43 In Substance/ Wellness

How to Cope with Extreme Anxiety

Anxiety strikes

I almost titled this post ‘When Even Your Anxiety has Anxiety,’ but no one would ever search for that on Google, so I chose something more obvious. Although it isn’t Google-friendly, my working title is definitely more accurate! If you suffer from anxiety yourself or know someone who does, I hope this post will be useful. If not, stay tuned for the next posts that will be more fashion-related! Occasionally, I cover wellness topics on subjects I know well (like my sugar-addiction post and perimenopause post) and unfortunately, this is one of those subjects.

Let me start by saying I’m not a person who suffers from depression. My default setting when I’m out of alignment is anxiety, in widely varying degrees from mild anxiety to a very rare panic attack. I’ve occasionally been prescribed Lorazepam (aka Ativan, a tranquilizer in the Benzodiazepine family) for the most severe episodes. Even some of my closest friends are stunned that I “suffer” at all from anxiety because I’m so tough, calm, and unflappable by nature. Anxiety is definitely a very out of character thing for me to have.

Sometimes my anxiety or panic attacks are triggered by a specific event  such as a job loss, an unwanted move, a death, or a claustrophobic situation (an MRI or a really crowded train). But for the past two years, my perimenopause has been the prime culprit. Anxiety is a fairly common symptom of perimenopause, although I had to dig deep into medical studies and clinical information online to find out, rather than being told by my GP. My friend Michelle had similar symptoms for a while, so I was reassured by her that it eventually passes. Who is prone to developing perimenopausal anxiety and panic disorders? Women like me, who were prone to anxiety in the past, are much more likely to develop panic disorders during perimenopause, due to fluctuating oestrogen and progesterone.

So, what does extreme anxiety or a panic attack feel like? The only way I can describe it is feels like a knot of snakes has suddenly been dumped in my lap, or that someone is holding me over the roof edge of a building, or I’m on a runaway horse with no way to stop it. My current anxious episodes are very physical (which is why I’m certain they’re hormonal) rather than garden-variety anxious fretting. They descend on me all at once like a random bucket of water. I have learned to mentally step aside, observe the episode happening, and wait it out like a storm. Even in the middle of one, I’m fully aware it is only a temporary state. I know that I have no control over the severity or the duration, so I focus on my breathing and let it run its course. Obviously, this is much easier when I’m at home than if I’m driving, or in a crowd, or in the middle of a conversation with someone.

I do have some stressful issues brewing in my personal life right now which aren’t helping. I can’t disclose these on the blog because they relate to my son and other family whose private matters aren’t mine to share. These issues coupled with what I am calling “perimenopausal panic” are the things that have kept me quiet on the blog and social media lately. It is hard to feel creative or excited about a dress when you’re busy hyperventilating and palpitating! As much as I loathe the term ‘self-care’, I’ve had to make it a priority over everything else recently.

The frequency of my flare-ups caused by the cocktail of perimenopause + recent life event means I’ve had to find better ways to handle it than with medication. Years ago, I once took my Lorazepam with grapefruit juice (which amplifies the drug’s side effects) and had such a severe reaction that I’m scared to take it again. So, basically even my anxiety medication is causing me anxiety 🙂 . For a while, I had nightly cocktails to take the edge off. The problem with a good Negroni cocktail is that they work; they truly make me feel relaxed and less anxious. However, they don’t help long term, or even the next day. Alcohol is terrible for sleep, and good sleep is absolutely critical when battling anxiety.  I’m now fully convinced that good sleep is critical to everything.

So! How do I address my anxiety and panic in a medicine and alcohol free way?

Anxiety Australian Bush Flower Essences

Diptyque OUD candle, Glow Sandalwood (discontinued *sob*), Australian Bush Flower Emergency and Confid Essences

Australian Bush Flower Essences. Specifically the Confid and the Emergency essences. I don’t know why these work or how they work but honestly, I don’t care. I don’t want to ruin their magic by overanalysing them. I take the Confid essence, 7 drops under the tongue in the morning and 7 more drops in the evening. The Emergency essence I take several times throughout the day, 7 drops under the tongue. The Emergency works well on its own, it works even better with the Confid.  Bach Rescue Remedy never worked for me at all. These do. I highly recommend them.

