So like I said, I’ve got the bad nerves.
And because the thought of seeking out a black market doctor who will prescribe Quaaludes willy-nilly from his duplex frightens me (parking is always a nightmare at duplexes), I have some other handy tricks at my disposal.
First of all, here are some things I do to keep my anxiety at bay in the first place, which apparently don’t work very well since I still have anxiety, so take ’em or leave ’em:
1. I go to this gym, which I’ve told you about before, where their primary goal is to kill me. So for one, exercise helps, blah blah blah. But here’s my real trick. The gym will post the next day’s workout online for us to check the night before if we so choose.
I used to check it the night before to mentally prepare myself for what was going to happen to my body the next day. That was fine for a while, but eventually I started stressing about it. I’d be washing the dishes, thinking about the pain I would experience in class and all of a sudden I’m laid out on my dining room floor coaxing my cat over to me to help calm me. (More on that below.) So now I don’t check the workout, and it has drastically reduced any anxiety that’s connected to exercise.
2. I tell people I struggle with anxiety, and just telling people helps. It also makes things awkward because I am an over-sharer.
3. I pray and read my bible and all that wonderful stuff.
Now then, here’s some stuff I do when I feel an anxiety attack coming on or am in the midst of one:
1. I put my cat, Harold, on my chest. Yes, I just said that. Feel free to leave this page and find a normal blog to read now. But he’s flabby and soft and heavy and purrs and it’s like my very own tranquilizer. Feel free to come over if you have a panic attack and I’ll gladly plop him atop your chest.
2. I text my husband or a friend and ask them to pray for me right then. This one is like magic, people. Except it’s not, because I’m pretty sure real magic is like Satan worship or something.
3. I pray.
4. I straight up share the Gospel with myself. I’m all, “God created me, and I don’t deserve his grace because I’m basically an awful person, and God sent his Son to die for me and I’m going to live FOREVER.” I reserve this one for when I’m actually anxious about a real thing (like one time I freaked out on my way to a luncheon because I knew I’d be there with fancy ladies and I’m not fancy and looking back, that’s a really stupid thing to be anxious about) instead of that floaty arbitrary no-reason-to-be-there anxiety.
5. Nerve pills. The last time I was at the doctor (who practices out of an office and not a duplex), we discussed my anxiety. We had talked about it in the past, so this time around, my doctor prescribed me some anxiety meds just for my most desperate times. It’s not something I take every day or even every week, and he gave me the lowest dosage possible. So far I’ve used them about once a month. I don’t want to say which drug it is on the internet though because lo and behold some lady in Nebraska is going to OD on them and the Feds will blame me. Then I’ll be in jail and I seriously doubt they’re going to let me blog from the pen. I can also take them when I know I’m approaching an anxiety-producing situation. For example, I think I’m going to take them the next time I fly, because I had to talk myself out of a meltdown the last time I was on a plane.
6. Speaking of, I actually did manage to avoid the full on panic attack on the plane by talking to myself (in my head). I wasn’t anxious about crashing, rather I started feeling trapped. So I says to myself, I says, “Christina, you’re on a plane. This is not a big deal. You’re on a PLANE. You can breathe and you’re actually going on vacation, so I don’t think you need to be worried. Now snap out of it, sister. You’re acting ridiculous.” Then I opened the window shade and turned on my fan. THEN, during my 45 minute layover in the Las Vegas airport, which was SO weird and I didn’t know they have slot machines in airports, I spent the entire time walking, praying, and looking out windows.
So there you have it, people. I’d love to hear your own wacky anxiety stories and/or remedies, especially if they involve anything illegal.