So here I am, writing my very first blog post on my very first blog all about anxiety. Guess what? It’s giving me anxiety. My name is Shauna and I have been blessed/cursed with an anxious brain. I’ve dealt with anxiety since I was a child but it wasn’t until about six years ago that my intrusive thoughts, and physiological response in the form of panic attacks, became a debilitating part of my daily life. I realize that some of you may have been dealing with anxiety for 50 years, and some may just be beginning to notice it creeping in on your thoughts, but no matter the length of time, an anxious brain is no minor foe to contend with.
As I’m sure many of you can relate to, I have found living with anxiety and panic attacks to be very isolating. Since I’ve disconnected with most of my friends over the years, I haven’t always been open with my family about my struggles, and going to the doctor sounded about as appealing as water torture, I haven’t had a lot of resources or outlets, which frequently drew my attention to my good friend and yours, Google. While there is no shortage of information on anxiety, you may have also run into my issue, having a hard time finding real talk, from real people, who really live with this day in and day out. I don’t need to be scared into thinking my worst anxious nightmare is going to come true, since you know just as well as I do how imaginative we can be with our nightmare scenarios, I don’t need someone to try and sell me a program that will solve all my problems for the low, low price of (insert dollar amount here) and I definitely don’t need a laundry list of doctors explaining to me what anxiety is. I may not know every technical medical term, but trust me, I know what anxiety is.
After encountering good and not so good information on the Internet, and admittedly occasionally treating Google like a Magic 8 ball (“Dear Google, will I have a panic attack if I try to go to the grocery store today”), I decided I wanted to set up an online resource where a community of people struggling with anxiety and panic in any of its many forms could come together and find a place to hear and be heard. By the way, on that whole Google-as-a-fortune-teller-thing, I realize that’s completely ridiculous, but you know you’ve done it too. If I could just know that I’m not going to have a panic attack, then I don’t have to worry about it. See? Completely logical. I’ve never gotten Google to provide an actionable response, if you’ve figured out how to tap into this, please let me know.
It never ceases to amaze me how isolating this life can feel and yet how often I identify with other people’s stories as if they are telling my own. If you’re fortunate, you have a strong support system around you but no matter how supportive and sympathetic people want and try to be, the only people who can truly empathize are those who are walking a similar path, so, here’s to the start of a community of people who are doing just that!
There it is…my first post.
Panic Attack? No.
I think I’m ready for the next one!