Coping with Anxiety: My Recent Journey

For months I’ve wrestled with spilling my guts to you all and talking about my recent journey with anxiety. My blog is primarily about home decor so a sensitive topic that deals with mental health doesn’t really fit. But on the other hand, my blog is also about my home and personal life. I finally decided that my own experience in coping with anxiety might help some of you dealing with the same struggle. So here I am today, to share a personal piece of my life with you.

Coping with Anxiety


To keep this post from becoming long-winded, I’ve decided to break out my journey into four parts – starting today and lasting through the next three Thursdays.

My journey with anxiety began last winter. It started with a seemingly ordinary yet nasty cold. But that was just round one.

Wooded winter trail


The cold gripped me over a weekend in March and lasted for several days, causing me to miss a couple days of work.

One morning when I finally stopped sneezing and blowing and hacking, I headed into the bathroom to shower and get ready. While brushing my teeth I started feeling faint and weak in the knees. I thought the sensation was simply from having been sick for several days and sat down thinking it would pass. It didn’t.

Now mind you, I don’t like to call in sick to work – I love my job. But I couldn’t see myself sitting at my desk all day with my head spinning and my knees feeling like jello, so I took one more day off, sure that I’d be strong enough by the next day. I told myself I simply needed extra rest. I managed to work a few hours from home that day. I’d be ready to hit the grindstone tomorrow.

But the next day was worse. Whatever invaded my body was more than just a wicked, lingering cold.

That’s when the heat wave came crashing into my life. An internal body heat that felt like a raging furnace throughout my body – and I’m not talking about hormonal heat for those of you who know what hot flashes feel like. This was a furnace inside that lasted for hours on end – without sweat and without a fever. It would wake me up in the middle of the night, sometimes clinging relentlessly for over 24 hours straight.

Fire at Night - campfire

Since these symptoms were new to me, I decided to call the doctor. He saw me that day, told me I had a bronchial infection and sent me home with antibiotics. I was so relieved knowing the medication would soon kick in and I’d be back on my feet in no time.

No such luck. I started feeling worse. I took a regular dose of Nyquil that night to help me sleep. It knocked me out and then some. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and the room started spinning. Just before falling to the floor I yelled “help me!” I passed out and the next thing I remember is hearing my husband frantically calling me to wake up while softly slapping my cheek. I couldn’t rouse myself.

Robert managed to hoist me up onto the bed and at that point I was able to tell him I was burning up. He got a cold cloth and laid it on my head, and told me I didn’t feel warm. I could see he looked frazzled and worried. He took my temperature but it was normal. The cold cloth made me feel a little better and I somehow managed to fall back asleep.

Sleeping Kitten


I woke up the next morning feeling foggy and exhausted. When I got out of bed I thought my knees were going to buckle. I called for Robert, still feeling the raging heat inside me. We both wondered if maybe something happened when I passed out. Maybe there was more to it than the Nyquil. Our friend had just suffered a TIA. My mother had several of them throughout her later years. Perhaps that’s what was going on with me. We went to the emergency room since it was a Sunday.

I was slightly dehydrated and the intravenous fluids the hospital staff gave me made me feel slightly stronger, but the heat lingered on. The medical personnel did their normal blood work and testing. My white blood cell count was high and I was told I had a strain of flu that doesn’t show up in normal flu tests. Other people had reported the same symptoms – the feeling of intense heat without a temperature. This particular flu was lasting around seven days. That meant I had a few more days to go.  They sent me home although I wanted to stay there and have them take care of me until I was well.

I started sleeping downstairs on the couch with a fan on all night.

The next few days were touch and go. The heat would go away for a few hours, and then it would come back. At least I was getting spells of relief. It reminded me of childbirth – labor pains that come and go. I was able to start working from home as long as I could sit on the couch. Sometimes I could work through a spell of the internal heat, sometimes it would wipe out my energy and I’d have to lay down for a bit. Luckily, my employer was being extremely supportive through my ordeal.

Railroad tunnel

I finally started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I went a full 24 hours without heat and weakness and thought, this is it! The flu virus is finally leaving my body. I was filled with joy and anxious to get back to a normal routine. But life sometimes has a funny way of throwing you a curve ball. The heat came back. For 36 straight hours. I was devastated.

