A is for Anxiety

Not many people that know me would know about a debilitating thing that I suffer with on a daily basis and have done for years. Today I’m just going to come out with it, and you may have it too. 

It’s called Anxiety. And I don’t mean getting anxious over the usual types of things, I mean being anxious about absolutely everything, waking up feeling anxious, going to bed feeling anxious, trying to take control of everything, anxious to the point of feeling sick, my mind being taken over,  my heart racing, not eating, being angry and frustrated, replaying situations in my head, anxiety attacks where my body tenses, I am trapped inside, my voice on my left battles with the voice on my right, my heart still races, my arms feel like pins and needles. I’ve lived with this for a long time and it’s only recently that I’ve slowly been able to recognise the triggers and what I have to remove from my life to make things easier. 
I have always been an extremely driven person and one to take on more than I can chew in the endeavour to achieve. I started my business with huge plans and dedication to succeed. The problem was, I was trying to get too big too quick. I was stressed, I was worried, I was trying to control everything that was uncontrollable. I was nervous about potential client meetings, I was worried about where the next pay check was coming from, instead of working three days per week and spending time with Elliott on my days off, I was working when he was taking a nap, working at night, working on weekends and I had very little to show for it. It was not until one day I broke down. Who was I kidding? Myself, I was trying to do the impossible. It clicked in my head, I needed to step back. I was not going to ditch my business and work for somebody else. I didn’t work that hard to build my business to where it is just to ditch it, to me that would be failure and I didn’t want to live with it. I just needed to scale back, keep a handful of clients and work one day a week and when it was ready to grow again, I could do it, nice and slowly.

You see, it was the fact that I recognised what my anxiety triggers were. It was getting new clients and talking with them, it was preparing proposals, it was outsourcing work to help me with the view to grow bigger because I knew that cost money I didn’t have, it was working around the clock for little to show….I had to remove these to make me feel better. I decided to keep a handful of valuable clients I had a good relationship with and said my apologies to others, I put a hold on gaining new clients and working around the clock on marketing, I therefore don’t have any more proposals to write until I’m ready and because I’m not growing, I can handle the work I was outsourcing and therefore saving money and working less for more.

It was extremely difficult to make this decision, but a few days after I had sorted things, I felt I did the right thing. I had so many people congratulate me on identifying the fact that I needed to scale back and in their experience it isn’t an easy thing to do or easily recognisable. I get to spend four days a week with Elliott and put 100% of my mind to him and my husband. 
I am certain that my anxiety issues will be greatly less with my changes because I have time to think, time to be a mother and a wife and time to spend on doing things for myself, I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself.

My business is not the only source of anxiety for me, there are other things that happen in my life that are a source for anxiety especially in new social situations, I also have to learn to start saying ‘no’, but I’m glad I was able to tackle one of the main sources and I hope that soon, I can experience what it’s like to wake up feeling fresh and not worried, to not worry about what others think and to not have the need to control the uncontrollable.

How have you dealt with your anxiety?
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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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19 Comments

  1. May 24, 2013 / 12:08 am

    Well done for recognising what’s right for you – despite the anxiety you feel, that shows great emotional intelligence and awesome survival skills – you saw your needs and priorities and were brave enough to push them to the front. I think anxiety is an underrated – so many of us experience it – especially in this age where anything goes. You did good x

    • May 24, 2013 / 10:01 am

      Thank you so much, that means a lot 🙂

  2. May 24, 2013 / 3:53 am

    Thanks so much for sharing Eva! I am a fellow anxiety sufferer, though I lean towards the OCD side of things so I have strolled down the path you’re writing about MANY times and my last real surge was due to taking on FAR too much freelance work while also trying to juggle two days in the office and a boisterous toddler! For me, I deal with my condition through a bunch of things; therapy when I need it and medication are the primary ‘expected’ things but personally, I’ve found that things like taking some time out, scaling back when I need to, trying to do something I enjoy each day and other little things really help out!

    • May 24, 2013 / 10:04 am

      I hear you about taking on too much work!! I have to learn to say no! I too deal with it through medication and therapy but as you, taking time out and scaling back are the things that I can do that work. Thanks for commenting and sharing.

