Anxiety – part one

Living On Oxygen for Life

Anxiety is a powerful enemy of the human body. It can disrupt sleeping patterns, heart rhythm, common sense, and so much more. In my opinion, the underlying culprit to anxiety is fear. So, if you have trouble with bouts of anxiety, ask yourself: “What am I afraid of?” This should help you begin to understand the seemingly uncontrollable urge of anxiety that you’re having to deal with.

Understanding anxiety is crucial when it comes to YOUR anxiety. Everyone has different things that causes or triggers a moment of anxiety. But, let’s just talk about breathing and the anxiety that can come with it. I’ll use myself as an example. Before I started using the Bipap machine, I was starting to have serious trouble sleeping. I would have bad dreams, wake up with horrible headaches & nauseated, and sometimes find it very difficult to even wake up at all. I felt like I had fallen in a deep pit and couldn’t get out or I’d fallen off somewhere really high up and was free falling and I couldn’t wake up. This was in 1986, when I was only 17 years old. By the time I was 25 in 1994, I had already built up some serious fears about sleeping. I feared that I would stop breathing while I slept.

When I was 25, I started using a Bipap machine but I still had all those underlying fears of whether or not I’d stop breathing while I slept. I knew that this machine would work for me. I was tested, the machine was tested and all should be good. Right? You would think so. The mind can be a tricky thing. My fears were understandable but my fears were also starting to become a serious problem for my health. I would stay up longer making myself too tired. When I’m too tired, my breathing was worse, my heart starts skipping and then when I try to go to sleep, the fear that I’m not going to wake up or that I was going to stop breathing kicks in. Thus, the battle with anxiety began. It was so bad once that I had to go to the hospital. My doctor had put me on Xanex before bedtime when I needed it.

Fast forward to today, I now no longer have the need for Xanex. Over the years, I’ve learned how to battle bedtime anxiety. In part two of Anxiety, I will share with you what helps me stay calm enough to fall asleep. But for now, think about the things that make you afraid enough to bring you to the state of anxiety. Write these things down. Talk with your doctor about them. Your well-being isn’t of just your physical self, but of your mind as well.

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