Seven days came and went and I continued experiencing hours of relative normalcy followed by bouts of internal heat that lasted for hours. And each time the furnace turned back on, it stole a bit more of my energy and my will to fight. This pattern went on for a couple of weeks.

And this is where I’m going to end the first part of my journey in coping with anxiety. Little did I know, my dance with anxiety was just winding up. I feel like I need to spell out some of the details of the initiating illness because it has relevance further along in the story. Next Thursday I’ll share the worst part of coping with anxiety – the abyss. But please don’t worry about me; I’m at a good point now. I really just want to share how I got through it all in hopes it can help someone else.

And by all means, if you decide to follow this story and have any questions – please ask! This story, my journey with anxiety, is an open book. I’m not a psychologist or doctor, but I hope I can offer support and encouragement to others as a result of my experience.

More in this Series:

Coping with Anxiety: The Abyss – part two

Coping with Anxiety: Finding Treatment – part three

Coping with Anxiety: Moving Forward – part four



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  1. I’m so glad you are sharing this, as one can feel so alone and wonder if they are “normal” if they are suffering and have no one to talk to. The more we talk, perhaps the stigma of mental illness will someday be a thing of the past. Thank you.

    1. I agree with you! Wondering what’s going on and being afraid is a lonely place. The brain is a biological organ and from time to time, it needs treatment just like other parts of our bodies. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Jennifer, I am interested in your story because my husband has anxiety that started in 1993 with a terrible panic attack. He wasn’t the same husband I knew when he was first suffering with it. It is under control now with meds, but anytime he doesn’t feel right I can see that look of fear that comes over him. My mom, brother and sister also live with anxiety and I have a touch, but don’t need meds. Knock on wood! It was so hard for my husband for many months when it started and I felt like I was taking care of three kids instead of just our two. I’m so glad you have yours under control, too.

    1. Hi Kim!
      I didn’t know about your husband’s struggle with anxiety. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I know full well what you mean when you say he wasn’t the same husband when he was dealing with it. I also know that fear when you don’t feel right. Fear that it’s coming back. I’m glad your hubby’s situation is under control for the most part. When I first started experiencing it, I didn’t want my husband to be too far away. I often asked him to sit in the same room as me just to have him nearby. I know it wasn’t an easy time for him. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. I had the same thing happen to me. It started with a cold and then the panic attacks happen. This was back in the 80s when no one knew anything about panic attacks or anxiety. I have battled it ever since. Some years I function with not attacks and than they come back. I envy people who have overcome them or controlled them. I am just now getting a hold on mine again and starting to live life again.

    1. Hi Betty! First, I’m glad you feel like you’re starting to live life again! I know exactly what you mean by that! I never would’ve thought that a simple cold could turn into a monster. I’m so glad there are now ways to cope and deal with anxiety and panic attacks. My mother used to get panic attacks and would have to leave the house. Often times this occurred in the middle of the night. Thanks for sharing your experience and I truly hope you continue to get better!

  4. So very scary. I just went through an illness, sinusitis with an 8day stay in the hospital. BUT, they found the problem and I’m healing, slowly. There’s nothing worse than not having a diagnosis. Stay well.

    1. Ugh. Eight days in the hospital is a long time. You must’ve wondered if you were ever going to go back home. I’m glad they found the problem. Not having a diagnosis is so frustrating and scary. At least once you know what’s going on you can start treatment. I hope you stay well too, Eileen!

  5. Hi Jennifer, the abyss I know the feeling of that black hole very well. I can relate and will be looking for your next blog.

    I have been told I actually suffer with PTSD. I was so ashamed of having that label I didn’t tell anyone for years. This year I have been telling friends and neighbours without feeling I was a failure.

    Thanks for bringing this into the open.

    1. Abyss. It’s a good word for the experience. I’m glad you’re now able to talk about your situation, Susan. I do think it helps others to know they’re not alone. People do feel shame about it, but hopefully by bringing it out in the open it won’t feel that way anymore. Blessings to you in the New Year!

  6. God bless you. I have had panic attacks for many years. Not as bad as your attacks. Thank the Lord you are better. Prayers.

    1. Thanks, Frances. I’ve had attacks (mild ones that were short-lived) in the past. But this was a doozy and I had no idea what was going on! Thanks for your prayers!

  7. Was just wondering if you had taken a flu shot or any preventive shots ? I’ve never taken those
    So glad that the Lord is with you and you are better.

