As a small child my dad used to call me a worry wart jokingly because I worried about everything. I spent so many of my afternoons in fear of the night because I was scared I would not be able to fall asleep. In grade school I was always completely worried I would be late for class or my parents would forget to pack my lunch. Even before the age of ten I was constantly concerned certain friends on the playground liked me and thought I was a fun girl to play with. This was all before my bike accident, all before I would live a life with chronic pain. People with chronic pain often ask themselves what came first: chronic pain or anxiety as the two are so closely connected. Most people with chronic pain suffer from either anxiety or depression. After much thought and some therapy I have come to the conclusion that I have always had anxiety and chronic pain has only intensified my anxiety issues. The good news is that many of my coping strategies for chronic pain also work for anxiety: exercise, meditation, distraction, laughter, music, eating healthy, yoga, and therapy. The bad news is that just like chronic pain sometimes I have a very difficult time controlling my anxiety. This has been the case for the past few days. One of the ways you know you are suffering from anxiety is when you are so crippled by worry but have nothing in particular you are worried about. This happened to me a few nights ago and I was kind of shocked as it has been such a long time panic took over me as it did. I had put my daughter to bed, read for an hour or so and turned over my phone so as not to see the time. All of a sudden my heart started pounding and I had that awful panic feeling but I could not put my finger on anything I was worried about. I was very relieved to wake up the next morning and start over however since that night circumstances have occurred in which worry has become real. There are certain things in my life right now that I am truly worried about and yet have not much control over.
Anxiety causes pain to increase which often times causes anxiety to increase…..it is like a circle of hell. Logically, I know everything will be fine. Logically I know I need to focus on today and be so appreciative for everything I have but that worry keeps knocking on my little head. I will be honest, my biggest worry is getting pregnant: which is no secret to anyone who has been reading my blog. I realized recently that this has been a worry for me since I was a little child. I remember hearing about someone I was close to that was not able to have kids and even as a nine year old this freaked me out like nothing ever had. My dream since I was a little girl was to be a mother. Since I was nine I have had two miscarriages but also given birth to a wonderful daughter who is now two. Obviously, I am very able to get pregnant and yet I still worry. I came across this quote today and knew I had to write about worrying.
“Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.” How true!!!!
I will snap out of this worry cycle quickly and until then I am able to enjoy life. How odd is it that if I did not have my bike accident and been suffering from chronic pain for so long I may not have the tools I need to manage my anxiety?! I am not totally ready to say I am thankful for brain surgery and chronic pain but I am at a point of being thankful for what it has taught me and the coping mechanisms I have. Chronic pain and anxiety are so connected and I am fortunate to know how to get through the hard days and hopefully able to help some (I wish all) of my readers as well.