Anxiety, Abusive relationships & Overcoming it all
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
I get a lot of questions about anxiety, how I deal with it, how it got so bad, etc.
You all know me, I am an open book so here we go. It's a doozy so get comfy.
I love to help others in any way that I can, and if talking about how I struggle and heal my anxiety on the daily could help someone else, I am all for it. In addition, this post doubles as my experience with an abusive relationship and how I healed from it. My anxiety stems from abuse, and I want you to know anything that helped me become the person I am today; whether those things are negative or positive,it helped mold me.
My anxiety started in a previous relationship I was in. This relationship was before Kevin and it was very toxic. It started off great and we had such a great relationship. Just like any relationship, there is a honeymoon phase that eventually wears off though. This wore off and issues started to slowly appear.
These issues started off mental, with lots of cutting down, yelling, etc. The more fights we got in the worse the mental abuse got. Louder yelling, even more negative connotations about me, swearing, & calling me extreme things that no one should say to anyone really.
After these fights he would apologize and be just so completely caring. I was immature at this point in my life and was so trusting and accepting of his apologies that he wouldn’t treat me in that way again. I was wrong; in fact it slowly got worse. These fights started to become physical and he would physically abuse me, along with the mental torment. I've had my head slammed in car doors, ash trays dumped on me, hitting, shoving, knocking the wind out, you name it.
Some people ask, why did you stay? For one, until you've been in the situation, you can't say you'd leave right away because you don't know what these certain situations can do to your self esteem, thinking, and overall behavior.
Side note: My boyfriend lived with me at my mom’s so if you’re wondering why I didn’t just leave or him leave, we were living together under my mom’s roof. There were a lot of factors that went into just telling him to get out and leave and never come back, trust me....I tried that. I wanted to reach out for help from my mom or friends, but I just felt stupid and incompetent.
For one, when I look back, I wonder the same thing myself sometimes on why I didn't leave. However, it is very hard to justify why I stayed so long in that relationship and continued to put up with the abuse. It was filled with mind games and severe manipulation, guilt, etc that made me want to stay. The apologies became more emotional and I just kept finding it in me to forgive and keep pushing through.
This can be a struggle for anyone. But this started the anxiety in me. So much emotional back and forth, I had no idea what was right to do anymore, what was wrong with me, if it was him, or if it was us both.
I remember the morning my anxiety started from this. I was supposed to go to Arkansas to my dad’s ceremony to marry my step mom. I remember my boyfriend freaking out that I was leaving out of state. He mentally kept making me feel guilty that I was leaving and I remember in the middle of him yelling at me I felt like I couldn’t breathe and everything around me started to become a blur. I started to tremble and I felt weak. This started a stage of de-realization for me. For those of you who do not know what de-realization is, it is the most miserable thing to be stuck with. It is the feeling of not knowing what is real and believing everything around you is not real.
I was in no condition at that point to get on the plane to my dad’s and that made my boyfriend so happy. He saw my condition and was just so caring that I was in that condition, that he began to help take care of me for the rest of that day. But that day turned into a week, and then it turned into 2 weeks, and so on. I couldn’t leave my bed because of the anxious state I was in, I could barely eat, & I could not stand because my anxiety had then turned into vertigo. After about 1 week in this condition, he became to be very angry with my condition that I was not improving. He would come into the bedroom and say things that would get into my head even more. Say things like “who would want to be with you, can you just get over this already?” This took a toll on my anxiety even more. He lost all compassion for the state I was in and my anxiety that had sprung from this. I had to learn to overcome this myself, and that was a hard realization for me. Digging myself out of this state was not going to be easy.
Good thing I was not alone in overcoming this. Shout out to my family man.
Through lots of prayer, I mean LOTS of prayer, positive affirmations from my mom and family I was making a comeback. At this point it had been 3 ½ weeks of this torment. I had to quit my job because obviously I could not work at all. My family would take turns spending time with me, assuring me that I was okay and going to be okay. I simply became lifeless in a way, and my family worked as hard as possible to get me back to my normal self. I did have to go to the doctor and take a very low dose of anxiety medicine on top of some vertigo medicine. That did help me overcome my first huge anxiety/panic bout. I did make it back to my normal self slowly after about 2 months. I felt a lot better, but I honestly was traumatized from being in a state of complete anxiousness/de-realization for over a month. I was scared for it to happen again so I slowly started to live in a state of anxiety.
Things seemed to get better for my boyfriend and I for a short time frame after I had recovered. But per usual, they decreased shortly after that. I continued to stay in this abusive relationship for around 9-10 more months until he decided to leave me. During those 9-10 months, I went through severe anxiety attacks over and over again. I was told I am crazy and unstable. I started to not put myself together anymore. I lost tons of weight. Stopped wearing makeup. Was more inclined to stay home. Got sick more. Just an overall roller coaster.
When our relationship ended, I blamed a lot of things on myself. I wondered how someone who did the things he did, could end up manipulating my thoughts to make this a reflection of myself. I also wondered several times, why I wasted the time I did and why I put up with it for so long. Why I lacked so much self love to stay and be forced to continue that relationship. I wondered why I wasn't good enough. What I did wrong. Was I bad in bed? Was I ugly? Did I complain too much? Was it cause of my emotional issues? Why?
It took me about a month or more of hurting, prayer, and being loved on by my family to kind of change my mindset. Shout out fam again.