    1. Hi Linda, I’ve never had a flu shot. I’m one of those people who don’t really like medications and take something only when really necessary. Even after last year’s wicked flu, I didn’t get a flu shot this year. I do however use a lot of hand sanitizer now! 🙂

  8. I too suffer from anxiety, it started when my husband broke his back and I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our second child… She is 23 and my anxiety is so much better than it was but it is still a part of who I am. Thanks for sharing your journey. Happy New year! karen…

    1. Karen, I hope your husband is okay today! That must’ve been rough being pregnant with him out of commission. You are so right when you say that anxiety is “part of who I am.” I had to come to that realization as well … and that I’m still okay regardless. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  9. Thank you for sharing. Mine came in the form of panic attacks. Fortunately, with an astute doctor, loving family and self awareness, they are a thing of the past. I think sharing is a big step forward in healing. God Bless!

    1. Linda, so glad to hear your attacks are a thing of the past. Having the right doctor is key. I ended up switching physicians because of this ordeal. It was the best thing I could’ve done at the time. Hope you have a blessed New Year!

  10. I too suffer greatly with anxiety. Mine started after a miscarriage 15 years ago. Some days are still worse than others. It is so kind of you to share your story publicly. It helps to know that we’re not alone and what we experience isn’t all in our heads. So glad you’re doing better. Looking forward to your next post about your experience. Thank you.

    1. Shelly, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m so sorry about your miscarriage – I know that wasn’t easy. One thing can set off anxiety and I hope that you have more good days than bad. You’re definitely not alone!

  11. Anxiety is a horrible thing. It’s one of those ailments that when you mention it to someone who has never dealt with it, their eyes glaze over and you can almost hear them thinking, “hypochondriac”! It’s a real deal and hard to live with unless you medications. Glad you are sharing your journey with us. Glad you are to the point that you can.

    1. Donna, I admit I smiled when I read your comment. I kept telling everyone I was becoming a hypochondriac when I went through this ordeal. We used to joke about what the doctor was writing in my chart. Thanks for your kind words, I definitely couldn’t have shared this story 6 months ago.

  12. Thanks for allowing us to hear your journey. I have anxiety which seems to be getting worse. I’ve just started experiencing heat like you’ve just described so I’m very intrigued and look forward to your next installments of your story. Be well.

    1. Hi Catherine!

      That heat! That’s what really confused me. I never knew it was a symptom of anxiety. I currently take medication which made the heat go away (I’m going to talk more about that in an upcoming post). It was a huge relief to find the heat was anxiety-related and not something worse. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you feel you need it. A lot of people are dealing with anxiety – my doctor said he’s seen a consistent rise in cases over the years.

  13. Thank you for being willing to share your experience. There are many of us who suffer because of the stigma of a mental illness when it should be looked at as any other sort of illness! The more those of us who “seem normal” open up to others the quicker the stigma will disappear.

    1. Cheryl, that’s my hope as well. That more people start talking about it so those that suffer don’t feel they’re weird or strange. I think we’d all be surprised to find out who actually struggles with anxiety on a regular basis. 🙂

  14. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am on meds to help me deal with anxiety/panic attacks. Everyday life can be a huge struggle. I am a single parent, which is very stressful even for those who do not live with anxiety. I worry constantly about my health because the only person I can rely on at the end of the day is myself. I have to get up, get dressed and go to work and try to function to the best of my ability on a daily basis. I try have an optimistic outlook on life, but you know how anxiety has a way of putting doubts, fears, and worry in your thought process every chance it gets. Before I began taking meds for my anxiety, I would wake up in the middle of the night panicking so bad that I struggled catch my breath. Anxiety is exhausting and mentally draining. People who do not have it, do not understand the struggle. It’s real and can be debilitating.

    1. Bless you, Wendy! I was a single mom for 10 years and I know how challenging that role can be – add anxiety on top of it all and yes, it can definitely be debilitating. Single parents need to be doubly strong for their children which doesn’t leave a lot left over to take care of yourself. I’m very happy to hear you’ve gotten treatment though. It sounds like you’re handling it in a healthy manner – having an optimistic outlook. But you’re right – anxiety can unexpectedly take that from you. I don’t know if you’re a spiritual person or not, but for me, relying on God’s strength when I’m weak is a game changer for me. I had a lot of talks with Him during this ordeal. I hope you’re able to find ample comfort and joy! Thanks for sharing your story!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing! And, I’m very glad you are now feeling ok. It helps so much to hear other people’s stories and know that you are not alone.

