I have been under unbelievable stress at work. I am not going to get into the details, because I am a professional and do not want to bad mouth by workplace on the interwebs. Just know that three weeks ago, was the lowest I have ever felt. It was so bad that...
- I was getting in my car in the morning and sobbing before pulling out of the driveway because I did NOT want to go in.
- When pulling into the parking lot at work, I would get this horrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
- Once I actually entered the building, my hands would start shaking. Sometimes I would actually have to go to the restroom near my office and vomit.
- I went a couple days at a time without eating -- or barely eating anything at all. I had completely lost my appetite.
- I would have spells where I would get intense chills. I could not breathe. I would burst into tears.
When I was not at work, my mind was ALWAYS racing with "What if" scenarios about work. I was dwelling on things that I could tell myself were not that big of a deal. It didn't matter though. I was OBSESSING. I was unable to enjoy my family. I was unable to have fun. Even if I was somewhere fun, that nagging, obsessive worry was always running through my head. I was a wreck. It was impossible for me to just relax. It was exhausting.
It took two very dear co-workers and friends to convince me that I needed help and that I cannot be ashamed to ask for it.
Help? What is that?
I have never been one to ask for help. I put problems on my shoulders and decide that I am going to solve the problems. I take on problems at home and at work. I am the problem solver. What I didn't realize is that the weight on my shoulders was slowly driving me into the ground. I was collapsing underneath it all.
I decided enough was enough and made a doctor's appointment.
During the appointment, I was evaluated and was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Turns out the obsessive thoughts are not normal. Who knew? I have lived my life this way for as long as I can remember. I just thought I was a worrier. Turns out there was a lot more to it than that.
I also learned that my serotonin levels were barely there. You know? Serotonin? The hormone that is directly involved with telling our brain that we are happy. It is also linked to memory. Another very interesting thing is that along with the happy feelings it gives our brain, the feeling of being full at a meal comes from serotonin. Sooo, let me get this straight...the FAT GIRL has rock bottom levels of a key part sending the "I'm full" message to the brain?? Imagine that craziness!!
The doctor put me on some medication. One that takes awhile to start working and one that works quickly for the really bad days. The slower one has started working, and I am feeling better. The worry is still there, but I am human, after all. The fast acting stuff may as well be a tranquilizer dart. Sooo, I cannot take it. I can see how it works though. You cannot have an anxiety attack if your are drooling on your pillow for the vast majority of the day.
I am also planning to seek counseling. I need help learning how to manage stress and to just tell people "no!" I am a people pleaser. I am perfectionist. There is nothing wrong with either one at certain levels, but I have taken it overboard.
Soooo, while my New Year's resolution is to get healthier weight and fitness wise. I have decided that this year I am going to focus on self improvement as a whole. I need to get myself in a happier place mentally and perhaps the fitness will fall into place. I am still going to work on weight loss -- but I am hoping that I will see more success when I am happier overall. I want to accept myself and with that comes accepting my flaws -- and instead of beating myself up over them, understanding which ones are just part of being me and which ones actually could be improved upon.
Asking for help is a huge step for me. I am proud of making that step.