About 7 or 8 months after I had my daughter, I had my first panic attack. I had anxiety attacks before, but nothing was like what I felt that day.
I thought I was actually going to die. At one point, I asked God, “really, this is how you’re going to take me?”
There are a lot of emotions and physical sensations that happen during an episode of panic. You feel out of control with your body and like nothing you do can stop the waves of unrelenting terror unleashing itself on you. I had never experienced anything like that in my life. And unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time.
Since then, I’ve had countless episodes. In public. In private. You name it. But I have mainly kept my anxiety issues to myself, my doctor, and my husband. My family knows I have them, but don’t really understand the extent of the toll they take on me mentally and physically. It is such a physically taxing thing to go through an episode; I mean I am just so exhausted afterwards. And moody. Yeah, mood swings are a thing.
There was a point a few years ago that I had to take medication every single day to keep me from having an anxiety attack. And I had Xanax prescribed to bring me down from my panic attacks. Yes, there is a difference between the two different episodes. Panic attacks are waaaay more aggressive and feel life threatening. I’ve been in the hospital countless times from them.
I’m not of fan of going in and out of hospitals nor was I a fan of being on that daily medication. The side effects are awful, and I had to try like 5 different kinds before I found the one that ‘worked’ for me. All that meant was the benefits outweighed the side effects of that particular drug.
I did yoga, meditation, and other natural things after I one day decided to just stop taking the meds. And I was just fine. I finally felt so much relief.
And I found wine to help.
There are plenty of studies that show alcohol makes anxiety worse. I get that. But when I’ve had a very long day and just want to unwind, one glass of red does the trick. And I can literally feel the stress ooze away. It gives me the similar feeling of relief when I had to take a Xanax during an attack. Except this time it never gets to the boiling point.
I’ve had some episodes here and there of course. Even recently started having them more frequently since I was sick and allergies flared up. They can trigger them. But I feel more equipped knowing I can sip just one glass of red before bed every once in a while to help diffuse things.
I’m also reading a book called the DARE Response which is truly amazing information about just living with and accepting your anxious feelings to actually heal. The past 2 weeks were rough, I’ll admit, but I’m feeling a lot more confident and able thanks to my vino and newfound book.
So good luck to you and your mental health journeys. And don’t forget to relax with a glass of red every once in a while. It’s good for you 😉