Sleep. The link between lack of sleep and anxiety is circular; anxiety prevents sleep, and the lack of sleep in turn causes anxiety.  People with chronic insomnia and sleep disruption are at a much higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder. You’ll know from my post on sleep how evangelical about it I am; enforcing a ‘sleep window’ on myself has completely changed my life. If you are tired, you simply cannot confront overwhelming emotions effectively.

Walking barefoot. Unless the weather is truly terrible, I take a few minutes to walk barefoot on the grass. I focus my awareness on every sensation around me. This gets me out of my head and into the physical world. It is the very definition of ‘grounding’ to connect your feet directly to the earth. Even if I’m not having a panic attack at that moment, this meditative walking calms my vibrating brain. The cooler outdoor air this time of year also seems to help me, so even a walk with shoes on is helpful.

Carve out time alone. As naturally social and gregarious as I am, at times I need to crawl into my shell and stay there… and that’s ok. I remove as much stimulation as possible when I’m overwhelmed and anxious, and sometime even conversation feels like a lot. Friends understand that I sometimes have to hibernate for a day or two to maintain my equanimity.

Disable Triggers. I avoid Twitter, the news, or anything else that triggers anxiety or panic. The world may be going to hell in a handbasket, but I’m not going to be of much use if I’m breathing into a paper bag! In the delicate balance between being well-informed and being mentally healthy, I’ll choose mental health, thanks. Current events can wait; I can read them when I’m ready. There are times I need to protect myself from being sucked into the vortex of chaos and hysteria that is the news cycle.

Distraction. I can’t distract my way out of a full-blown panic attack, but I CAN distract myself out of general anxiety. Watching a movie with my husband, going on a walk, having a meal with friends, immersing myself in my son’s Lego world, pulling down the stray vines in my garden, exploring a different area of the city, phoning my friend who also suffers from anxiety (so we can laugh at ourselves), going to the gym, playing with my dog, etc.  Anything that gives me a break from my mental chatter is welcome. One of my best friends always says, “A change is as good as a rest.” Changing my environment knocks me out of my familiar routine and gives my brain something new to chew on.

Light candles. For hundreds of years, white candles have been used to purify a space from negative energy. I’m not entirely sure if it works, but I do it anyway. Looking at fire, even a candle flame, connects us to centuries of humans gathered around a fire and calms our minds. I even have one burning next to me as I write this post.

Make Lists. I make two kinds of lists, depending on what I need at the time. The first one I make is a gratitude list. I think of 10 things I am grateful for that will never change. These can be experiences I’ve had, friends or family I have, or something as simple as knowing that I, unlike most people on our planet, can have a hot shower any time I like. Gratitude for even the smallest things anchors me and puts everything in perspective. The other thing I do is plan for the WORST case scenario. Once I think through and list the difficult logistics, I realise that I handle whatever happens. I can deal with the worst case scenario. I might not like it, but I can do it.

Follow your Nose. Our scent receptors are connected to the oldest and most primitive part of our brains, the limbic system, aka ‘the seat of emotions.’ If you are scent sensitive (raises hand) use that as a tool. I have trained my brain over many months that when I smell my pillow spray, it is time to stop thinking and sleep. After a while, that well-worn neural pathway becomes a habit– spray = sleep. In the same way Proust was transported back to his childhood by the smell of madeleines, we can connect ourselves to scents that calm us for no reason at all, or scents that calm us because we’ve had a positive experience with them (a mother’s perfume, vanilla, etc). For me, sandalwood essential oil is extraordinarily calming, even though I have no Proust-style memories with it. I’m thankful for how much sandalwood calms me; its grounding properties have been used for centuries to still anxious minds… and it sure works on mine. I’m also burning candles scented with Oud wood. I love the woody scent and find that all woods, including the Zirben oil (Rock Pine) I’ve written about before, are grounding and soothing.

