Saturday, February 23, 2013

It is what it is

My friends. I don't really know how to start so I am going to just let the words flow out of my mind, through my fingers and on to this page.

My hubby decided last year that he wanted to go to Jacksonville, Florida this year to participate in the North Florida Scottish Highland games. He traced his genealogy back to Scotland. Found out which clan he lineage is (I think he said the Clan Gordon but I'm not sure) and he qualifies to participate in these games.
His nephew and his brother both participate.

These games are going on in Florida as I type this.

Well, the plans my hubby made was he was going to go to Tennessee to his sister's house and then follow her to Florida. The trip was going to be him alone because our kids have school.

Well the plan went from just him, to him and one of our sons (the only of our children who didn't have perfect attendance at school), to both of our sons, to 3 of our children, to everyone.

Well you all know that I have struggles with anxiety. I am able to do a lot more now than just a year or two ago but I have to make sure things are somewhat planned out and I know exactly what is going to happen.

Well, I found out just 3 days before we were supposed to leave that all of my children and my hubby would be going to Florida. I had a hard time trying to decide if I was ready for that long of a trip on such short notice with so little planning.

I went back and forth those three days on whether or not I should go. I would have panic attacks just thinking about it. I would cry like a baby because I was very scared. For three days.

Well on Thursday, the day we were to leave, I decided that I was going to try. I told myself the first goal was to get to Tennessee where my sister-in-law lives. We packed up and headed out.

Guess what...I made it all the way to Tennessee. It was the first time being that far from home, the first time I have driven in such craziness, and the first time staying away from home overnight. All these firsts since the anxiety began in 2003 with the exception of the staying overnight from home..the last time was 2005.

I was so proud of myself for not only driving to Tennessee but also for not being panicky.

Well, Thursday night I went to sleep (very late as my youngest slept a lot on the way down to Tennessee and he stayed awake until nearly 2 am). I woke up in full panic mode.

Now usually I can do a series of things and I can calm myself down and go on with my day. Yesterday was different. No matter what I did, I could not calm myself down. I just got worse.

Now I had told my hubby and kids that I didn't know if I was ready for it. The begged me to try to go. To conquer my fears. To just do it. So I did.

I would love to tell you that I am typing this from my phone while sitting in the warm Florida air watching my kids run around and my hubby participating in those Highland games in his Kilt but I'm not. 

I am typing this from my bed. In my own home. 

I couldn't drive to Florida. I did manage, only by the grace of God, to drive home. I was in such a panic I don't really remember the drive home. 

My hubby and my kids are very disappointed and were very mad at me because my in laws had told them they were going to take them to Disney tomorrow.

Because of me, we couldn't go see my hubby's family.
Because of me, hubby didn't get to participate in the highland games.
Because of me, My kids missed Disney...again.
Because of me, hubby's family is mad and disappointed.

His family is also mad because they feel I didn't even try to get to Florida. 
Hubby's sister wanted me to take an Ativan. That is prescribed to her.
I refused because it is Her prescription. She is twice my size. I didn't know how I would react.
Plus, I prefer to learn to deal and cope and cure instead of take meds that just mask the problem.

Words cannot express how badly I feel. How sorry I am for disappointing everyone.
I am disappointed in myself. I have apologized numerous times. 
I cry every time I think about it.

Today, I still feel weird. Yesterday, once I got home and finally calmed down, I felt like I was in a fog, in a dream like state. I was extremely tired. I hadn't slept or ate much since I found out we all were going.

Today, I still have a low level hum of anxiety. I am keeping it calm. I feel really weak and I still feel mentally, physically exhausted. I'm just taking it easy today.

My hubby is now willing to hug me, look at me, and talk to me again. My kids have forgiven me.

There are a few positives.
1. My hubby loves me unconditionally. He was very upset but he does understand. He knows that I would never intentionally do anything to disappoint or upset him or anyone else. 

2. My children now know what I have been battling for 10 years. They have seen it full force. My girls always just thought I used anxiety as my "get out of doing stuff I don't want to do" card. They now know it is a real thing that I battle every day.

3. My Faith in God is stronger. I know he got us home. Especially since I don't remember it and I was driving.

4. I have traveled farther than before (since anxiety started) I made it to Jonesborough, Tennessee. Before my furthest was Newport, Kentucky (just over the Ohio River). AND I spent the night.

5. It may not be the best way to do it but I have lost 9 pounds since becoming super stressed 5 days ago.

6. I know I'm getting better. This time last year I wouldn't have even attempted to go. 

7. My girls still have perfect attendance because an ice storm came through yesterday and cancelled school.

So, even though a lot of people are upset with me, and most don't understand what I have been through or how far I've come, I know it is getting better. I have made a promise to myself that I will make it to Jacksonville, Florida very soon. I will have to be on my own terms and in my own way. 

I am getting stronger, I know that one day, I will win my battle with anxiety and panic attacks!

Until next time,
Be Blessed,


  1. I'm so sorry Erin. That must have been so difficult to deal with for yourself and your family. It sounds like you have a very loving husband and children. You are truly blessed and will get through this! I personally don't think medication is bad, it can just take the edge off. It could make your life easier while you deal with your anxiety. I also don't think it is a sign of weakness. A doctor could definitely give you a low dose and work with you.
    You are in my prayers, you are very strong, xoRobin❤

  2. I'm so happy for you that you made it to Tennessee. I'm happy that you have such a loving family to stand behind you and help you through this. Maybe your husband could talk to his family and explain things to them so they'll understand more. People think that because it's not a visible handicap you should be able to "will" it away. Not so. But definitely keep working on it. You sound like you're going in the right direction.

  3. Hi Erin, I am so sorry that you all had this disappointment. I do see you are improving and that is good. Keep up the good work. You might need a bit of help with medication - don't think of that as a failure. I take meds for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes and they work so well that all my blood tests for these issues are all normal. Keep working on it and I hope someday it will be a distant memory. Teresa

  4. One step at a time. You WILL get there. I can't take long trips without serious planning either. I need time to mentally prep as much as I need time to physically prep.

    I'm SOOOO proud of you for refusing the drugs. Not only it is dangerous to take other people's medications, pills don't solve the problem.

    Don't let this be a chance to beat yourself up. Let this be a chance to pat yourself on the back for making it further than you've been in years!!! So, so much love!!

  5. I dropped in to read your couponing post (which was great, btw!), and read about your trip. I'm so sorry! I struggled with panic attacks for years - especially as a child - and they are so overwhelming! I haven't had one now for a number of years as I found mine were related to food allergies / intolerances. Gluten and sugar and high fructose corn syrup seem to be the main triggers for me. Even now, just a tiny bit of sugar will make me depressed and feel like the world is caving in. Perhaps there is a nutritionist in your area that could help and keep you away from medication... just a thought!! Hugs!!