  16. Jennifer, thank you for writing about this. I could write a book on what I went through, it took a few years for me to feel better and medication is one thing that helped me… and still does. I have depression and a few anxiety disorders. I openely talk about this to friends and strangers alike. There is no shame in having the brain not work properly. I find so many people have gone through some form of anxiety and/or depression in their lifetime.

    I’m sorry you went through this, it is the worst illness to experience. I’m glad you’re doing better.

    A happy and healthy New Year to you and your family.

    1. Hi Christine! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m on medication too and thought I’d never be someone who took a pill every day. But it definitely helps so I’m sticking with it. I’ll write more about that in a future post. And you’re right, there’s no shame in the brain not functioning properly – after all, it’s a biological part of our body. I’ve certainly learned a lot from this new journey! Thank you for talking to others about it! People need to know they’re not alone, or feel like they’re weird because of it. 🙂

  17. I suffer from terrible panic attacks at first when i would go to the emergency room they thought i was having seizures and after many test and a three day stay in the hospital, it was determined panic attacks brought on by anxiety attacks. I am on a med for the rest of my life to help with the anxiety attacks ever once in a while the doctors will try and reduce the dosage and that throws me into attacks so bad that one day i was home alone and had to call the ambulance. so now i am on the same dose being monitored every 3 months by the doctor,It is a scary journey.

    1. Hi Stella,
      Thank you for sharing your experience! It is scary – and probably the worst part is not knowing what’s wrong. At least with a diagnosis, you can start treatment. I’m glad you’re continually being monitored. Some people are afraid to seek treatment (understandably so). I hope you do well with your treatment program. May God bless you.

  18. My heart goes out for all of you commenting and Jennifer as well. Thank you all brave women for your stories.
    It is interesting and helpful to read each persons story and how it began. You feel so alone in this journey-and this is so supportive.
    Mine began when my son passed away. After suffering sudden cardiac arrest, and an 8 day coma with me by his side 24×7, he passed. I have the signs of PTSD from the horrible experience and a year of shock. I have anxiety-new for me. I am so tired, especially after I have to “act normal” at social events or family gatherings. I have a new appreciation for actors-it’s exhausting.
    This is my world now-losing a child-he was a young adult) will never go away, and for what it is worth, I have a diagnosis and a cause. But I know how you all feel, and well, it just plain sucks. Love to you all-and keep on the fight.

    1. Oh Sandy, I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through and what you face on a daily basis. I wish I could give you a big hug right now! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I get what you’re saying about having to “act normal” at events. That’s got to be really tough and must take all your strength. I don’t even know what to say but please know my heart reaches out to you!

  19. Thank you for sharing your story. Anxiety runs in my family and tears it’s ugly head in so many different ways. It is extremely important to share this information to help quell the stigma of mental health. I look forward to reading the rest of your journey. Thank you for your openness and honesty.

    1. Hi Charlotte! I’m finding that anxiety exists in greater levels than I originally imagined. I hope your family members are able to cope with it as best as possible and are seeking help – it definitely can be better. Encouragement and support go a long way, as I’m sure you’ve already discovered. 🙂 Blessings to you and your family!

  20. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jennifer. I, too, suffer from anxiety and it has gotten much worse after the death of my beloved father earlier this year. I am very interested in your journey as I believe others (myself included) will be helped simply by not feeling alone but also we can learn from your experiences on things that helped you. Thank you for having the courage to speak out.

    1. Hi Gail! So sorry to hear about your father’s passing. One more stressful thing can definitely increase anxiety. Everyone’s treatment and journey will be different, some will be similar, but it does help to talk about it. I found others in my life who suffered from anxiety and I would’ve never guessed they were dealing with it. It helped me to hear their experience with it and decided it was time to share my own story. 🙂 I hope it will help!

  21. Thank you for sharing your story about anxiety, Jennifer. I have had only two anxiety attacks in 10 years but that was enough. I can’t imagine dealing with it on a daily basis as you and some of your commenters do. I have friends who deal with it and family who do, but have not been diagnosed. They suffer a lot try to get through each day. I’ll look forward to your future posts and how you are coping with it. God bless you!

