our Tinkerbell and our little Short whom we miss very badly. 

Well my friends that is going to be all for now. I hope you have all enjoyed this post and have found it very inspiring and informational. If anyone out there has any questions or wants more info about anxiety and panic disorders or if you just need to talk I will be willing to be in contact if you leave your email.

Be Blessed Everyone.


  1. Good for you. I have noticed (amazingly) that those who conquer the panic attacks seem to do it on their own in a mind over matter type of way. Good luck to anyone who suffers from them.

  2. Erin, I am so very proud of you that you worked your way out of the darkness of your anxiety issues! You're an inspiration! I was so pleased to see your 2 little Christmas Cactus plants and your mention of my mom's plant. How sweet!! One thing - you should take the little plastic wrapper off and put the pots in a saucer - these plants need to dry out well before you water them, or they can drop the buds off. I had the buds drop off of one of mine and it's very disappointing! They like lots of light, too. You'll love when the buds open, they're amazing flowers!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Erin~ I love your blog! I came here from the ripple along :) Love the ripples too!

  4. Hi Erin,
    First of all I missed your adventure with your hubby, what a lovely day you all had. I'm happy for you, it's always great to have adult time together. This post was amazing and well written. I'm sure it could help a lot of people. You should be so proud of yourself and I'm sure your family is, you set an excellent example for your family and others. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. xoRobin❤
    Love your CC plants!

  5. I know quite a few crafters who have conquered panic attacks, I am one of them, the world outside my homeown has opened up to me,, this year I had a 5 day vacation, the first in over 10 years.

  6. Thanks for posting this. I suffered from life-altering panic attacks for years when I was younger. I'm glad to be mostly rid of them now. I still get them from time to time, but I can function and leave the house now.