The physical symptoms that can come with anxiety are so bizarre. The past few weeks have been very busy but in a good way. I was not expecting the physical toll that I’m currently feeling.
I decided quite a while ago that I wanted to throw my husband a 30th birthday cookout. Originally it was going to be a surprise. I had it all built up in my head. It was going to be great. I was thinking through how to get him out of the house during the day, where everyone would try and park, inviting his friends from Dayton and making arrangements for where they could spend the night, etc.
Well…on top of us settling into the new house over the past few months, the stress that was coming with getting house projects done, both of our work situations, and him preparing to start grad school it was too much to hold in. I spilled the beans on the surprise but in the end was very happy that I did.
It can often take a lot for me to ask for help because my brain has this odd way of making myself feel like I need to take care of everything and do it all on my own. It is exhausting and there was no way I was getting all the house projects that I felt should be done before the party on my own. Luckily my husband and I make a pretty darn good team and were able to tackle things together. I have to laugh because in hindsight there was really no realistic way to pull a surprise party off.
Aside from him knowing about the cookout, he was still very excited that I had already reached out to some of his friends from Dayton. He doesn’t get to see them often and they too were excited to get together. Them deciding to come was awesome but did mean more house projects as I had offered for them to stay with us.
Leading up to the party I was a little anxious. I wanted to make sure everything was great and everyone had a good time. Our house guests arrived Friday evening and they were a huge help with chopping veggies, decorating, and the other last minute party prep. Those moments leading up to the designated start felt like time was standing still. One of our guests made the decision to take a quick nap and even though I would have benefited from doing the same I found myself sweeping random areas and other little things to keep myself busy.
People arrived and the party was great. Everyone had a great time and I even found myself being relaxed (or so I thought) and spending time with friends. I played corn hole, had some good food, held a baby, things were great. We woke up the next morning and went to brunch with our house guests before they hit the road. I had already decided I was going to take an afternoon nap, but otherwise was still feeling pretty good.
What I didn’t realize, was how much my body was holding the stress even when I was not feeling it. Even though my brain was telling me things were all good and my chest wasn’t feeling tight my body was still holding on to it. I woke up Monday feeling like I had hit a brick wall. I went to work and made it through my day but I was absolutely exhausted. When I got home from work that day I found myself having a mini panic attack. I had to take some medication that I have for those moments when my heart starts racing, etc. I don’t use it all that often but had to that evening.
When I get exhausted I get in my head big time. It can be frustrating because in those moments the things that I do to try and help manage stress go out the window.
I sit here a week later still feeling like I could crawl back into bed right now. However, I’m coming off of a weekend that was relaxing but also productive and one that I got to spend some time with my family and friends.
I’m thankful that I am in a place where I can recognize the “rebound anxiety”, as my husband named it, and try to do what I need to do so that it does not fully consume me. Even though it is tough, I have the ability to pull myself out of that fog and start my walk back down the stress mountain. I don’t have to live at the top.