Monday, July 2, 2012


I guess you could say I have been dealing with anxiety since childhood.  As a child, I worried a lot.  About storms.  About getting food poisoning at new restaurants.  About getting spinal meningitis.  For the longest time, I just figured that anxiety was a part of my life and it didn't need to be dealt with.  I would have rough patches, like my junior year of high school when the fear of vomiting at school caused me to miss nearly the entire last month and also eat only small bites of food.  "Are you anorexic?"  "No, just scared of throwing up in public."  Sounds silly, but that was my life.  Then months and even years would go by where my day to day life was not affected by my fears and worries.

Most recently, just two years ago, I began dealing with low blood sugar and it caused me to not "feel real."  It's hard to describe, but it feels like I am dreaming, only I am not dreaming.  For me, this causes me to panic, so then a low blood sugar episode turns in to an anxiety episode or even panic attack.  Fun times.
At first, it also made me feel very isolated.  I just assumed that no one felt this way but me.  That I must be "crazy"   <---- also a symptom of my form of anxiety.  But, through sharing how I feel, I have found out that there are quite a few people, especially women, that feel this exact same way.  This serves as comfort to me.  And, in addition to sharing helpful tips on dealing with anxiety and panic, I would also like these posts to serve as comfort for others that feel similar and perhaps even a place to share thoughts and feelings.  My goal is to make this blog a mixture of what I get asked about most often on a daily basis.  And, while fitness and nutrition are a big part of that, I also get tons of questions about how I deal with my anxiety.  I also feel that they all go together in the mind/body connection.
Back to not feeling real.  I can now tell the difference between a low blood sugar episode and when I am not feeling real due to anxiety, hormones or just being tired.  Thanks to my fantastic psychiatrist, dealing with the anxiety triggers are getting easier all the time.  

How I deal with low blood sugar:
I eat.  Something with sugar plus a protein.  Chocolate milk and nuts.  Graham crackers with peanut butter.  If out, a nice little drive-thru burger and coke.  Anything to get my blood sugar up.  If it has gotten really low, I usually feel nauseous, too, and don't want to eat but have to force myself to.  A short rest (couch or bed) is ideal.

How I deal with not feeling real due to anxiety:
After 2 years of cognitive behavioral therapy, I have a whole bag of tricks.  One of my favorites requires asking myself questions.  Here is an example of my internal dialogue:

Give me three reasons why you are real:
Ummm...I feel hot.
People that aren't real don't feel hot.
My bug bite itches.
If I weren't real, I wouldn't be itchy.
I'm teaching a Pilates class where 5 people are doing everything I say.
If I weren't real, they wouldn't hear me.
Okay.  Give me one reason you aren't real.
Ummm...I can't.

And that is how it goes.  Sounds silly, but for me it works.

Do you ever not feel real?  What causes it for you?  What helps you?

Thanks for reading!


  1. Sally- I never would have guessed you deal with anxiety! You seem to have a good grip on it, but I know it's a daily process.
    I've had anxiety issues, along with OCD, since I was a little girl. It took me a long time to realize that health problems (I have hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia)are directly related to my anxiety and OCD. I know what foods are kind to me, and what foods I should avoid. It's definitely a day to day struggle, but I appreciate how honest you are about your anxiety. It helps to hear how other people live with it! (:

    1. Glad you read the post and liked it. My anxiety is health related, too, with low blood sugar and my inner ears. It's funny how everything works together. I do have a pretty good handle on my anxiety now, but even at my worst moments, I was pretty good at putting on a brave face, which in the long run makes it worse, I feel.
      I am definitely going to be sharing more about it due the the positive responses I have been getting. I am so overwhelmed with all of the support. Thanks!

  2. i really need to work on changing my negative thinking. i never think to do it when i am anxious :(..... i'm always so glad to find people out there that deal with this. it makes me feel like i am not the only one and that i can overcome this or at least deal with it. i think it's here for all my life so i need to realize that and know that no matter what i will be and i am ok.

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Thank you for stopping by. What I have learned about anxiety is that the more I try to "get rid" of it, the more it is there. By learning to deal with it, changing my way of thinking, I am able to move on and be close to anxiety free. It may never be gone, but rather than being a mountain in my life it is a piece of dust :)
      You will be okay and you are definitely not alone! Keep checking in, I plan to blog about anxiety, panic and OCD fairly often to help all of us feel less alone and find tips we can use.


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