Relaxing from anxiety

If you have any other coping mechanisms for managing panic, anxiety, or stress, I’d love to hear them. Like menopause and perimenopause, anxiety isn’t something people talk about a lot. Stress is deemed socially acceptable because it must mean you’re working hard, but anxiety is sometimes portrayed in a frivolous, pointlessly neurotic fashion. I know I’m not someone most people would have pegged for being anxious or prone to panic, but being open and allowing some sunlight on these issues is the only way to help ourselves and each other. Like most things we are confronted with, good or bad, it will pass.



Linking up to: notdressedaslamb

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  • Reply
    October 18, 2019 at 2:04 PM

    What a brilliantly written and informative post Lisa. I can wholly empathise with your chattering mind and the sleep-anxiety cycle. I’m glad you’ve found ways to manage your symptoms and that you recognise the need to take yourself away when necessary. Lots of love my beautiful friend xxx

    • Reply
      October 18, 2019 at 3:20 PM

      Thank you so much, Liz. Acceptance and working with what you have is the only way forward. Love to you, babe. xx

  • Reply
    October 18, 2019 at 2:40 PM

    Lisa – FABULOUS post. I, too, am suffering from anxiety and taking the appropriate steps to deal with it.

    Thanks for all the advice. I sent you a more detailed noted via DM on IG. xoxo – jamie

    • Reply
      October 18, 2019 at 3:22 PM

      Oh Jamie, I’m so sorry you struggle with this too. Like me, you’d never know from the outside, would you? We’ll keep each other in touch with anything else we find that works well. xx

  • Reply
    October 18, 2019 at 3:11 PM

    Lisa, I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog as I trolled the internet looking for fellow travelers through this perimenopause journey. I’d love to have a drink with you! You and I seem to be very similar … I too am (when balanced) energetic, creative, gregarious, and empathetic. Most people would be very surprised to hear that I am anxious. For the past 6 months I have been dealing with the nervousness, unsettled feelings and general “off-kilter”-ness of peri that I hate! I am normally calm and very adept at multi-tasking. I also very much like to be in control. So … perimenopause has been tough for me! My naturopath says that people like me who are very sensitive to the changes my body is experiencing will often find the nervous, kinetic energy that I use for so much good when I am balanced can turn itself against me when my body is struggling to adjust and is feeling uncomfortable. What am I doing to try an manage this? I am trying to keep up on exercise and to eat well. I have made sure to include plenty of protein, drink lots of water, and avoid sugar. I have completely cut out caffeine (ouch) and limit myself to one (very nice) glass of wine (also ouch). I take D, a multi-B, and iron. I also started on Femtrol (an herb cocktail of phytoestrogens) and I think it has helped. My naturopoath also has be taking a maca at night and 20 drops CBD oil during the day. In addition I am (trying) to do meditation. Finally, I spend time with friends – “girlpower” is amazing and it helps me so much to know that I’m not alone and this will eventually pass. More and more women are encouraging the conversation around menopause and I think that is a wonderful thing and it will be tremendously helpful for so many!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2019 at 9:44 PM

      I’m so glad you stumbled here, and I’d be absolutely delighted to have a drink with you too!

      That’s very interesting information from your naturopath. It makes sense that when you’re used to being very ‘in control, anxiety hits extra hard because it is so completely OUT of your control, as are any of the life circumstances that can trigger it.

      I can usually work around my anxiety, but the frequency of it during perimenopause is alarming. That off kilter and out of body feeling is scary, isn’t it?

      Getting back to the gym and keeping up my meditation practice will certainly help, I just need to do it. This next week I’ll be in the countryside, and I’m so SOOO looking forward to the simple joy of walking in the woods. I know that will help tremendously.

