feel the fear and do it anyway

i’ve been dealing with some anxiety lately.

most of it is just general.


its usually because i am tired, or wake up in the middle of the night and feel like i can’t breathe. then it just spirals. i get more anxious because i feel like i can’t breathe {allergies and colds are not good}.

lately, there’s a lot going on in my brain that makes it tough to get a handle on the anxiety.

on sunday morning, i was up from 2 am until almost 5 am feeling so anxious.

the little guy got sunburned {which, of course, i had mom guilt about} and woke up hurting at about 1:50 am on sunday morning. i went upstairs because i heard him crying. ryan was in bed with him, and we tried to settle him so he could get back to sleep. he wakes up with dry feet and hands often, so he needed lotion, which i didn’t think to pack. he didn’t want the lotion with aloe that we just bought, so ryan and i both tracked some down. eventually, the little guy got back to sleep.

i, however, did not. i have weaned myself off of my general anxiety medication, but when i get tired or stuffed up, anxiety creeps in. its weird, but it all started when i was pregnant. i had trouble breathing because i got so stuffed up and the babies were pushing into my lungs. i really only get the attacks at bedtime or if i wake up in the middle of the night. i was up until 4:45 am…the thought of lacing up my running shoes and going for a run outside with odyssey finally calmed me enough to get to sleep for a while.

last week was a hard week of dealing with it…ryan was gone, i was tired, and it was just a vicious cycle of not enough sleep and then having the anxiety at night.

life is so good, but sometimes it gets really hard.

i really don’t want to go back on medication, but the nighttime anxiety is really tough. i mean, really tough. and, so many thoughts run through my head that just make it harder.

we’ve got a trip coming up later this month.

we are flying across the country.

in my 20’s i became less and less a fan of flying. cannot pinpoint a trigger, but i would rather not fly if i can drive. since kids, there is another dynamic involved. at least when i was flying alone, i could just focus on MY feelings and sometimes sleep or get engrossed in a book. now, so much of the flight involves taking care f what others need, that it just becomes tiring…which adds anxiety in my case.

not to mention, the last time we flew home from new york, i blacked out on the plane. we were, luckily, flying first class and in the front row. i started to feel hot, nauseated, and sweaty, so i got up to go to the bathroom. as i was coming out of the bathroom, i blacked out. a flight attendant was right there to “catch’ me. apparently, we hit the cockpit door. i woke up on the floor with the flight attendant talking on the phone to the pilot telling him that everything was ok, and there was just a medical issue.

yep, on that flight, i was there person who the announcement came over the intercom that said, “is there a doctor on the plane?” thankfully, there were three doctors. they took my pulse and BP, which was VERY low. they gave me oxygen. i felt very weak.

ryan and the kids were sleeping. eventually, ryan woke up and figured out what was going on. i made it back to my seat after assuring the flight attendant that we did not need to land early. we were about 1-1/2 hours from portland, and i figured it was best to just get home.

before we landed, they asked if i needed an ambulance to meet the plane. no way.

ryan kept asking how much wine i had to drink. he thought i just had too much of the free wine in first class, but when we got home i was sick with the stomach flu all the following day.

since that trip, i have flown to colorado by myself once.

right now, thought of getting on an airplane to fly across the country causes a lot of anxious feelings.

i really don’t want to do it…for a lot of reasons. the thing is, i have to. my kids want to go. we will be there for the little guy’s birthday, and i don’t want to be away from him for his birthday. ryan wants to see his grandfather. the kids want to see their grandparents and cousins. ryan has never flown or driven long distances with both kids. i am sure he could handle it, but i need to be with them.

its a terrible feeling. i wish it would go away.

the other night when i had the anxiety it started because i felt like i was a terrible mom for letting my kids get sunburned. then i felt terrible that in my last minute packing, i forgot to pack lotion. then i started thinking about the other trips we have planned for the summer and what if i mess something up with those trips.

what if i don’t pack everything we need?

how am i going to handle the long flight?

how am i going to handle the long drive?

is everybody going to get along?

what if they don’t?

what if i need some quiet time for myself?

what if i mess something up?

what if i let somebody down?

i know i was tired after a long week of single parenting. packing, driving, and taking care of the kids {and both dog} on my own the first day and a half in sunriver left me drained.

the truth is, i am so concerned about doing everything well. i don’t want to mess up for fear of being judged or criticized. i walk on egg shells worried about what others will think.

am i doing everything right?

am i meeting everyones expectations?

i pretty much go though life these days feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

there’s nothing wrong with that, right?

i was so happy to be in sunriver with the kids. i was so happy to be doing all the fun things i did with them. the dogs were happy, the kids were happy, i was happy. i was glad that i decided to go instead of staying home.

it was all worth it, but the anxiety is real. and it is hard.

life is so good, but sometimes it gets really hard.

home is…feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

9 thoughts on “feel the fear and do it anyway

  1. Kelly says:

    You made me cry. This me. All me. Though I’m still on my medication for my anxiety I have considered coming off. I am scared though. I’m always here if you need anything lady 😘

  2. kateheib says:

    This really hit home! I have had anxiety for a few years now. Mine hits the hardest when I haven’t slept much, or if I expect someone I love will be traveling. I’ve never gone onto any medication because I’ve been able to handle things alright so far; but I’m afraid I may some day get to that point. Life is very much about feeling the fear, but doing it anyways. Thank you so much for your thoughts!!

  3. kieravanella says:

    For years I suffered from debilitating panic attacks. I can so relate to what you’re going through. After trying unsuccessfully too many times, I’ve decided to stay on a low dose of medication. I’ve finally come to realize that this is truly biochemical…at least for me. It takes courage to face your fears and walk through them, but it is the only way to gain power over the anxiety. Thoughts and encouraging prayers being sent your way.

  4. Cindy says:

    My neighbor has two beautiful golden retrievers. One is THE most obedient dog I have EVER seen. (Yes, it gets the paper off the driveway in the morning.) Their other, younger, one is a total spaz….adorable, yes- just wild and unpredictable and overwhelming at times to deal with.

    There is nothing more amazing than a well mannered, good tempered dog.

    I actually think of this lady’s dogs when my mind starts to run off after “squirrels”. I visualize the two dogs..one so calm and content and completely tuned in to its master..the other dripping drool, panting, wild and obviously not listening to her owner at all..in fact totally disconnected..and ready to chase anything that moves.

    I know it sounds nuts, but comparing these two dogs and visualizing that beautiful, calm retriever really helps me when I have building anxiety.. I want to be like that good dog..I REALLY don’t want to be like that wild one…and yes, I am a Christian and I try to stay tuned to my “master.” The daily devotional “Jesus Calling” is a wonderful, short read every morning and frames the rest of the day for me. The more I listen to God, the less I am distracted.

    I think everyone at some point deals with anxiety..I did with flying..still do a little. You will be OK..

    Try to ignore those pesky “squirrels”. 😊

  5. lifeisawhirlwind86 says:

    It is so hard when your feeling anxious to just carry on as though everything is fine, you are so similar to me it is unreal I have a severe case of the what if’s and but’s and they appear to have control of me recently, i have recently started anxiety meds but am only a few days in and they don’t seem to do more than help me sleep, I’m glad I came across your blog and will use this when times are tuff so thankyou, it is really good to know I’m not the only one who constantly says what if or thinks of the worst case scenario to the detriment of my own sanity but I’m begining to learn from others it’s OK to be anxious and its how you deal with it that counts, today your blog has made a difference to my life thank you 🙂 x

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