We all have issues. Sometimes those issues are not outwardly apparent to others. My issue is anxiety. My horses keep me sane in a way that no one else can. Problem is, I can’t avoid interaction when my anxiety takes over. So, instead I surround myself with like minded individuals who understand where I am at when I have an attack. They know that when o have an episode, I need help. I need someone else to fill my shoes and help me to get through it. Anxiety is really hard to understand if you have never experienced it. Many people have it and try to cover it up. I will say that it has crippled me more than once.
Last night, I had a 4 hour episode that I’m sure was compounded over weeks if not months of issues. I felt like my heart might jump ship. I had pain. Lots of pain in my head , chest and arm. No sleep. I did not have random thoughts. It just hit me. I had to breathe through it and finally fell asleep. Lucky for me, I have great friends that stepped in to help me today. Normally, after an attack, I would stay in bed and shut off from the world. That was NOT an option today. But in the end, I realize I have awesome friends! They stepped up to be me. They helped me. They understood. I got the chance to just work with the mare by myself and focus just on that. I needed it. My lesson kiddo was covered and even loped in the big field!!!!
Anxiety is one of those things that is really hard to explain. It’s almost like a seizure. After a bad attack, you are drained. You can’t explain WHY it happened. Sometimes it’s just a compound of life. Sometimes it’s a rainy day. Seriously, anything can set it off. It’s draining. It can be painful. It’s embarrassing. It’s traumatic. However, you can live with it. I don’t think it will ever go away 100%. Learning to manage it is key. I can say that my horses are almost the only thing that can 100% calm me.
With this being said, I’d be happy to offer advice to anyone who is experiencing anxiety. I have lived with it for over 20 years. It is REAL. It can be crippling. And it’s OK. Take a day or two to recover. Write down what your trigger was. Or at least your thoughts leading up to the episode. I have found mindfulness helpful. Reach out!!!!! You are not alone!