      I am going to investigate all of your strategies, from Femtrol to CBD. I’ve had lots of lunches and dinners and coffees with girlfriends this last week, and it is so fortifying… now that I’m out of my shell. The only thing I absolutely cannot do is cut out coffee. I don’t do sugar or flour, and coffee is my island of happiness. I am limiting it, though. Thank you for sharing your information, that gives me a lot to explore. xx

  • Reply
    Maggie Z
    October 18, 2019 at 3:45 PM

    Oh gosh, I am so sorry you are going through it. Around the time the Mueller Report came out, I knew I couldn’t handle the social media. So one thing I did was to create an alternate Twitter account that ONLY has positive stuff on it. No politics, but lots of animals (look up @m_crouton) and humor and self-care. Highly recommend. You can toggle back onto your regular Twitter easily whenever you care to. Also I avoid the news channels on TV and just watch Turner Classic Movies pretty much 24/7. And I swim three days a week! The physical activity really helps.

    • Reply
      October 18, 2019 at 4:20 PM

      Maggie, that is such a good idea to create a positivity feed and to avoid The Vortex. I’m going to follow yours for inspiration! For some reason I just don’t feel like gym at the moment, but I’ve been doing lots of walks. It isn’t as good, but I do what I can. Love to you, and thank you!! xx

      • Reply
        Maggie Z
        October 18, 2019 at 4:36 PM

        My “happy” twitter account is @crawfishjoan. : )

  • Reply
    October 18, 2019 at 4:14 PM

    I knew you’d have excellent advice to share Lisa. I’m totally new to using scent for relief but now that I do, I wonder why it took me so long to appreciate the positive effect. It’s so strange because I actually have an incredible sense of smell, in fact I’m known for it in our household. Where’s that poo smell coming from, get Mummy! And fyi the delicious candle you gave me for my birthday sits by my side right now as I type ahhhhh.. Sending you calming vibes from across an ocean my darling girl xxx

    • Reply
      October 18, 2019 at 4:23 PM

      Scent really does work for me; I inherited a super keen sense of smell from my mother. It sounds like you have the same! I’m so glad you love the candle as much as I do… I have it burning downstairs in our entrance right this minute! Love to you xx

  • Reply
    Anxiety & the Psychology of Menopause - MichelleTyler
    October 18, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    […] The SequinistThere are dozens of symptoms related to menopause many of them are easily identified, like erratic periods and hot flashes. Some symptoms are more common than others but mostly we all hear the usual stories and perhaps wonder vaguely which side-effects will show up for us when the time comes. […]

  • Reply
    October 18, 2019 at 6:39 PM

    Thank you for sharing such a thoughtful and honest post. Since the age of 11 I too have experienced periods of extreme anxiety. I think I come from a fairly anxious gene pool. Acceptance is definitely the way to go I find that the more you resist the worse it gets. My meditation practice helps and getiing out into nature and taking long walks. Being out in France on my own for a week has really helped and a detox from social media. Maybe when I am back in London we should meet for a coffee. I do think we should all be more open and talk about these subjects more. Luckily things are beginning to change. I come from a generation where “silence and a stiff upper lip was the norm”. A hot bath with a couple of handfuls of Epsom salts also helps me relax before bed.

    • Reply
      October 18, 2019 at 9:23 PM

      I think my gene pool is fairly anxious as well, Josephine 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you have this as well. You’re so right, acceptance is key, resistance is counterproductive. Meditation usually helps me but I have been neglecting that and gym lately… the two things I enjoy and that really help my frame of mind. I don’t know why. I need to get back to both. Let’s definitely meet up when you’re back. Oh! And yes, Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is brilliant. I do that for my son every night. I’m a bath hater, so I do the magnesium spray on my arms and legs before bed. xx

  • Reply
    October 19, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    I suffered terrible panic attacks after the breakdown of my first marriage. Counselling taught me meditation to help stop the on-set of full blown attacks and I still use that method to this day. There are some interesting helpers here though that I will take a look at xx

    • Reply
      October 20, 2019 at 8:33 PM

      I’m so sorry you went through this too, Laurie. I’m glad you found meditation works so well for you. It is so important to find the key for your lock, isn’t it? xx

  • Reply
    Ann in Missouri (currently in Paris)
    October 19, 2019 at 1:28 PM

    Respect! Such a well written, open-hearted post.

