Conquering A Bout With Anxiety
Last year was probably one of the most challenging years of my life. I went to a woman's brunch gathering, to make an appearance. The hostess Mathylde Frontus introduced me as Mrs. NY International 2015. I got up, waved, and when I sat down, my heart started beating in what seemed like 1000 beats per minute. I stayed calm and started drinking water but it just beat even faster. My friend Dr. Florence was sitting next to me so I told her what was happening and asked her to walk with me outside. I drank water, tried to take deep breaths---nothing helped. The hostess, and the keynote speaker (who happened to be a doctor) came to aid me. Finally, it was decided that I probably should go to the hospital. My dear friend Dr. Flo accompanied me and for that I will be forever grateful. I was afraid, embarrassed to be so much trouble. I felt like I ruined the event. Everyone was sweet enough to assure me that all was ok.
Long story short, I had been fasting and I was dehydrated. It took 2 IV's of saline and 5 hours to get my heart back to normal. Now I have had episodes of heart palpitations before but it was the first time in my life that the fear stayed with me beyond the episode. For a whole year I was afraid to travel or drive alone, panicked on trains, had night time anxiety, I couldn't wear the dress I wore the day I went to the hospital or drive by the hospital that treated me. I had this intense fear that the heart palpitations would happen again. The mind can be very fragile!
So how did I overcome? Well, prayer is key! One thing I can easily say, this period in my life led to be desperate for GOD. I was forced to rely on GOD and His word. Some people are probably saying, relying on GOD should be a given---well it wasn't. Sometimes we Christians fall back on our own "powers" and forget the Higher Power that gives us the power. So I grew in my relationship with GOD and in prayer. I began to believe that, yes, I can pray anywhere, any time, for any number length of time. Whether the prayer was long or short, GOD still heard me and was pleased.
I also grew in empathy. My best friend Maia suffers from anxiety and although I always sympathized, I could never empathize with her. She helped me SO much during my bout with anxiety. She gave me tons of coping skills, sent me breathing exercise videos, told me mantras to talk through and prayed for me. Without GOD and Maia (and my husband's patience) I don't know how I would have made it through this time of my life. She was emparting to me what a mutual friend's father taught her. Let me tell you, my respect for Maia grew in leaps and bounds! The people who live with anxiety on a daily basis are conquerers. To be able to navigate through anxiety on a daily and still appear normal, is amazing and has me in awe.
Today, I am in a better place. When I get do get anxious, I force myself to do the very things I am afraid to do. But I also know what I can and can't handle. I, by no means call myself someone who suffers from anxiety. To say that, I feel, would take away from the real warriors who fight with anxiety daily. I do believe that GOD walks you through the shadows in your life so that we can in turn empathize with others and walk them through to the sun...we walk with them and pray with/for them. I pray more for people now. We need to shed light on those silent illnesses! Take care of yourself mentally.