Sunday, June 9, 2013


Source - I love the quote they put on this blog -
"I now view Anxiety as an unwelcome visitor with no purpose other than to side swipe my self esteem."

This week, I had the shocking realization that I am still very.. very.. very.. fragile.

That something like dumping $1,500 into car repairs quickly sends me over the edge.

The edge of anxiety.

Anxiety and I do not have a good relationship, but anxiety is always in my life.

Anxiety makes me unable to eat. It makes me nauseous with no appetite. The no appetite gets to where it will dawn on me that it’s been 3 days, and I haven’t eaten.. anything. The nausea makes it difficult to even brush my teeth. I can’t count how many times I have fought with my tooth brush, trying to brush my teeth through dry heaves, only to throw up what little stomach contents I the sink. Then I have to start the whole brushing teeth fight all over again.

Anxiety makes me unable to sleep, think, or concentrate.

This week started out like every other week. Running on sheer exhaustion, just trying to get through the day, hoping to make it to the weekend.

Then started the car problems. In stepped the anxiety of how the hell I am going to pay for this? Followed by disappear and feeling completely alone and lost.

To a “normal” person car repairs is just a fact of life. To the widow in me, it is a catastrophic event.

I spent this week trying to force feed myself, trying to get my anxiety under control, trying to sleep at night, trying to not let my anxiety drown me in its smothering ways. Nothing I did worked. Everything just kept piling up in my head.

Then I had the realization of how fragile I still am. 34 months after my husband’s death, I am fragile.

The car repairs left me in a crying heap on my kitchen table. I was looking around my house thinking “this wouldn't be as hard if Seth was still alive.”

In stepped the “holy shit, I am so alone in all this it’s insane.”

I reached out to a friend, trying to find comfort, and was told “It’s not the end of the world.”

Sure, it’s not the end of the world. Not being able to pay my mortgage or having my anxiety take away my appetite is not the end of the world, but in that moment, it was the end of MY world.

Then I went off the deep end. I completely shut down.

I focused on:
-         - Get up
-          -Go to work
-          -Get your work done
-          -Try to eat without throwing up
-          -Drive home
-          -Shut the world out for the night
-          -Go to bed
-          -Rinse and repeat

When I go into complete shutdown mode, life becomes a series of moment by moment. Minute by minute. Just trying to survive without going complete ape shit on someone. You could ask me what I’m doing after work, and I would just look at you with a blank stare.. because.. well.. that’s 4 hours from now, and I can only think about this very minute. I can’t think about 240 minutes from now.

Anxiety is not my friend. Yet it’s a constant reminder of what I have been through and what I am still going through. I am dropping weight at an alarming rate, all thanks to my not friend – anxiety. Sure, losing some weight isn't a bad thing, but I am quickly approaching too thin, and I can’t stop it. Anxiety won’t let up and give me my appetite back. I haven't set foot on a scale to see just how much weight I have lost due to this anxiety episode, but it's a lot.. my "skinny" clothes are falling off at this point.

I have resorted to what my counselor has always told me “With anxiety, eat whatever your body wants. Even if all you want is one candy bar a day, eat that. At least you will be eating something.”

Last night, I turned to my comfort food. The one thing I can always eat no matter how bad my anxiety is. Smothered burritos. For the first time in almost a week, I had a full belly.

I realized I have become cocky. Thinking I am no longer fragile. That “life happens” won’t send me over the edge. I was wrong. I was cocky. I have this messed up vision of what I can handle.

Maybe I need a new tattoo, on my wrist, where I see it with every hand movement I make, that says “Don’t be cocky.”

It would be a constant reminder that I will never be the same person I was before.


  1. Anxiety and with it, loss of appetite and ability to sleep is one of my biggest battles since Dave died. It comes and goes. The last bout I had, I finally bought liquid replacement meals like I had to survive on right after he died. I can get them down. Sometimes just getting something down will help me feel better overall (blood sugar levels) and then I can eat more. I like your therapist's advice and that has really worked for me too. For a while there, it was microwave mac and cheese in single serve containers. It was ALL I could get down. It was the first time in a long time I allowed something with artificial anything into my house but I didn't want to barf it up and could actually get it down without a struggle, so I ate it up. When it's gotten really bad, I have turned to anxiety meds. They sometimes take the edge off enough to eat a little. Also, I've noticed that if I am with friends I love being with, I sometimes can eat better. As for the sleep, that's a constant project too. Meds help, but also just really really confronting the feelings and sometimes crying myself to sleep helps, too. When I try to fight the feelings, my anxiety ramps up even more. I've never experienced anxiety like this. It's incredibly difficult, so I'm sorry you're going through it too, Melinda.

  2. Our spouse would want us to live of not to forget, but to go on and be productive with our life. Each day we waste is a day gone by and can't take back. Pushing yourself isn't easy, to take control and give direction of your life. There are things to overcome, but we really have that inner feeling we can do it just takes time.
    I now do what my wife use to do, and I take pride of what I really can do. Foods have less interest, because I don't get those special dishes she made. Not much of today is the same and I don't expect it to be, I now have that new life to live, a challenge, a struggle day by day. But in my heart that is what my wife would want me to do..
    Peace be with you..

  3. I hear both of you! Anxiety gets the best of me too. I was finally able to get off the meds, after 7 years of mostly on them. I try to control those feelings with yoga now. Just try what ever you can that gives you some relief. Even yoga takes practice and a lot of time to reap any real benefits, but I feel it is beginning to making a difference for me after two years of work. I feel so lucky to have you guys posts. So honest. Thank you.

  4. I'm sorry to hear you have so much pain for so long. It has been 13 months now since Laura died and lately I've been wondering what it would be like for her had I been lead and she following and seeing me in an accident that resulted in death. Financially, I think it would have been much harder for her as I earned three times what she did. Granted we had insurance on me, just in case I died first, but now I know it wouldn't have been enough.
    Anxiety use to be a good thing, it would put an edge on an upcoming presentation, or job interview. Now it makes me dread the holidays, a birthday, or anniversary.
    Someone mentioned yoga, I find that mindfulness practice helps.

  5. I have the toothbrush fight in the mornings. So, no more breakfast. I only want to eat spanish rice with salsa. Everything else is grody. I can't make a decision worth beans right now and I never had that problem before. I used to be the one to make decisions with family and now they keep asking me things and I have had to say for real you need to make the choice. Like what restaurant? I don't know. Should we come stay with you? I don't know. Do you need help with anything? I don't know.

  6. I am a recent widow myself 4-28-3013. 34 w 2 little girls and I have horrible anxiety. Reading this is nice to know I'm not alone. I haven't found hardly any food that stays down. I got on med called Buspar. Its once a day for anxiety not depression. U may want to talk to your dr about it. Worth a try right? Thank u for this blog!! It really helps reading other stories w ideas. Hang n there!