    I’m sending you wishes for all the best possible outcomes for stuff now on your plate.


    • Reply
      October 22, 2019 at 8:03 PM

      Thank you so much, currently in Paris Ann! Being in the countryside for a little while is really helping me, but I sure wish I could have met up with you. We’ll get it sorted one day.

      I realised today that I’ve not taken my Australian flower essences in 3 whole days, a record lately! Love to you xx

  • Reply
    Troy Colbert
    October 19, 2019 at 2:58 PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Stress and anxiety are as damaging to us as anything we encounter in our daily lives. We all need to be reminded of that fact and your tips on how you deal with it are very helpful!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2019 at 8:35 PM

      You’re so right, these disorders are just as damaging as the physical ones we have more control over. I’m so glad you found it useful, love. xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    October 20, 2019 at 1:13 AM

    I’m sorry that you are dealing with this, Lisa. But true to form, you diverge from the pack and look for alternative approaches. That’s what I enjoy about your blogging: you’re honest but not too personal, pragmatic but not too severe, and creative about problem-solving. Hope you turn a corner soon.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2019 at 8:37 PM

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mithra. I hope I turn the corner soon too. Bloody perimenopause!!! xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    October 20, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    That is a lot to deal with Lisa. I am glad you are getting through it and that you share so other women can profit. As you know I can only be a listener to you and I am very happy to be that. But I am one of those lucky ones that breezed through menopause. Just some hot flashes during the day for about one or two years and that was it. Must sound like heaven to you and I never realized at the time how lucky I was.
    Hang in there and I hope the countryside is doing you tons of good.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2019 at 8:40 PM

      You really are lucky to have breezed through menopause. Many people do. I wish I was one of them, or that I had all the more normal symptoms one expects. Hey ho, I get the weird ones 🙂 Thank you for always being such a great listener, Greetje. The countryside is definitely doing me a lot of good. Long walks and lots of forests are good for my soul. xx

  • Reply
    October 20, 2019 at 10:32 PM

    I TOO BREEZED through MENOPAUSE……………think I threw off the covers THREE TIMES!THAT WAS IT!I was 39 years old!!!!!
    I THOUGHT I HAD ANXIETY years ago as I had terrible stomach issues…………Turned out I have a GLUTEN INTOLERANCE!DO you know my neighbor who is 9 moved to EUROPE this past summer and had tea at THE MAD HATTER!!!!!!I was so happy to tell him I had TEA there last SEPTEMBER!ANYHOW,I think you know about what I am heading into YEAR FOUR with NOW………….that NO DOC can figure OUT!They now want me to try DNRS which bottom line is BRAIN re-wiring…………….MAYBE I will send on TO YOU as I am listening to the PAST CLIENTS and THE STORIES ARE AMAZING!!IT”S WORTH A TRY……..anything is worth a TRY AT THIS POINT as MY LIFE has become very small.I should be looking into THAT NOW but instead got side tracked by your BLOG POST!I AM HERE as we ALL ARE I would think to HELP!!THAT is what I LOVE ABOUT THE BLOGGING WORLD we all can LIFT EACH OTHER UP and hopefully be People who will LISTEN and ADVISE!I have had so much GOOD LUCK in that department with MY BLOG.STILL NO ANSWERS why I lose my vision and feel like I will pass out but the SUPPORT has been TERRIFIC!

    • Reply
      October 22, 2019 at 7:47 PM

      Elizabeth, I can’t believe we’re still not to the bottom of your issues. You must be so frustrated, and yet you always manage to put a chirpy positive spin on everything. You’re right, thank goodness we have blogs as a way to share, support, and to learn from each other. At least you had an easy menopause, so you can be thankful for that! Love to you, my friend. I hope you find a new NORMAL soon. Keep me posted on your progress, and feel free to share anything via email. xx

  • Reply
    Gerry Sheffield
    October 21, 2019 at 8:55 PM

    A heartfelt thankyou. I am a fellow traveller. Bright, successful with a loving family. But the anxiety is a constant companion. I lost my Mum last month – and through the last weeks of her illness I started to panic when driving to her nursing home, particularly when driving on higher road tracks. This is now manifesting itself in a growing fear of going anywhere new in the car. I am 55 yrs – a PhD with an amazing trackrecord – but the panic attacks that started at school when I was 15yrs come back when I am vulnerable. I understand it better – breathe, sleep (sleep hygeine, so important), laugh and I will keep it under control. The Headspace App helps me. I wish you all the best – you call this out for what it is and you are strong too. Live!

