Hello, anxiety. Why are you here?

Seems like my old companion is back for a visit.  Hope it doesn’t stay too long.

I had a very anxiety-filled night last night.  Kept having to go to the bathroom, couldn’t sleep, heart pounding/racing, scary thoughts that won’t listen to reason and won’t slow down.  In desperation, I took one of my Valerian herbal pills, which did help me calm down, but weren’t quite enough to relax me enough so I could sleep.  Last night I also learned that taking Valerian while breastfeeding is not the best idea, as it relaxed me to the point where it made my breastmilk almost impossible to let-down.  But, thankfully, Julia managed to pull it off when she woke at 1:30 to be fed, although it took at least 3 times as long as usual.  I was grateful to have her wake up so “early,” because I was really full since I hadn’t been able to pump.  God bless nursing, and God bless oxytocin.  That nursing session, with its accompanying oxytocin surge, combined with the fact that it was almost 2am, allowed me to finally fall asleep.

Lessons learned from Anxiety’s Reappearance in My Life:

  1. I need more sleep.
  2. I need to go to bed earlier. (Is there an echo in here?)
  3. I need to start my bedtime routine earlier.
  4. I need to exercise.
  5. I am still strong, and I will get through this, too.
  6. Thank God for nursing, and the accompanying good hormones.  Thank you, God.  Thank you.  That wondrous oxytocin really blunted the anxiety today.
  7. I am re-asserting my commitment to going to bed in a timely manner every night.

I pray that I can sleep tonight.  I’m exhausted, but still feeling a bit – edgy.  One of my personal fears about an anxiety attack like the one I had last night is the fear that it will happen again, and that I’ll not be able to sleep for a second night in a row.  Valerian is out for me now, so I’m just going to have to do this the old fashioned way — lying there until I fall asleep.

Good night.

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Edited to add: I got my light turned out by 10:20 pm last night, and praise the Lord, I was asleep within minutes.  And, get this, I slept until 6:44 am!!!  That’s over 8 hours, people!  (Way to go, Baby J!)  Do you know the last time I’ve slept 8 hours straight???  Well, neither do I!  It’s been at least over a year, probably longer!  I feel SO much better this morning.  Not totally anxiety-free, but definitely a lot better.  I’m just so tickled about 8 hours of sleep.  And, get this too — I even “exercised” this morning!  The recycling needed to be taken out, so I got my blood pumping hauling our bins way down to the road.  It’s a lovely hazy morning, and I feel pretty darn good.  Hope YOU have a great day, too!

PS.  I wish everyone’s anxiety issues were as easy to positively effect as mine.  I know that not everyone’s anxiety responds to sleep and exercise like mine do, so if you’re one of those people who struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, don’t think that I’m blithely saying that if you just sleep and exercise, you’ll be just fine.  I know that while sleep and exercise are always helpful, those two things aren’t the magic solution for everyone.

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