Tag Archives: Anxiety

It’s OK to Talk About It

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At some point in our lives, we all experience the common feelings of grief and distress caused by stressful or upsetting circumstances involving our loved ones.  That ‘sick to your stomach’ feeling; the constant worrying, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, deep sighing and nail biting that accompanies a misfortune such as debt, illness, unlawful wrong-doings, disappearances and death.  In my 23 years, I have been lucky enough to hold on to most of the people I love and care about and was too young to understand and comprehend what this ‘death’ thing truly meant when family passed.  November 2013 was the first time I lost a good friend; not to illness or the hands of anyone else but by her own hands, when she overdosed on heroin.

Last Saturday, we said goodbye and laid to rest the remains of Courtland Lambert, my best friend’s boyfriend.  Courtland disappeared on March 19th leaving his phone, wallet, vehicle and a note for his parents saying he was sorry if he ever hurt and lied to them; the only item he did take with him was the shotgun that his step-father had bought for him years ago and was reported missing the day of his disappearance.  When police decided to search the woods behind the residence once more the following week, they found Courtland’s body with his head blown to bits from his shotgun.  His life was an undetected, ticking time-bomb created by years of silent pains, worries, troubles and anger kept deep inside until explosively ignited by a DUI he received the week before he went missing.  For a week straight, our efforts to rack our brains and memories for any clues or answers that could bring him back to us were greeted with shock and despair, rather than comfort and joy.

When the word spread about Courtland’s suicide, Trisha was bombarded with flowers, ‘sorry for your loss’ cards, texts and friend requests from strangers seeking information, attention and affiliation.  All of these people tried to be involved and show support as a community but in no way could relate to or imagine the pain Trisha was, is and going to be in for the rest of her life as the soon-to-be fiancé to the sweet, handsome genius who seemingly had everything going for him.  It is my privilege and duty as her soul sister to be her shoulder to cry on and person to vent to and express whatever emotion arises.  It’s very relieving and healthy that Trisha is open to talking with family and close friends about feelings associated with Courtland and Amy’s deaths but a fragile person can always benefit from seeing a therapist.

  • Grief, depression and anxiety can lead to missed work, excessive smoking and drinking, and increased risk of developing high blood pressure, a heart attack or even becoming suicidal
  • If you or someone you know is displaying suicidal behaviors, call the 24 hour Life Crisis hotline to speak with a trained professional right away who can provide you with crisis intervention and suicide prevention any time, any day of the year

Good Vibes

If for any reason you wake up feeling like something or someone is draining positive energy from your life, do something about it!  It’s hard enough to balance relationships with a full workload and still try to squeeze in a little “me time” all under 24 hours.  Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul says that we live in an extremely externalized culture.  “We are constantly pulled outside of ourselves–by other people, by the media, by the demands of daily life.  Nothing in our culture or education teaches us how to go inward, how to steady the mind and calm our attention.  As a consequence, we tend to devote very little time to the life of the soul, the life of the spirit.”  Read more…

Not having the right amount of stillness and balance in your life can lead to high levels of anxiety, causing physical and mental ‘numbness’.  The Calm Clinic says physical numbness is most likely a result of uneven blood flow.  When your body is feeling anxious, it goes into “fight or flight” mode,  heats up and blood rushes to the areas it feels are most needed to fight or run away; as a result, you lose feeling in different limbs.  Anxiety can also lead to depression as a result of your mind trying to deal with/find solutions for all of the external stimuli (friends, family, partners, colleagues, etc.) in your life and the brain feels overwhelmed, helpless and simply shuts down.

I’m not saying to shut important people out of your life or that you’re going to be backed into a corner from anxiety, but doing things you love by yourself and for yourself play a key role in physical and mental wellness.  Here’s a few simple solutions to find your center and steal your own slither of happiness:

  • Meditation–Find a quiet place to yourself (like in a dark room lit with candles or in a grassy field in a park), come to terms with every thought that comes up and let them pass until your mind is clear
  • LIGHTLY indulge in that chocolate you’ve been craving or thinking about.  Chocolate increases serotonin and endorphin levels, lowering stress and boosting happiness
  • Take a bath! (<–Read my first post)