  3. May 24, 2013 / 4:47 am

    Congratulations on being so brave to open yourself up and tell the world how you are feeling. That takes real courage. I am an anxiety sufferer too, but talking about it makes me … ummm … anxious 😉 I wish you all the best with your journey.
    Beautiful blog by the way!

    • May 24, 2013 / 10:06 am

      Thank you. It has taken a long time to be very open about it but it was a way for me to release and hope that other anxiety sufferers don’t feel alone because I know that’s how I’ve felt trying to explain how I feel to people that really wouldn’t have a clue.

  4. May 24, 2013 / 6:04 am

    Bravo! I suffer with anxiety too. I’ve been a bit of a worrier for a long time but anxiety is relatively new to me. I am now learning my boundaries. I’m a perfectionist and always wanting to achieve and excel. I pushed myself too much and everything fell apart. I’ve had to adjust my sails. I need to live life at my own pace and know what that pace is. Min xo

    • May 24, 2013 / 10:10 am

      Thanks for your comment, and I hope you are able to get control of your anxiety, don’t let it get no the stage where it controls you. x

  5. May 24, 2013 / 11:16 am

    My dad suffers from anxiety big time, and my sister to a lesser extend. I think I used to – but since meeting my VERY relaxed (now husband) I don’t worry much. However, my worries used to keep me awake at night, FOR YEARS!. Eva, I hope you can find a way to be the boss of those worries, because there is no point in worrying about things you can’t change (it has taken me 35 years ((okay so 20 that I remember)) to realise this! Em x

    • July 12, 2013 / 4:14 am

      Thanks so much Em. I agree, there is not point worrying about things I can’t control, I need to remind myself of this every day. 🙂

  6. May 24, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    thanks for sharing Eva. I too have suffered from anxiety as long as I remember, and its a constant challenge to manage. Recognising the signs and acting is definately the key. Bravo to you! Us control freak perfectionist types are not alone x

    • July 12, 2013 / 4:15 am

      No problems Kate. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t like I am i.e. control freak perfectionist and was more like my husband, but then I don’t think I’d be where I am now. All the best to you too. 🙂

  7. May 25, 2013 / 10:56 am

    Another hand up here! I’ve suffered anxiety all my life. Well done for recognising your triggers and doing something to help alleviate the stressors in your life. Anxiety really sucks. I always find blogging about my anxiety helps. Well done for sharing. V.

    • July 12, 2013 / 4:16 am

      Thanks Vanessa, and although the whole anxiety thing sucks and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from. I feel blogging about it is a great thing, but as per usual, I worry about what people think. On the other hand, I feel that the people who are truly interested, concerned or connected to it will appreciate and relate. Thanks for your comment and all the best to you. x

  8. July 12, 2013 / 5:46 am

    Thanks for sharing this Eva. Another anxiety sufferer here (runs in the family). I would love to eliminate everything that causes me anxiety but then I’d never accomplish anything. I can’t delete my email account and never work again.. Can I? It’s the pits but I’m glad to find somebody else who understands. I’m Hannah from the AKBN fb group. Looks like you have a lot to offer the group 🙂 Hannah @ Paint on the Ceiling

  9. July 27, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Hi Eva,
    I am ‘late’ to this post of yours and wanted to say how much I understand. It’s a rotten feeling this anxiety. I’ve had a rough transition during the house move from Sydney to the Central coast, retiring from work and leaving our loving family….and anxiety triggered IBS and then it became a cycle of stress.
    I had to find a way out or at least do something different.
    It has taken me on such a journey to learn not so much how to ‘deal with anxiety’ but to accept its part in my life. Mindful practices and meditation via an APP called Headspace have been one part of my daily journey )I do this each day and every day for around 10-12 minutes).The other part is to accept and learn more about this and how anxiety and its sibling depression can screw up our thoughts etc. The best book/ebook is called Mindful way through depression. It helps..so much so that over the past few weeks given that I am walking each day, doing art and becoming more ‘in the moment’ than the days/weeks/hours ahead I accept anxiety and know that it comes and it goes. I no longer let it be the ‘star’ attraction…. Hope this helps. Always happy to chat. Denyse xx