15th March 2016 at 7:19 pm #11565SerenityParticipant
I’ve come so far- as have my boys.
My boys are so much happier and freer. I hope part of this is that I’ve managed to try to give them normality again. I try to make things normal at home. We don’t even mention my ex, generally.
Though I have come on leaps and bounds in many ways, I’ve gone a bit backwards in recent weeks in terms of anxiety levels. I thought I was past that stage, but at times the anxiety is unbearable. It’s actually physically painful.
I do a number of things to try to control this: healthy food, deep breathing, exercise, pacing myself, meditation, etc. But sometimes it comes on all of a sudden, and I am not always free to do these things.
What techniques do other people use to keep anxiety and panic attacks at bay?
I suppose the road to healing is a bit undulating- we are bound to have small setbacks X
15th March 2016 at 8:09 pm #11567Falling SkysParticipant
I think you have done wonderfully.
Like you I have a few bumps, I find I drift away, I was told about grounding, to focus one what in the room/area your in seeing, hearing,smell, touch and even taste have something strong tasting in your handbag. Not sure if I have explain it properly, I have used it a could of times and its really helped.
Good luck and I will follow this post with interest.
15th March 2016 at 8:40 pm #11571AyannaParticipant
I have an increased level of anxiety in general and that manifests in all life situations. At work my colleagues smile about my suspicious and untrusting nature.
When I am stressed my PTSD comes out as well, a terrible combination.
I recently found out that I can do mindfulness courses as part of the work benefits package.
I hope I find the time to do that, it is amazing that they offer this.
15th March 2016 at 9:12 pm #11575Peaceful PigParticipant
I also use those grounding techniques, especially if I’m in the middle of a meeting or training and get triggered. I can do that with no-one knowing anything.
I have recently started doing yoga for trauma and one of the breathing exercises is to breathe in for 4 counts and out out for 8. Apparently it resets your nervous system from sympathetic (fight/flight/freeze) back to parasympathetic (feeling of safety). Many of us survivors spend most of our lives in the sympathetic on hyperalert so I’m hoping to train my body to feel safe as well as telling my mind that I am! It also involves lots of hugging yourself!
I use homeopathic remedies, so I can take as much as I need with no side effects.
Meditation helps but when I get too stressed concentration becomes impossible.
Lastly, and most importantly, lots of sleep. This is in my opinion a huge factor in how anxious I feel. Unfortunately it is often hard to get enough due to children, flashbacks, nightmares and early morning waking but I try to get as much as I can.
When all else fails – diazepam!
I must stress that my anxiety levels have also been much higher lately due to various events, so no magic cures I’m afraid, but on the whole there’s a general improvement. I think we must recognise and appreciate the extremity of our anxiety. Lots of people won’t come close to coping with what we do daily. We must remember how strong we are to feel this and keep on going. X*x
15th March 2016 at 9:29 pm #11578lover of no contactParticipant
For me too getting enough sleep is really important in keeping my emotions at a coping level. I will sneak into bed during the day for an hour’s sleep (I used never do this, jus carry on through the tiredness, not ant more), if I have slept badly or gone to bed too late.
Also when my anxiety resurfaces I say to myself, this time 24 hours this feeling will be gone. And next time it comes back it will be less. I feel I am detoxing from all the fear I suppressed when trying to survive the abusive relationships. I had to stuff my feelings, I couldn’t feel them I was too busy running around after the abuser, doing his responsibilities that he wouldn’t do, trying to survive his abuse of me and the children.
Now I’m safe my feelings of anxiety can come up for me to heal and get them out of my system.
I just keep saying the words when in the grip of the anxiety (which I hate btw) is ‘THIS TOO WILL PASS’.
17th March 2016 at 2:22 am #11678determined survivorParticipant
I often will focus on the sights, sounds, and smells around me if I am in a position where I don’t want other people to know about my increased anxiety. My preference, though, is to listen to music. I have a specific playlist that I listen to when my anxiety is high and I need to calm down, like when I wake up in the middle of the night due to a nightmare and am too terrified to go back to sleep, or when I am having a really rough day due to remembering everything that I have been through. Music has helped me get to where I am at currently, although I have just recently escaped my abuser.
17th March 2016 at 12:57 pm #11701SerenityParticipant
Thank you all for your tips. In my anxious state, I needed prompting!
One thing that’s helped: I read that when you’re in PTSD mode, you crave carbohydrates, as they give you quick bursts of much-needed energy, but in fact this makes you feel worse, as you then slump/ dip.
I’ve been trying this past week to buy lots of ultra healthy stuff. Not expensive, but tasty salads with raw vegetables and grains, pulses etc.
I can feel the difference already. I can keep going for 24 hours without keeling over with nervous exhaustion! I even went jogging today!!
I realise that I have neglected myself so much in the last few years. I was so busy cooking him lovely food and cooking for the kids, that very often I’d just gobble a cheese sandwich. I’m making a real effort to eat raw veg etc.
When I started doing this, my body felt weird at first. It was so used to eating rubbish. Now I am beginning to feel physically well. And more able to control the anxiety which rears its ugly head from time to time.
17th March 2016 at 10:45 pm #11733martian29Participant
So glad you have come so far with your boys. I think I need to be like you as I can’t help mentioning what a money loving n********t he is at times to our boys. They have worked this out without my input and hate him, but still, it’s wrong. I am working on this daily but it was so hard when they were having contact with him. Every time, I would feel sick to my stomach wondering what he had said to them to get at me. You advised me once to imagine myself as a graceful swan and not to react. I will try this if the boys or I have to have contact with him again in future.
Sorry to hear you are feeling anxious again. I am the same right now. I have gone backwards too after seeing videos of him abusing our children. I am having panic attacks and constantly shaking. It is beginning to affect my job as people are noticing and wondering why my hands are shaking and I am out of breath. I am with you on this one as I also would like to know some techniques for relaxation.
When at work or outside, I don’t feel in control of my panic attacks. I know the doctor would just put me on anti-depressants but I refuse to take them as it took me so long to come off them last time. When at home, I can relax myself by listening to relaxation music, burning aromatherapy oils in a diffuser, having a bath, meditation and yoga. It would be nice to know some techniques when outside and at work. I know there are visualisation techniques but haven’t practised them myself. Hope you feel better soon Serenity. You are so strong and wise.
18th March 2016 at 10:14 am #11759newlife2015Participant
You are doing so well and you are so strong but it is completely normal to have off days every now and then but overall you have made such brilliant progress – I think we panic that we are going back ‘there’ and never want to feel that pain and stress again so we immediately panic. For me, I am finding that time for myself is important (not always easy with young children) so when I do not have the children I am keeping nights free to sit in my PJs or go to my slimming group – just for ME! For me it is a MUST that I get as much sleep as possible – as soon as I start to get tired I can feel the anxiety starting to gather momentum and the overthinking starts to play havoc. Lots of long hot baths, and colouring books help too – I like to read but sometimes on my more anxious days or weeks this is a bit tricky to concentrate enough! Stay strong – remember it is normal for everyone to have off days but overall – think back to how it was before you ‘escaped’ and you will realise how far you and your children have come. 🙂
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