    1. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story, Pamela. I experienced short bouts of anxiety in the past as well, but they’d quickly go away. What happened last year was entirely different and really threw me for a loop. I hope your friends and family will seek treatment. I’m going to talk about that in an upcoming post – it’s not as scary as some may think it will be – and treatment can be different from one person to the next. 🙂

  22. Jennifer, Thank you for sharing this hard health journey. After reading the notes, I can only pray for you as I am placing your whole body under the power of our Lord! I declare a mighty healing in the name of Jesus as He is the only one who can do it. Thank you Lord!

    1. Thank you so much, Cruzita. I do believe in Jesus and the power of His healing and salvation. A lot of my journey with anxiety has to do with my relationship with God – which I plan to share in an upcoming post. Thank you for your prayers – it truly means a lot to me.

  23. It has to be incredibly hard for you to open up and share your journey about this. Bless you for being brave and sharing your story. I can’t believe how prevalent anxiety disorders are! I have close family and some friends that are dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. I will read your posts with great interest and thanks, once again, for sharing~

    1. Hi Susan! I felt like God was leading me to tell my story, so it’s truly His strength that has given me the courage. 🙂 I too am surprised by the number of people battling the demons of anxiety and panic attacks. I fear it’s a consequence of the pace at which we live. Thanks for your kind words!

  24. I just now opened my emails and when I saw your post got so excited that I immediately opened it first!! Thank you SO MUCH for bringing this darkness to light. When we choose to give our lives to Jesus what happens to us is always for the sake of others. I suspect your whole story is evidence of that. I applaud your bravery.

    1. Thank you, Deb! You’re right – following Jesus is about sacrifice. I know someone who’s battled cancer and she has such strong faith it just radiates from her. She said that if God can use her experience with cancer to help someone else, she’s happy to be that person. She’s just truly amazing and I thought about her a LOT while going through this battle with anxiety. Thanks for your support – I’m truly grateful to know you!

  25. I too have anxiety but mine is a little different and i am so sorry you have it. It so feels like i am out of control and stuffing my stomach to make it stop. It’s been about 10 yrs.i take med. for it and as i age it is better. I is amazing how many people have real problems.You will be in my prayers.

    1. Hi Marlene – I’m sorry to hear you’re a fellow sufferer! It’s encouraging to hear that as you age it gets better. We never know what other people are going through – I’m trying to be a kinder, gentler person these days! You’ll be in my prayers as well!

  26. I do not how these work but I recently heard about weighted blankets for anxiety. I have been looking into them but there are such a variety and prices.
    For now I try to do yoga and some form of exercise each day. I also take magnesium and drink enough water so that I am hydrated (I do not know if that helps–but I do it just the same).
    This past few months have been hard too as I lost someone very important to me– my father. This was just two months ago.
    I am concerned about my mother (as she has a serious health issue) and then there are other things going on in life.
    I hope that things get better for you. All the best for 2018.

    1. I don’t remember life without anxiety. I had it before kindergarten but didn’t know it wasn’t “normal.” It wasn’t until my mid 40’s when my doctor asked if I would want my kids to live like this that I finally accepted medication. My brain and the worrying has finally slowed down.

      1. Oh wow, Jennifer. I hate the thought of children having to suffer from anxiety, although I know many do. I’m so glad to hear you were open to medication and are better today. Thanks for sharing your story!

    2. Hi Maureen!
      I had heard about weighted blankets too and ordered one shortly after I started my ordeal with anxiety. I love mine and sleep with it every night. It helps calm my legs – anxiety often causes weak, shaky legs. Even though my legs no longer feel that way, I still sleep with the blanket at night.
      Here’s a link to the one I purchased – it’s super soft!

      I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your father and the struggles your mom is facing. Doing yoga will help relax you so that’s a good choice!

  27. Jennifer,
    While I’m sorry that you’ve gone through this, I think you’re brave for sharing your experience. Thank-you, I hope that all will be well for you.
    Best Wishes

    1. Thank you, Penny! I felt like I needed to share my story, certain that there are many others out there battling with anxiety! And I know many of them have it much worse than me. I hope they’ll get help so life can be better!

  28. Hi Jennifer,
    So many responses! First, I’d like to share with you that I believe in the power of prayer. But, what was so strange that I participate with lots of bloggers and each time you send a blog I feel obligated to pray for you. I didn’t know why I just obeyed. I pray you and all your viewers get strong and healed in Jesus’ name! 🙂
    Linda C.

