Dealing with High-Functioning Anxiety :: Going From a “Complete Stop” to “Floor It”

How does a high-functioning anxious person go from 100% to being told to "stay put"?

As a mother of an older toddler and twin toddlers who also has high-functioning anxiety, telling me to stop is something I hate. I mask my anxiety by “flooring it,” and not stopping. I had to come to a complete stop when the pandemic happened and learn how to live with my anxiety. I had to work on myself, majorly, before I went through another green light again. I underwent EMDR therapy, routine therapy with another therapist, and continued to see my doctor. I had a team of women specialized in the perinatal/postpartum. I spent 14 months working on me.

I am ready to share my story.

Forever, I will be thankful for my prayers being answered, but it has not been easy. I prayed a while ago to help me love my life even more than I already do. I prayed to help me appreciate the blessings even more. I went through a journey I never thought I would go through. God sure does answer prayers.

I have always multi-tasked and worked on anything until I could not work on those things anymore. I have been that way since I started walking. If a toy broke because I played with it often, I would fix it. I was a daddy’s girl and still am. I am an oilfield baby of a hard-working father. I would shadow him and tinker on things around the house. I was also a girl who played with dolls but also the same one who strapped a pirogue to a rope with a four-wheeler … then off I went.

If something is broke, I would fix it, even if that certain thing is not mine.

Enter adulthood. I am still working… still fixing.

Work, work, work, but I love it. I was in media all together for nine years. I told someone when I was 15 years old that I would be a news anchor one day. I did not quite become that, but I became a woman on a mic (just not in front of the camera). I went to college for Broadcasting and never once changed my major. I fell in love with my career in radio so much so that when I became a mother, I did not know how to “take it all in” at first. I learned how to do it all, and when I thought, “I can do this!”, I became pregnant with twins. Typical me, I was in labor with my twins and was dialed into my laptop working on the radio station. Even still, I lived life moving at 100% all the time from being a mom, working out, eating healthy, and doing radio life. I even went back to work three weeks after birthing my twins.

Then, nationwide layoffs in my former company happened.

Then, the pandemic happened. How does a high-functioning anxious person go from 100% to being told to “stay put”? I figured out quickly how to stop.

stop signAn anxious person does not know how to sit still to begin with, high-functioning or not. When I am having a panic attack, I pace around. An anxious mom? Well, that is a whole other mountain. We must keep it together even when our emotions are running 100% mph. We must. Our babies are counting on us. If you are like me, your emotions and your physical self are running at the same speed.

How did I stop? How could I stop? Stopping allowed me to feel my anxiety even more and how to cope with it. I will be honest, I hated it. EMDR therapy is plain hard. I had to put my coping skills into place. I had to be okay with being uncomfortable at times. My depression even reared its ugly head during the process. I had to sit still at a red light for 14 months until God told me to go.

Fast forward to 2021 and an improved ‘Brittany.’

My career went from a complete stop to “floor it”. I did marketing jobs on the side during those 14 months, but I really worked on me during that time. Just when I got a job offer to get back into radio in March (ironic, right?), I had got offered a job to do marketing for an auction company. I chose to continue marketing.

God was going to give me a job that moved me more than radio ever did, I just did not know it yet back in 2020.

A panic attack for someone with anxiety goes from “complete stop” to “floor it” physically/emotionally. From sitting with the most uncomfortable part of myself, I was able to learn how to live and not mask my anxiety anymore. My current job now has me working more than I did in radio (which is crazy because I worked long hours and many tasks in radio).

Eventually a person with high-functioning anxiety does come to a stop. That is when it gets hard. I had to be strong for my babies, so I chose to love myself before I can “floor it” again.

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