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Anxiety

Ritzy
Community Member

This is a weird one

I have anxiety attacks when I’ve got to leave my home town and go somewhere by myself 

This happens even when I’m just going to visit my friend at her house, I’m a volunteer at the local dog shelter which is my happy place even going out here causes anxiety 

I won’t go into a shop I’ve never been too before by myself, I try to avoid going to friends get togethers when there are going to people I don’t know

i get the pounding heart, the shaking limbs, feel sick, my mind just races, I’m constantly stressing I won’t have all my morning tasks completed, I get tight muscles and offen a headache 

I’ve gotten so worked up that I’ve had to cancel appointments that have been important even canceled visiting friends 

has any one else had this happen 

I do the mindfulness, I keep busy, or I do the opposite and try to chill ect but nothing helps 

2 Replies 2

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Ritzy,

 

 I can relate somewhat with what you describe as I get fear going into shops and some unfamiliar situations. I’m actually fine going off on a road trip by myself to different towns and locations. But I do get scared of human interactions. I know in my case it has a strong link with early life complex trauma.

 

Have you been able to get any counselling support where you might get a sense of the source of the anxiety? One of the useful things I’ve found is understanding that my body is actually trying to protect me. It’s just that it is producing fight-or-flight and freeze responses to situations that are not actually dangerous. Just knowing that in itself has helped de-escalate it a bit. I can kind of tell my body now that a situation is ok, like an inner supportive parent guiding me that I’m safe. It doesn’t necessarily completely eliminate the anxiety, but it lessens over time. When I look back I realise I’ve come quite a way compared with the level of fear I used to have, but I still experience it at times.

 

That’s great you are volunteering at the dog shelter. I love dogs and I would do the same but don’t live anywhere near a dog shelter. I find that dogs don’t cause me anxiety and I feel calm and safe with them. Do you find that too, that dogs feel safer than people? Sometimes I think it is through connections with animals that we build connectivity that then allows us to connect with other people more easily and with less anxiety.

 

 I hope you will find the fears you have been experiencing lessen over time. I think we can develop fears for many reasons, sometimes even stuff that’s come down intergenerationally through our family. I think the more you can have good experiences of new people and situations, the more that will help your nervous system to feel safer with those situations. I know it can be quite challenging though.

 

Sending you kind support and courage too for facing those challenges. You’ve already shown courage by posting here. Take care and happy to chat further if you want to.

Best wishes,

Eagle Ray

Cellone
Community Member

Hi Ritzy,

 

I used to have the same anxiety driving away from my town. At the time I couldn't understand it because I'd be driving to go on holiday or see family or friends. Since then I've realised I was experiencing burnout and it was all about feeling safe...my home felt safe and driving to wherever was an unknown situation.

 

I pushed myself through those times initially with tears while driving but then with music. I love music so I began making sure Spotify was on before I left home and always took a few deep calming breaths before I started the car. Sometimes I would call a family member (hands free bluetooth) and let them know what was happening and ask them to tell me about their day to distract me from my anxiety about leaving my town. Maybe this might help you too.

 

I hope you can get through this and find it easier. Plus, you've given me a great idea for volunteering...I'm going to approach the local shelter to see if I can help out...it might help me make a friend or two as well.

 

Take care 😊