    1. Linda, your comment has deeply touched me. God moves in mysterious ways and He knew I needed lots of prayers last year. Thank you for obeying Him – your prayers truly made a difference in my life and for that, I thank you!! I thanked God for you before going to bed last night. Blessings to you, my fellow sister in Christ!

  29. Jennifer, I too thank you for sharing your experience. I think that as women we do this well. It is right to talk about it when we are ready and bottling it up leads to further problems. Like many other women who have replied I too have a story, not mine but my husband’s. His problems began 30 years ago with mild bouts of anxiety which over the years became depression then he was diagnosed as Bi Polar. It didn’t end there over time it became obvious there was far more going on than depression. It was hard to get a diagnosis as he would no talk about it to any doctor or myself. In the early 2000s he began wandering off and turning up 10 kilometres away. I have some horrendous stories from that time period. Eventually it cost him his job and career when he was forced into early retirement in 2011. The behaviour just got worse and we were seeing psychiatrists every week. The stress he was putting himself under caused him to have a stroke in 2013 and it was subsequently discovered that he was schizoid and had been hearing voices for some time. He became violent and was put into care for a short while. I give thanks to the most wonderful doctor at the hospital who sorted him out. She did more in a couple of days than private psychiatrists did in 20 years. He now lives at home, is heavily medicated but does not function fully as an adult. I am so blessed that I have 2 wonderful adult children who help out. When I went through breast cancer 2 years ago it was my son who stepped up and filled his father’s role whilst my daughter took on the running of the house.

    For years we, at his insistence hid all of this. I always had an excuse for us not being able to attend a function or for not going somewhere. So many lies were told until one day just after I started a new job, I just gave up and told the truth and I have done so since. If he had of admitted his problems I truly believe he would have received assistance in his workplace and would still have some semblance of a career. My point here is that we do need to talk about these mental health problems that plague some of us. There is no disgrace and talking to someone or writing about the issue does help, trust me I know. There is good in most people and those people are accepting and care. If they don’t, you don’t want them in your life.
    As women we are often not kind to ourselves we take on too much and and blame ourselves when things are not perfect. So, kind to yourself.
    We do not know each other but I read every issue of your blog from Australia. xx

    1. Omigoodness, Alison! You’ve definitely walked a rocky road in your life, but it sounds like you came out stronger through all of it. You’re lucky to have a supportive family – your children sound amazing! Finding the right doctor is really critical to getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. Through my experience and my husband’s illness a few years ago, I’ve learned a lot about physicians and their offices. It’s so important to actively manage your health care and turn to a new resource if needed. Thanks for sharing your story, and thanks for being a faithful reader! Blessings to you and your family!

  30. Jennifer, I’ve started about a million sentences, but they do not convey what I want to say. So, let me just say that i admire your honesty and am sorry to hear you had such a hard time. My husband has anxiety attacks, and I completely understand your feeling of not wanting to be alone. I’m also glad to read you’re doing much better.

    1. Hi Nancy! I hope your husband is okay! I really am doing much better and for the most part, feel back to my old self before this all began. But sometimes I feel like it’s still there – hovering over me and ready to descend. I know I just need to put more time between that awful episode and feeling better. 🙂

  31. Thanks so much for sharing this! I too over the last year have suffered with extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I on my way to recovery as well.

    1. Hi Jessica! It makes me happy to hear that you’re on your way to recovery! Getting the right treatment is often a process but so worth it in the end when you find a solution!

  32. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to the rest of your story. I too, am a sufferer of anxiety and panic. Learning to manage is tough.

  33. Jennifer, I also want to thank you for sharing this. I have dealt with anxiety and depression which does run in my family. I can totally relate to having to “act normal”, like nothing is wrong, just trying to get through each day is an exhausting struggle. But now, with medication, I’m doing great. I’m so happy you got help and are doing better. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

    1. Hi JoAnne!
      I’m so happy to hear you have your anxiety and depression under control! It’s certainly no fun struggling just to get through the day.

  34. Jennifer, Than you so much for telling your story. I too have struggled with anxiety and depression. It has changed me but that is ok…’s part of who I am and allows me to be a more compassionate person. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey. God bless you! Denise

    1. Hi Denise,
      I agree – it does change you. But that doesn’t mean it has to change you for the worse – as you pointed out. I’m glad you were able to turn a bad experience into something positive!