    • Reply
      October 22, 2019 at 7:54 PM

      Gerry, you’re so welcome, and I thank you for your kind comments. I’m so very sorry to hear about your Mum, and I’m sorry your anxiety has returned. You are definitely not alone. If you want to give the Calm App (similar to Headspace) a whirl, you can try it free for a week or two, I believe. They have a specific Anxiety section on there with meditations geared to that. Maybe Headspace does too, I’ve not used that one in a few years. You’re doing all the right things to keep it under control. I’ve found being in the countryside this week, deep in the woods, has done me a WORLD of good. Trees are always my key to peace. I wish you peace and strength in this period of your life. xx

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 5:03 PM

    Lisa, I’ve led an adrenaline fueled life that included landing on aircraft carriers, submerging in submarines, jumping out of a second story window because my well-known, prominent husband who’d started 2 public companies had a drug/alcohol problem and fired a gun at me and my being “taken” by the Guatemalan Military Commandos when I was 38. I could go on and on and on… Mexican drug lords and serial killers…. I didn’t know any other way to live but by the edge of my fingernails. At that point a therapist would now diagnose me with PTSD, but I was fearless and surprisingly had no panic attacks then. Fast forward 15 years, a calm life and fabulous husband and I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had 10 surgeries and 8 rounds of chemo that damaged my heart and sent me into irregular heart beats that were hard to stop, followed by severe panic attacks that came out of nowhere. Two things helped me: Breathing technique: inhale for four, hold for seven and exhale for eight. Preferably I do this laying down with eyes closed, my left hand on my upper abdomen, my right hand on my lower abdomen. The second thing has been Belleruth Naperstek’s Guided Imagery audios. She is the founder of Guided Imagery and very well thought of. I used her audios during breast cancer and after my darling husband went out for a walk Christmas Day and died of cardiac arrest and I was grieving, plus I’ve listened to her audios for panic attacks. I’ve also found that “solving as best you can” the issues that are bothering you and subsequent distance in time has helped me. Here’s a link to Belleruth’s audios you can download to your mobile devices. I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing her last year. https://www.healthjourneys.com/audio-library/anxiety-relief/guided-meditations-for-panic-attacks xoxox, Brenda

    • Reply
      October 22, 2019 at 8:00 PM

      Good grief Brenda, you certainly have had a life lived in the entire technicolour spectrum, haven’t you?!? Just READING what you wrote made me anxious 🙂

      I do exactly the same yogic breathing technique as you– it usually really helps me, unless I’m really whirling. I will definitely check out your guided imagery source. I adore a good guided meditation. Thank you so much for that. I’m wishing you anxiety free days, my friend. xx

  • Reply
    Michelle Churchman
    October 23, 2019 at 6:46 PM

    Perimenopause is such a witch. I’ve suffered with anxiety my entire life, but never thought mine was bad enough to seek treatment. And sometimes when going through a difficult situation, anxiety is a thoroughly reasonable response. I finally sought medical help when I was 50. I was prescribed a low dose serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It made such a huge difference that I kicked myself for not seeking help sooner. I am so sorry you are having to deal with it.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2019 at 9:48 PM

      Hi Michelle, I’m so sorry you also had to deal with it, but I’m thrilled you have found such good help! Hugs to you xx

