Melissa’s Rap: The earliest symptoms of anxiety I can remember were in Elementary School. I didn’t know what they were at the time. I struggled with anxiety all the way through high school and college and into adulthood. I still suffer from anxiety, but I have come a long way and have learned how to manage it better. My anxiety became so prevalent at such a young age, that it didn’t occur to me until much later in life that not everyone experiences life in this way.
For those who do experience anxiety regularly, those experiences can vary drastically. For some, it comes and goes, is usually triggered by a stressful incident, and is for the most part manageable. Others, like me, seem to have it always underlying, just beneath the surface. Certain situations, experiences, and even people can trigger it, and those triggers and the symptoms they experience as a result vary from person to person.Continue reading →
Melissa’s Rap: Sometimes life throws us curveballs. Sometimes it feels like those curveballs are coming at us 90mph, one after the other and we can’t seem to stop them. We all cope with these curveballs differently. You may lock yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Someone else may binge watch eight shows on Netflix and refuse to answer any messages. Another person might pick up a bat and take those curveballs on to the best of their ability. Me? I go one of two ways: anxious manic doer or utterly useless sloth. Either I go into action and basically stop sleeping, or I become completely useless and choose something similar to option A or B above. Neither of which is really healthy or effective.
As I’ve gotten older, though, I have learned something. I have to do the work to tackle those curveballs and that means different things depending on the situation. But one thing is for sure… I have to implement some key coping methods to get me through it. Continue reading →
Sarah’s Rap: If you look at any truly successful, happy or healthy person you will notice that they do not stand alone. They are surrounded by people that love and support them. Synergy, one of my favorite words, is “the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.”* This is what a human support system can do for each of us. As this month of love closes behind us, continue to grow the love in your life by finding a Bert to your Ernie, a Brady Bunch to your Alice or a cheering squad for your own personal pep rally.
That all sounds well and good, you say, but how? Well, don’t despair! Sometimes the sources of love and reinforcement can surprise us. One thing I’ve learned in recent years is that just as one needs multiple pieces to build a puzzle, so does a support network requires multiple people of varying “shapes” to make your life feel complete and your own puzzle piece to feel surrounded and stable. That’s why it’s called a support “network”, not a “pair”. No one person can provide you will all the different types of support you may require, whether you are suffering from heartbreak, job loss, illness or just life’s general stresses. Continue reading →