Just realizing now that I haven't posted in over A YEAR!
I tell ya - life is too busy with a 19-month-old!
So, I'm about to get REEEEAL personal, here.
I think most people outside of my friend/family group think that my life is happy-go-lucky all the time.
I have a super cute, super happy kid.
My husband has a career that he LOVES.
I get to take pictures, AND GET PAID FOR IT?! (Still mind-blowing).
And I would be totally fine with you guys thinking it's perfect.
I would have no problem with that - IF I didn't feel so strongly about this one topic.
So bear/bare/bear/bare with me, while I get my feelings together, here.
If you knew me in high school, you know I was a very outgoing, very social, very care-free person - who really didn't give a damn what anyone thought.
I only wore socks to school; no shoes.
I said weird things to un-weird people.
I came to school with a lizard on my shoulder once, for pete's sake.
I really did have nooooo cares in the world.
For SOME REASON, when I turned 20/21 - that changed.
And this super constant companion joined my side - ANXIETY.
People often say they have anxiety lightly.
Like, "OMG, you're giving me anxiety."
Or "I have anxiety thinking about homework."
Basically, people relate it to worrying.
But this, ladies and gents, was - IS - not a word I use lightly.
It consumed me in the form of "health anxiety."
I thought I was dying. Often. Daily, even.
Every weird twitch and ache in my body was suddenly enhanced.
I became suuuuper hyper-sensitive to everything.
Even my eyesight was hyper-sensitive. Like I was in a real life video game.
I stopped being Amanda, and became one giant illness. (SORRY COLE!!!)
When I got pregnant with Seth, I swear God knew I needed a break.
My hormones balanced out, and I was calm Amanda again.
I was sick the whole pregnancy, but it was the sickest blessing I could ever have.
Fast-forward 9 months.
Seth was born.
AND OH MY GOSH I LOVE THAT KID.
He can't be real, I'm convinced.
But the health anxiety returned with a vengeance, and this time, I was panicking about TWO.
Every breath he took, every eye movement he made, every sound his throat produced led me into a complete panic.
It went from anxiety, to an absolute panic disorder.
I started having panic attacks during the night - waking to them.
I started being unable to breathe every time we were in the car.
My legs were ALWAYS going numb, making it hard to walk.
I started getting - what I now know as - "brain zaps".
The doctor has explained this to me as my brain trying to pull the hormones out so hard, that it leaves me with a shocking in my head. Constantly.
Which, in turn, left me light-headed. And dizzy. And really, really scared.
I went to doctor, after doctor, after doctor.
I was prescribed an inhaler, in case the shortness of breath was asthma.
I wore a heart monitor so they could track my panic attacks and brain zaps - and make sure my heart was ok.
I was prescribed Vitamin D - thinking maybe it was a seasonal disorder.
I had extensive nerve tests.
I cut out caffeine and sugar and bread.
Nothing was helping.
THE WORST PART - I said so, so, so many prayers. Never with any relief.
I was so angry.
Why would God let me have this trial???
OBVIOUSLY I wasn't handling it, so why was God giving me a trial I can't handle???
As time went on, I started to calm down.
I wasn't panicking - but my body was still having panic attacks.
My brain was calm, yet my body was panicking.
Like, ok, HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO FIX THAT?
One day, I fasted.
Ok. I YELL-fasted. But still fasted, none-the-less.
It went something like:
"WHERE ARE YOU??? I have done EVERYTHING I CAN, and I can't do it anymore!!! My husband is suffering, my mom is suffering, and I am OBVIOUSLY SUFFERING. I have tried everything in my power, and I have nothing more to try. PLEASE let a doctor find a way to help me. PLEASE!"
Around that same time, my mom's best friend referred me to a Nurse Practitioner.
And it saved me.
She prescribed me with an anti-anxiety medication that was specifically for me.
Hi, I don't like to tell everyone and their dog that I have to take anxiety medication.
But I think it's important.
Though anxiety is seen as an emotional problem - my problem is not emotional.
It is 100% medical.
And God has put doctors on this earth for JUST that reason.
I couldn't help myself - because I AM NOT A DOCTOR.
She explained it a lot like this:
If you broke your leg, wouldn't you go to the hospital to fix it?
My problem is the exact same.
I am not crazy, I am not overly-anxious. I am just a little bit broken. And needed medical help to fix it.
As I started to take the medication, some of the symptoms went away.
I no longer had numb legs.
I started to breathe better.
I was able to sleep through most nights without waking to a panic attack.
But I still had a few problems left.
I still this horrible foggy feeling in my brain (that never went away).
And I was still pretty down in the dumps.
But I decided to accept that.
I could probably learn to fight through these.
Two is easier to handle than 100.
One day, out of the blue, I felt like exercising.
After a few days of this - I FELT BETTER.
Not just my body - BUT MY BRAIN!
The foggy feeling left my head.
And I felt happy - ENERGIZED, for the first time in literal years.
AND GET THIS!!!
Every morning that I exercise - I feel perfectly FINE.
I feel like the old, spazzy, energetic, happy Amanda.
Moral of the story:
1. Doctors are on this earth to help with the things you can't help, yourself.
2. Fasting is real.
3. Exercise has saved my health, and my sanity.
Here is a free trial to one of the things that saved me: