Coffee Talk: Living With Anxiety

Living With Anxiety featured by top US life and style blogger Alicia Tenise

Living With Anxiety:

I had an entirely different post planned for today, and then something happened last night. My 40-minute drive to my mom’s house after an event turned into a 2.5-hour journey. And no, I didn’t get stuck in traffic.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Yesterday, I was on my grind. I had a full day of meetings and spoke on a panel with a few other female entrepreneurs that evening. Everything was going pretty good. I wrapped my panel and was humbled by the people who came up and said “hi” afterward.  I was in full boss babe mode, and my confidence was at an all-time high.

And then, I stepped in my car to head home.
It was raining pretty hard yesterday, and while the rain stopped, the roads were drenched and it was a bit difficult to see. I’m 29-years-old: I’ve driven in the rain plenty of times in my life. Business as usual. 

About 15 minutes after I started driving, I start having trouble breathing. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I start having tunnel vision and my palms were sweaty. 

Oh my god. I was having a panic attack while I was operating a motor vehicle on I-95.

I did everything in my power to get to the next exit. I had to drive for five minutes while having an attack, but honestly? It felt like an eternity. I was certain that I was going to die last night, and it would have been my own fault.

I managed to get off the highway and pulled into a gas station parking lot. I called Tom and bawled my eyes out in my car. How did I go from feeling on top of the world at a panel to sitting in my car unable to function in the span of 20 minutes?

Oh, right. That’s exactly what living with anxiety will do to you.

My career as a full-time blogger is really odd because you essentially see a highlight reel when I post on my blog or social outlets. But behind the trips, outfits, and pretty photos is a real person. A girl who struggles with mental health. A girl who has some good days, and some horrible days. My anxiety can come out of nowhere, and the weirdest things can trigger it. There’s no rhyme or reason, and it can be pretty crippling. 

I’m not here to offer a solution to solving anxiety today. You should speak to a professional for that (and never be ashamed to ask for help). But I am here to say that if you also struggle with this, you’re not alone, and you have a friend in me

My kind and caring mother met me where I parked my car, and after I calmed down a bit, I followed her back to her house and we took backroads the entire way. I’m extremely thankful for my family and close friends who help me get through the rough patches. If someone truly loves and cares about you, they’ll understand and help you power through it. 

Just take it one day at a time, babes.

Photo by Tom McGovern

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