As well as learning to change my mindset I knew I needed to take some time after that relationship to focus on myself before jumping into any other relationship. I slowly started to see how toxic that relationship was for me and I did some good emotional healing.
Some things I did to help me heal
Hiking, days by the pool with great self help books, being surrounded by people who love me, getting out of the house,prayer & sunrises. The simplest things helped me overcome my situation, but a lot of it was totally mindset.
Wanting to get out of this hole I was sitting in for over a year now. I was determined. I think that had a huge part, along with the mindset. This goes for anything in life, you just really have to want it.
I encourage any of you, if you go through a traumatic experience. It is absolutely important to heal yourself emotionally. This can actually apply to more than just an abusive situation. Our traumatic experiences are held within us and do more harm than good.
But in relation to an abusive situation, healing yourself emotionally is the first step. You need to forgive yourself and the other person involved. The hate in your heart WILL eat you alive. You will go through times of where you hate that person, but you have to let go. You have to let it go so you do not build a new house with old bricks if you get what I mean. These kinds of situations don't just go away on their own. They need working through and you have to work through them or you will continue to have toxic relationships and you will continue to attract the same people.
You may not have time to heal immediately, but really just give yourself some mad self love and maybe even go to some counseling sessions. Anything helps.
Now as far as working through the abuse. I still had anxiety to work through. The anxiety never stopped.
Even into my current relationship, it continued. It was like I was dealing with it for so long I became accustomed to it. My anxiety started to branch into health related anxiety, or it would just randomly pop up in different moments of my day. I still deal with it all the time. Granted, it is getting better, and I do have a great partner now that tries to help when I go through my attacks. Kevin has been so gracious and at first, it was hard for him to understand what I was going through. It wasn't until I explained to him it stemmed from abuse that he tried different ways of working with me and my anxiety.
My anxiety/panic attacks are further apart now than they ever have been and I am grateful for that. So grateful. I have also accepted that my anxiety did stem from that negative time in my life. However, I don’t let it consume me of course. I have grown from it. I have learned so much from that time in my life that I am now able to heal more than ever now.
I think that is important that you accept the things that have happened to you or accept that you are the way that you are, but keep openness to change it or better yourself.
Now before I start writing a novel to ya'll,
I just thought diving into why I have anxiety and where it started would help you all understand why my anxiety is so intense sometimes. Just know that no matter if you are struggling with anxiety or depression or panic attacks; there is a way out and you DO have the power to overcome it. I have been at moments where I didn’t think it was going to end, but it did and it did get better.
You have to just keep telling yourself “This is temporary, I will get through this. This anxiety or panic is just a feeling. It will pass.”
The things that now help me:
-Essential oils: I got back into oils fully last year and ever since, it has been a game changer in helping me overcome my emotions and feelings of anxiousness
-Relationship with God: Goodness gracious, where would I be? I would be nowhere. He gives me strength when I am weak indeed. I don't go a day without prayer or having things rest on my heart that relate to my relationship with God.
-Eliminating toxic products: The chemicals in our products are constantly affecting your hormones which can disrupt your emotions and affect every part of you. Your immune system, endocrine system, everything. I made the choice to eliminate all the things in my products that weren’t beneficial to my body & it’s made a huge difference. Reading labels, knowing what ingredients are really help.
-Exercise: This is huge. I thought I had a handle on my anxiety, but adding in an exercise routine took this to a whole new level. It’s honestly such a huge release and I recommend finding one that works for you too!
-People: At the end of the day, it's you in this. But, having stellar people in your life that "get" you can help with anxiety. They accept you for you, and you feel comfort in them.
-Eating right/intuitively: Eating intuitively has helped a lot. Not consuming myself with the food I am eating and what it is doing to my body when in reality it was good for me. Adding in the right supplements too help. Getting your Omegas is BRAIN FOOD. Eat for your brain when you have anxiety or panic attacks. It will help.
I am screaming this for you in the back. This is not just for people with anxiety or panic attacks, this is for everyone. Everyone can benefit from counseling.
I have to say one thing, and one thing only............
Counseling & Therapy is like an oil change for your soul.
There are a lot more things I do, but I'd sit here all day telling you all them. These are just some of the major things that help me now overcome my anxiety. Maybe they can help you too. I also have to say that overcoming anxiety is all personal. It is different for each person. I don't share these expecting them to magically heal your situation. I share in hopes for someone to try something I do that maybe can contribute to helping someone overcome their anxiety.
In addition, if you are going through abuse of any kind. PLEASE reach out to someone. Don't be afraid. Trust me, I know its hard to not be afraid. In addition, love yourself. If you love yourself you are less likely to stick around in a situation like I did. You are beautiful/handsome, you are worth being chosen everyday, you are worth being encouraged on daily, you are worth the greatest things. You were beautifully created to be loved just the way you give love. If you don't have someone affirming that to you daily, here is your affirmation from me. Now I know loving yourself isn't that easy. But if I can get through completely NOT loving myself, to where I am now, so can you. Trust me, I still have moments where I result to my old ways of thinking, but I think a lot of it starts from within of course. I believe if you surround yourself with people who love you and see how great you truly are; you're more likely to love yourself. It's weird how we humans work, but sometimes we just need affirmations from others; no matter how much we are confident with ourselves. You are loved, you can overcome anxiety, you can overcome abuse, you can overcome anything traumatic, you can overcome anything.
Thank you to all who read this. I love you all.