Why are we always fighting anxiety? Please read

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Chelz, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    This may seem like a weird question, and I meant to also say "why are we always fighting anxiety and depression, I didn't think this whole question would fit in the title.

    Anyway, do you ever feel like when you have ongoing anxiety or depression, that maybe it is warranted? What I mean by that is this: We all have some type of chonic pain or fatigue along with numerous other FM/CFS sysmptoms that can impair the quality of our lives.

    Along with that, we now have to face a crisis in our economy. The holidays are coming up and this year will be extra hard for me because I lost my father very suddenly this year. I am a single person with only one income and I fear for my job. There seems to be a doom and gloom atmosphere sometimes where I work, and it only adds to my anxiety. I also care for an elderly mom, and I know I will lose her too.

    Unfortunately, since my father's passing, my sister and I have not been as close, not sure why that is, she tends to close up her feelings, where as I tend to open mine (maybe a little too much). This makes me feel more alone since I don't have hardly any family.

    All these issues I have brought up are only the tip of the iceberg. I had to deal with a lot of sudden losses in my life including my father, my cat, a sudden car accident which left my car totaled, sudden death of a past boyfriend and continuing problems with FM, money issues and etc.

    How is one supposed to get past all this and not have anxiety or depression? I have sought out conseling before, which never worked, I felt they were judging me and besides I felt a right to have the anxiety and depression, as strange as that statement might seem to some people, it is my feeling.

    I needed to open up my feelings on this topic, but for me, I simply don't see how anxiety or depression can be avoided or controlled when life takes us in these directions.

    I will say one other thing, I am tremendously thankful for all of you on this board and this board does keep me going :) Hugs to you all, Chelz.

  2. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Hi, Chelz, I am so sorry for all the losses you have gone through in the past year; I think a lot of us right now are struggling medically and financially especially lately, and to add to that sudden losses like you've had certainly takes an emotional toll---you bet it leads to anxiety and depression, and I agree with you, much of it can't be avoided.

    I am only recounting my experience here, just in the hope that maybe it will help a little. I started out at this message board a few years ago with a mild case of FM, but in the past three years have battled Acute Leukemia twice; this latest time, I had a bone marrow transplant (July '08)---all is well now, but I have a 60% chance of it returning within 5 years, and I'm not sure how many treatment options I'll have left then. So I, like many others, live with that little dark cloud over my head 24/7.

    What I have sort of taught myself to do is learn how to co-exist with that black cloud. I fully acknowledge that it's there, that I can't really ever make it go away, but I have kind of become a little "friendlier" with it. I'm not in denial, I know my cancer could reappear at any time, but I feel I've made peace with the fact that me and the ol' cloud are going to have to learn to get along. And somehow knowing that helps me. I've stopped trying to rid myself of all anxiety---I certainly will have anxious times, moments of panic. I'm okay with that. I don't fight against the anxiety, I just have learned to co-exist with it so that I can take some deep breaths when the fear hits me especially hard for some reason, and get through it.

    And I've also learned to ask my doctor for help. I stuck it out emotionally with Leukemia for many, many months, being a "tough" guy, when I really needed some help. So I now have Ativan to take as an anti-anxiety medicine---not for every day, but for those nights when the dark cloud is pressing down on me. And it helps, and I wish I'd asked my doctor for it sooner. Would've saved me some sleepless nights.

    And about friends who say "think positive".....heck, nobody can be positive ALL the time, so cut yourself some slack if you can't just be positive and sunny about it all. We're only human, and most of us humans do get depressed when faced with these situations. Try to find the positive when you can---like, I CAN be in that 40% who make it!---but forgive yourself when you just can't muster those happy thoughts. It's normal to have up days and down days, and normal to feel anxious.

    Anyway, this is just my take on how I handle things. Your post struck a chord since I battle anxiety, too. I hope that things get better for you, and that health-wise and happiness-wise, 2009 is a better year for you. Sorry this was so long, if you are still reading, thank you for your persistence!

    Feel better,

  3. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Pam, it is so nice to see you here, reaching out again, from your own battles of such severity. I agree with all you wrote.

    Chelz, I have a great "shrink"; one time I told her about all the anxiety hitting me (about 8 years ago) and she said anyone would be anxious and depressed over all the losses one has had by being so sick, and it was perfectly normal. I take Xanax 3x a day, always, and it is such a relief.

    I had severe depression when I first got sick, and time and learning how to cope and pace my life no matter what comes my way has been a lifesaver for me.

    I lost my dad, only 73, then my mom, only 79 and healthy (she got e.coli), then my best friend of 30 years and my favorite two dogs. All of this in 6 years.

    All I can do is cope the best I can, and do only as much as I have to and am able to do under each circumstance. I can't let others dictate how much I do: only I know my body and mind, and how much it can take.

    That "black cloud" as pam put it can really be your path to strength because you know it's there and you an acknowledge it; this gives us strength...to deny/fight it only stresses us out more and weakens us.

    So be a peace about it, just accept it is there and know that in our situation it is perfectly normal.

    There is so much courage displayed here, by people who are so sick yet reach out to others to help them heal a little bit. I think your day will come because of your life experiences that have been so hard to deal with. You will be one of those who reach out to others, telling them your experiences and how you dealt with them, someday.

    Meanwhile, remember, we can't change the past, only how we think about it!

    mucho huggies,
  4. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    EXCELLENT advice given!! (nice to see you Pam!)
    I think for me, what does help IS acknowledging that YES it is somewhat normal to have those feelings of anxiety and depression. I mean, my Gosh, look at all you're dealing with!

    When I start getting hard on myself for feeling that way, I remind myself that no matter how weak I feel, we really all are a strong bunch of people. We carry a heavy load every day.

    I've always been a worrier. I've also always been a pretty darn positive and optimistic person. Lately, not so much. - I mean I still am, but have found myself slipping more than usual, just because life has been much tougher lately. One thing I have tried hard to do, is to take one day at a time....GET through today!! Each day is going to come and go anyway so might as well try to get through it as it comes.

    Maybe knowing that your feelings are 'normal' given the circumstances might make you feel a little bit better.
    You have also dealt with real loss. You still have some grieving to do I'm sure. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself those feelings. It's okay.

    All any of us can do, is do the best we can.


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