Anxiety Sucks

My past few weeks have been filled with a lot of panic attacks and anxiety. Actually I’m not sure they are panic attacks, but they are what I’d consider panic attacks. I get this feeling  of anxiety, a little tightness in my chest, I feel like my heart rate is fast, but it isn’t, and I just find myself unable to calm down even with deep breathing.

Kind of sounds like a heart attack when I write it out that way, but at the moment I need to stay off WebMD. I know it’s anxiety. I have had a lot on my plate. I worry a lot in general. I stick my foot in my mouth quite often and deal with the repercussions, which require a significant amount of my time stressing about how to deal with things.

I worry about my kids. Am I doing enough? Am i doing too much? What am I doing wrong? My son has been downright nasty lately. Maybe you can say it’s that he’s almost 13 and that’s typical, but dear lord. He walks in the house and immediately starts being nasty to my youngest daughter. He goes out of his way to be mean.

He argues with me constantly because clearly it’s my fault that he’s in special education for a reading disability and he wants me to tell the school he doesn’t need to go anymore. And he just won’t let things go. EVER! He will talk about something until you want to give in…that’s the plan, I think. But I don’t fall for it.

He recently went off his ADHD medicine and I’m beginning to think this was a bad decision. I feel like it’s adding to his behavior issues. I don’t want to be constantly arguing with him or telling him to calm down. He’s an amazing kid. One on one, he’s so awesome, but he’s so freakin selfish. I just don’t get it.

If his sister’s get to do anything, he gets angry and needs to do something better. He does a LOT! We may not be rich, but we do a lot for our kids to be able to do the sports they want and activities, etc. Out trip to Disney almost sent me over the edge. Any time his sisters wanted to go on a ride he didn’t want to go. If he wanted to go on something then the group could be happy and have fun, but if he was miserable, we all were miserable.

I need to talk to someone about it, or bring him back to therapy because I am at my wit’s end. It’s adding to my stress, but certainly not all of it.

I feel like in my 40s I shouldn’t be worrying about childish games that girls play, but some people never grow up. The gossip and nastiness never ends. It’s not one thing in particular, but rather a general feeling of no longer being included. There is a part of me that’s really okay because even I know I don’t fit in. I’m far from the cool kid, HAHA. But I guess it’s that I don’t know what I did that’s bugging me.

What I’ve decided is to handle it differently than usual. I need to look at people for who they are. I have a lot of really terrific people in my life. I may not be that person who goes out every weekend and posts pics all over FB drinking with my friends, but I have friends that make me laugh, smile, and that I know have my back as I have theirs.

So back to the anxiety…I think that with everything going on it’s this breaking point and at random points through the day my body just says, “ok I’m done, you need to stop now.” I don’t like medicine, but I have been taking a half of a Xanax when I need it. It helps takes that edge off and then I use my breathing and some essential oils. I won’t push those on anyone, but I’m starting to use them and I think for certain things they do help me.

I’m not crazy trying to cure everything with them, but headaches, relaxation, stress, sore muscles, etc., they work pretty well.

My only good news (other than my friend from my last blog is doing magnificent and is already home from the hospital) is that I think the change in medication has finally allowed me to start losing weight. I was gaining anywhere between 1-3 pounds per week for over a year. Nothing I did would stop it. I exercised like a maniac. Tried every diet plan…everything. I was eating under 1000 calories a day and wouldn’t lose a pound.

A few months after a medication switch I’m finally seeing the weight come off. I am down 20lbs since November, but 10lbs since February. This is huge for me. I couldn’t get the scale to move forever.

I’m also feeling well enough to lightly walk and jog on the treadmill. I’m slow as hell. I’m lucky is I can jog for 3 minutes, but I keep going and I feel pretty good. I was so diligent before we left for Disney and I need to get back to it. My FitBit was keeping me accountable. I’ll get back on track tomorrow, though I’m sure I’ll be going backward in stamina.

Anyway, this blog was all over the place. That’s how scattered I’ve been. Maybe I have ADHD. I’m old and crotchety and I think in my old age I am less tolerant of people who are fake. I don’t have time. I am working hard to surround myself with happy people. It’s not easy letting go of friends that have been around for a while, but let me tell you, Facebook has this new acquaintance feature. It’s fabulous!

You can list your friends as acquaintances and choose not to share things with acquaintances. I decided I didn’t need the people that I don’t really see or talk with to have access to my posts, pictures, etc. I’m not deleting them. They can see my comments, etc. just not every post. I LOVE that! It’s helping me not be an unfriending bitch while still keeping things private from those with whom I question their trust.

I’ll try not to be so scattered next time!!

 

 

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Cut the Aspartame Now

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If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m working on the whole gluten-free diet thing. I’m not counting today, as I ate fast food and I feel like hell from it now. Tomorrow is back to gluten-free!

When I was researching things to help my fibromyalgia pain, I kept seeing articles on the links between aspartame and chronic illnesses. About two years ago, I was in a hellish cycle of migraines, and my brother-in-law, who is a neurologist, asked me how much diet soda I was drinking. The answer even bothered me. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a day without my diet soda.

At that point I’d have done anything to be headache free and I gave up diet soda cold turkey, The first few days were rough, but then I didn’t miss it so much. Little by little it crept back into my diet about a year ago. Not a lot, but every now and then I’d have one.

I started looking more into the artificial sweetener aspartame when I read an article on how artificial sweeteners can make you actually crave sugar. I needed something to blame being fat on, so I jumped on that bandwagon. Through more research, I also found that aspartame can make many chronic illnesses worse.

Among the adverse reactions people can have to aspartame are joint pain, dizziness, migraines, weight gain, anxiety attacks, depression, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, vertigo, muscle spasms, and irritability. Um…a great big yep there. I think I have had all of those at one point or another.

It’s kind of a cycle. I was feeling tired and fatigued, so I’d have a diet soda to give me that caffeine kick. Little did I know the aspartame likely making my problems worse. I also read that aspartame could be causing fibromyalgia. While I don’t consume enough of the stuff to believe this is the cause of my fibro, I did start label reading and it is in a lot of products.

I thought giving up diet soda eliminated the aspartame from my diet, little did I know it was in my yogurt, my breath mints, Jello, cereals, and my iced tea. I thought I’d just use this as an opportunity to give my own little public service announcement to remind you to read the labels and cut this stuff out of your diet if you have a chronic illness.

It’s bad enough to be having an awful flare due to the freezing temperatures, I don’t want to add to it with what I eat.