Sometimes I have anxiety at night. It usually presents itself as the intense fear of danger to me and/or my family after something “triggers” it. The trigger could be as simple as a passing comment someone made, a news headline I read, or an event I narrowly escaped (like a spider bite or car accident). The fear generally shows up full force at night, though it always starts long before that.
This has been a very real thing for me since 2009 when I began having panic attacks after a traumatic experience. The level of fear and anxiety that I had back then has thankfully been gone since sometime near the end of 2010, but I have never been the same. The trauma has had a lasting effect.
Before 2009, nothing scared me; I was tough, plain and simple and I certainly never dealt with something as “weak” as anxiety (how I used to view it), but now….I know a completely different reality. It has, at times, seemed unconquerable, but I’ve come up with some management ideas, and I’m hoping that by implementing them, I can lessen the severity of the episodes.
Lately, because of pregnancy, I have been having more frequent episodes simply due to the fact that I wake at night so often (to use the bathroom or change sleep positions). I know that stress isn’t good for the baby, so I’ve attempted to focus my thoughts elsewhere but it’s really hard at night, in the dark and quiet and alone-ness of my room.
One thing I’ve found that sometimes helps is talking to husband or my daughter about a potential fear that I figure will turn into anxiety at night. I don’t point out the reason for my talking about it, I just talk about the fear in order to get it out in the open. Generally, this helps to reduce the effect later even if it doesn’t remove it completely. With this in mind, I think it could really help me to write/blog about episodes I’ve had after they happen (since they tend to repeat themselves if I don’t get a handle on them), as well as episodes I didn’t have, (that I thought I would) because this could help me feel a sense of achievement.
I want to get better. I really do. A big reason for my starting this blog was to have somewhere I can openly discuss anxiety so as to get it out in the open. In the daytime. In the light. I’m about to have a new baby and I want to ENJOY HER without the burden of night fear.
Do you struggle with anxiety, too? Have you found writing/blogging to be therapeutic? If so, how did you write about it?