  • Reply
    Emma Peach
    October 26, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    I’m sorry to hear you’re having a tough time Lisa. I thought I hadn’t seen you much in my social media feeds. Taking time out is necessary sometimes. Your advice is brilliant as always. I’ve not been sleeping enough lately – going to bed late and getting up at 5am for work is not great for my health, which is probably why I got shingles! I’m going to try the pillow spray and be a bit more disciplined about my sleep. I know I should avoid screens before bedtime but I can’t resist sometimes!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      October 26, 2019 at 9:11 PM

      Emma NO! Shingles?! Been there, had that. You poor thing. I love the pillow spray, I even use it for my son now because he loves it now too. You sound like you need to go to bed MUCH earlier and forget the screens after 7:00. I’ve created a window from 10:00 until 6:00. Even if I am not asleep for ALL of it, I’m at least relaxed and resting and giving myself the opportunity for it. Once I made it a habit, I fiercely guard my hours– only because I feel so great with more sleep. Sweet dreams, lady xx

  • Reply
    16 Unmissable Reads, the Best of the Blogosphere (October 2019)
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  • Reply
    Little Red
    October 29, 2019 at 3:34 AM

    I’m sorry things are so tough right now. I’m sure you will get through it all.

    • Reply
      November 4, 2019 at 12:05 PM

      Thanks, Little Red. I’m sure I will, I just have to be patient and try not to micromanage everything around me! xx

  • Reply
    Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb
    November 6, 2019 at 2:05 PM

    Wow wow WOW what a powerful post Lisa. I’m going to send this to anyone and everyone I know who’s even remotely going through anxiety or stress in their life. I know how much you’re trying to cope with right now – lord knows it’d tip most people over the edge – but I admire you for the classy and grown up way you handle everything. Doing it without a drink and without medication would be tough, but I think it’s the only way to retain your sanity. I’m sure writing about it has helped you – I think even that in itself would help a lot of people enormously, it doesn’t have to be published or posted anywhere. A bit like therapy I can imagine, just without the price tag…!

    Well done for such a beautifully written, thoughtful post. I hope it helps lots of people in the same situation (I’m sure it will) 🙂

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      November 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM

      Thank you so much, Catherine. I’m glad you liked this post. It was hard to write, but easy to write, if that makes sense! Sometimes I feel like a fraudulent 1st world whiner with my “problems” and sometimes I really feel run over by them. Writing puts it all in perspective. Love to you xxx

  • Reply
    Kirstjen Lorenz
    November 6, 2019 at 9:54 PM

    Hey there, I have to say that I love your colorful and joyous sense of style.

    I do all of these things, too, to cope with anxiety and PTSD issues. Another thing that has helped me tremendously lately is meditation. I have to say that I never really understood it when I was younger, but in the last year or two, I’ve gotten in the right space, I guess. I just use YouTube videos for guidance. There are tons of them. I regularly use meditations for sleep, and they seem to get me where I need to be. I’m 53 and probably happier than I’ve been in my entire life, even after my 31 year relationship crashed and burned suddenly.

    Good luck to you. You’re strong. You can do this. 🙂

    • Reply
      November 17, 2019 at 11:50 AM

      Thank you so much, Kirstjen! Meditation really works well for me too, I go through periods of doing it religiously and then getting out of the practice. The Calm App is my go to for bedtime guided meditations. Thank you for the reminder of how effective meditation is. xxx

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 8:44 PM

    This is a very brave post. It’s not easy to go public with difficult personal things. The people I know who suffer from anxiety, and panic attacks, are all hard working and “strong” women. And that includes me. These days I just accept that is how I am. And yes, ride the storm. I have undergone a lot of healing which has lessened the panic thing. But two days ago, an attack emerged. For no rhyme nor reason. I woke up with it. I was almost doubled over with anxiety and also pain shooting through my body. It had been years since this had happened. I just slowly and pseudo calmly kept going. It passed. A friend has a number of things that she does for anxiety and panic, but strangely they don’t suit me.

    • Reply
      January 20, 2020 at 2:10 PM

      I suppose we each have to find what works for us in coping with anxiety. For me, getting my sleep right is about 80% of the battle won. I’m so glad you’ve found some things which work for you and enable you to ride the storm! Wishing you peaceful days, Lisa xx

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