The Beast Within… (repost)

Living On Oxygen for Life – a repost from 2016 because this is so important to read if you are dealing with anxiety and control issues.

Over the past 10 years or so, this beast inside me has grown and mirrored the decline of my health. It all started with what I thought was constant worrying. You know… when you have to time how much your oxygen will last? Well, that can make you worry about checking your oxygen tank a LOT when you are out having fun. Then I would worry about how long my energy will last while I was out having fun. Can I walk that far in the mall or in the hospital for doctor appointments? Will K get upset if I need to stop to sit down for a few minutes. I know the last one is kind of an irrational worry. Of course K wouldn’t get upset but he did try to push me to walk a little further before stopping which only made me feel like he wasn’t taking my need to stop seriously. My health wasn’t as progressed as it is now. So, pushing me a little bit further was a good thing that K was doing. It’s just when I was tired and felt like I needed a break, no knows how I felt except me.

I turned all this worrying about so many things in my life into trying to control everything around me. I felt like I needed to manage everything so that I had enough energy for things that I had to do around the house and the things that I wanted to do with K. I wanted to know where we were going when we were out of the house, what route we were going, and even how K drove. I needed advanced warning when K wanted us to go out to have fun so that I can be sure to rest up during the day. But all that wasn’t working. Trying to control everything turned into Anxiety because there is no way that I could control everything, be happy and not irritate those around me.

It’s taking a long time to learn to let go of the control issues. K reminds me by saying that he “Gets it.” and “I will always take care of you. I always have your best interest as my priority.” It has helped me a lot with him saying this to me. I have to remind myself of what he said over and over because my memory doesn’t retain information as well as it use to. So, when I get into my vehicle with K, I will remind myself that he has my six. *wink* Giving up the control and learning to trust is a very hard thing to do for me because I feel as if I’m losing more of my independence. However, as long as we have fun in our lives, all will be ok.

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The Beast Within…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Over the past 10 years or so, this beast inside me has grown and mirrored the decline of my health. It all started with what I thought was constant worrying. You know… when you have to time how much your oxygen will last? Well, that can make you worry about checking your oxygen tank a LOT when you are out having fun. Then I would worry about how long my energy will last while I was out having fun. Can I walk that far in the mall or in the hospital for doctor appointments? Will K get upset if I need to stop to sit down for a few minutes. I know the last one is kind of an irrational worry. Of course K wouldn’t get upset but he did try to push me to walk a little further before stopping which only made me feel like he wasn’t taking my need to stop seriously. My health wasn’t as progressed as it is now. So, pushing me a little bit further was a good thing that K was doing. It’s just when I was tired and felt like I needed a break, no knows how I felt except me.

I turned all this worrying about so many things in my life into trying to control everything around me. I felt like I needed to manage everything so that I had enough energy for things that I had to do around the house and the things that I wanted to do with K. I wanted to know where we were going when we were out of the house, what route we were going, and even how K drove. I needed advanced warning when K wanted us to go out to have fun so that I can be sure to rest up during the day. But all that wasn’t working. Trying to control everything turned into Anxiety because there is no way that I could control everything, be happy and not irritate those around me.

It’s taking a long time to learn to let go of the control issues. K reminds me by saying that he “Gets it.” and “I will always take care of you. I always have your best interest as my priority.” It has helped me a lot with him saying this to me. I have to remind myself of what he said over and over because my memory doesn’t retain information as well as it use to. So, when I get into my vehicle with K, I will remind myself that he has my six. *wink* Giving up the control and learning to trust is a very hard thing to do for me because I feel as if I’m losing more of my independence. However, as long as we have fun in our lives, all will be ok.

Anxiety – part two

Living On Oxygen for Life

By now I hope you have read my previous post “Anxiety – part one” and have thought about the question, “What am I afraid of?” What the previous post, “Anxiety – part one,” covers is the issue I have with bedtime anxiety of wondering if I was going to stop breathing while I slept. I have problems with anxiety in other areas of my life and some of them are related to my breathing problems.

For me, I’ve realized that the anxiety I have experienced has created “Control Issues” for me. I try hard to control everything around me so that I won’t become too tired and that I wouldn’t miss out of having fun. I’m just now starting to realize that maybe by me trying so hard to control everything, I may be expending more energy controlling things than if I would just try to relax and enjoy life around me. But, I understand that life can be a little scary when you have breathing problems. You feel like you are losing some of your independence and you desperately try to hold onto whatever independence you have left. What you may not realize is that by adjusting the way you do the things that you like to do and by relaxing a bit, you can still have a boat load of fun.

When I first started to have bedtime anxiety, it plumb freaked me out. I would turn to my husband and tell him I was scared and something was wrong. He would tuck me back in bed (we don’t always go to bed at the same time) and then he would lie down beside me and hold my hand or blow on my face while encouraging me to relax. I’d ask him to stay until I fell asleep and he would. Now, I’m sure you are wondering, “He blew on her face???” I can’t describe it but it really is a relaxing feeling for me. So much so, that I now sleep with a little 12″ x 12″ box fan on my dresser pointing right at my face from about 3 feet away. It’s used every night, 365 days a year. It helps take away the feeling of being claustrophobic while using my bipap. This is one of my solutions that has helped me with bedtime anxiety.

Another thing that I do to combat bedtime anxiety is to close my eyes, pray that I will be ok and wake up in the morning and then I just let go internally. I think of something that I’ve done that made me happy. It could be my favorite vacation that I went on with my husband or something silly that my puppy did that day. That internal visual is what I focus on and I slowly relax. You could probably call that a bit of meditation. Although, there have been times where I needed extra backup help. So, I’d walk up to my husband and say: “I don’t feel well. My heart’s skipping because I’m too tired. Please check on me a couple of times throughout the night.” He knows when I say something like that, it’s time for him to step in and help. Just this reassurance of knowing he’s quietly checking on me, helps so much that I can fall asleep and it nips the anxiety in the butt.

If you have problems with anxiety, ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” Don’t let the anxieties turn into control issues. Talk with your doctor and discover ways that can help you feel more at peace internally so that you may enjoy your life.

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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