Take no more. She practices her speech as he opens the door.

*I use “her” and “she” because I’m a girl.

How many of you feel like your partner doesn’t understand you?  How often do you and your partner argue because your partner tells you that you’re overreacting or that you need to “chill?”  How many of you feel hurt much of the time?  Worry that you’re paranoid?  Analyze every situation for fear of being caught off-guard by something unpleasant?

When a person has anxiety and her brain never stops thinking, she can never decide if the hurt she feels is warranted.  If she has been actually wronged or if it’s just her anxiety catastrophizing the situation.  She wants to be able to “just chill,” but for some reason she was specially picked by genetics or some higher power to have a brain that is in constant go mode.  Her brain MUST consider every option before making a decision for fear of missing something.  And even on that rare occasion that she can make a decision, she will still worry that she missed something and not be able to stop perseverating (I love that word) over “what if…”

I wonder if women that stay in abusive relationships have pre-existing anxiety or depressive disorders.  If one of the reasons they don’t leave is the consuming fear that they’re overreacting and will regret the decision because they’ve been told over and over that they make no sense, that they’re irrational.  I often find myself in situations (in various aspects of my life) that I think I should leave, but I don’t because I’m waiting for that one clear sign that is objectively, definitively wrong.  That no one could deny is wrong.  I rarely find anything objectively and definitively wrong.  Do we with anxiety put up with more assholish behavior because we worry that we’re overreacting?  Do some of the people in our lives know we’ll put up with it and act more like assholes because of it?  Do they know they’re hurting us?  Do they mean to hurt us?  I hope not.

I have no great wisdom. I have no answers.  So right now I do nothing, make no decisions, feel weak and worthless.  I re-post other, more inspiring blogs and listen to a lot of late 90’s/early 2000’s angsty female rock.

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What Helps? What Doesn’t?

So in the past seventeen years I have tried a myriad of therapy and self-soothing techniques to effectively live with the symptoms of anxiety.  In this blog I’m asking you to comment on what you’ve tried, what’s worked, and what’s been utterly useless in your journey to wellness.

The most effective strategies I’ve experienced have been EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and to some extent hypnotherapy.  I also take Pristiq 100mg which has been the most effective anti-depressant I’ve been prescribed.  I know many people that don’t believe that Pristiq works at all, but it works for me.

Strategies that have been less than effective have been regular talk therapy, couples therapy, Zoloft & Paxil, and distraction & avoidance.

So my hopes are that this post and its comments can be a forum for sharing our strategies in the spirit of helping each other.  We do not exist in isolation.  We are not “other”.  We are not weird.  We are not broken.  Please share, and let me know if this is helpful.