  35. Thanks Jennifer for your openness & honesty
    In sharing about your anxiety. I can certainly relate…as I’ve lived with anxiety for 30 years.
    And 30 years ago, no one wanted to talk about the subject. I’m sure glad that that has changed now & one doesn’t have to feel so alone. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.
    Hugs, Christine D.

    1. Wow Christine,
      I never knew! You just never know what people deal with on a daily basis. I truly hope you have your anxiety under control. Thanks for sharing!

  36. I’m truly sorry you too suffer from anxiety. I understand because I have suffered all my life. It’s under control now but WHAM! It still happens because we live. Keep talking. We’re listening.

  37. Hello Jennifer,
    I don’t even know where to begin and even though I am only a regular reader of your blog, I feel I must tell you about my own story. It goes back twenty something years. It is impossible to mention all the details, all the causes that lead to my illness, but now, being so much more experienced, I can clearly state that this terrible monster was nothing else than a long, long period of learning. Learning a lot about myself, about my life, about how our brain and body works and how I should live my life. Anxiety and depression have been great tutors, I can tell, and if it weren’t for them, I may not be the person I am right now and may not have such a gorgeous family and so many other things that I can be so grateful. It has been a long way and extreme work, but believe me, there’s a way out and I am sure you will find it, too! Although I am not an expert, I have learned so much about this and at this point of my life, whenever anxiety tries to knock on my door, I just smile and open it wide. ( It shows up very very rarely, and leaves very soon without any success… 🙂 )As long as you don’t try to push your door from inside, anxiety will never want to break into your home! 😉 This was something so easy to imagine, yet so difficult to do, but at the end, I managed to do so, and my whole life changed. Best of luck to you, I will come and read about your journey. Everything is going to be just fine!
    Best wishes, Melinda

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Melinda. I’m glad you’ve been able to master your battle with anxiety! Your story brings hope to many people. 🙂

  38. Jennifer I am so glad you are sharing your story. I have suffered from panic attacks and anxiety since I was 12. I am now 52 🙁 During my teen years I was housebound with agoraphobia, but after successful counselling and exposure therapy I was able to resume a somewhat normal teenage life. Later, in my early 30’s my need to have control over something lead me down a nearly deadly struggle with anorexia, again intensive counselling and therapy helped me heal. Over the years I have learned to hide my day to day anxiety, and still have several specific phobias, the occasional panic attack, and constant worry that keeps me from fully enjoying my life. As a personal choice, I do not take medication however do not rule that out in the future. Again, thank you for sharing your journey!

    1. Hi Maureen,
      I’m sorry that you’ve suffered from anxiety for so long. But I’m glad you were able to manage it through therapy and counseling. I do take mild medication for mine and it’s helped immensely! Thanks for opening up to share your story!

  39. As an RN I can tell you that many many people suffer from anxiety. I did myself for 30 years. During menopause which I have been done with for 10 years anxiety became worse I finally got medication to help me. As an RN I thought I could work myself through without medication. Well that did not happen.

    Best Wishes

    1. Hi Pamela,
      I too had to learn I couldn’t deal with anxiety on my own. I do take medication and it helps immensely! Anxiety is more prevalent than I would’ve imagined. I’m glad you were able to get help!

  40. Do you think you touched on something….look at all the comments! For now I will just say I hope I never ever ever get that hot burning flu.

    1. I don’t wish that flu on anyone!! It was worse than labor! Ugh. Yes, I guess I did touch on something. My sister told me I’d probably be surprised by how many people suffer from anxiety. She was right. I’m just sorry to see so many people struggle with it. Makes me wonder if our society’s fast pace has something to do with it.

  41. Jennifer, I’m so sorry to hear that you have had to deal with this too. I’m anxious (poor choice of words LOL) to learn how you are making out now. I have had anxiety since I was a child, it manifested differently at different ages, the worst was a 5 year period of agoraphobia. Then I found (through a cousin who started with it too) a doctor that knew how to do more than offer valium (never took it)–it was life-changing-to a point! It never ceases to amaze me how symptoms are different from one person to the other and even how they can change over time. I look forward to reading how you are doing and how you have been helped. God Bless