A note on anxiety
Patrick shares about his recent journey with anxiety
Hey everyone! We’re closing out July with a new podcast segment, an exciting partnership announcement, and renewed inspiration as we navigate the back half of 2023. Shout out to you for joining us here, new and returning readers — we couldn’t do this without you.
Today I’m going to talk about anxiety.
One of the biggest revelations I had in Korea was that I’ve been dealing with (or not dealing with) anxiety for at least the past three months. I’ve felt “off” in my head for a minute. I’ve struggled to figure out what the cause was.
At first I thought I was sick. I’d been meaning to go to the doctor anyways, so I scheduled an appointment and went in. I told the doctor what I’d been experiencing, specifically that my tinnitus had been truly noticeable in a way I hadn’t noticed before and that I thought there might be something to that symptom. After ruling out a number of things, he concluded that I wasn’t sick, but maybe there was something to the tinnitus.
We scheduled an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist to test my hearing. I went in and did the tests and discovered nothing amiss with my hearing; it all checked out.
This all went down about two weeks prior to my trip to Korea, and I decided I would just roll with it and deal with the consequences once I got back.
Now, when I say I was feeling off I mean that my head felt like it was holding a lot of tension. I’ve not struggled with headaches or migraines before, and this felt like some sort of headache. It wasn’t debilitating, it wasn’t really painful; it was just there and I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on. When I ruled out pretty much everything with the doctors, I assumed it would dissipate at some point.
So this tension, this feeling of “off”, followed me to Korea.
It was in that second week, during the mental breakthrough, that I realized I might be dealing with some sort of anxiety. All the emotions and revelations I had that day gave me a new perspective on what I was feeling in my head, and the only thing I could think was that it had to be some sort of anxiety (or mental stress/illness of some kind).
When I had this thought, it felt like my head cleared up for the first time in months. I felt renewed. I felt like I had gotten a handle on it and I could start moving forwards again.
Then I came back and it all went to shit.
As I shared last week, a lot of things went down upon my return from Korea. Some good, most not. And the feeling in my head returned and intensified.
Maybe it’s not anxiety, I thought. But I was still sure that’s what it was.
As the symptom did not dissipate, I decided it was time to return to the doctor to share what I thought was going on. I was tired of taking Excedrin as a reactive measure; I wanted to get an actual diagnosis and start treating it in a proactive, preventative way.
After sharing what I had been experiencing, the doctor agreed with me; this was some sort of low level anxiety. I told him I’d begun scheduling consultations with therapists and he was happy I’d done so. He then gave me some options: we can see how this progresses on its own or he could prescribe some low level medication and see how that worked.
I opted for the medication. Like I said, I was tired of running to the Excedrin every time a tension headache came on. I wanted to try something new. And for the past week, I’ve been taking a low level anxiety medication.
I think it’s been working well. I’ve only taken Excedrin one time since, and for the most part I feel more clear, which feels great.
Another piece of this treatment puzzle has been journaling. Since taking a step back from sharing publicly on my personal IG, I’ve started to journal my thoughts just for myself on my phone. It’s been a liberating practice, one tied directly to my own well-being and less about tailoring it for the general public. I don’t know why I wasn’t doing it before.
While I do miss sharing on my account, it’s been really freeing for me to remove myself from sharing in that way. And it doesn’t mean I’m any less a part of the community I’ve built; if anything, I can show up in better, more impactful ways. That’s important to me.
It’s important to find growth and follow it instead of rejecting it. That’s what my journey with anxiety has been: realizing I have so much more work to do on myself. And by doing this work, I can show up in ways I only told myself I was before.
I’m re-reading this right now thinking this probably seems really unimportant to folks struggling with more difficult things than you. That’s probably true.
If you are struggling with something, with anything, I hope you have community you can turn to, people you can lean on. And if you’re here right now, I hope you know you have community here if and when you’re ready for it.
You’re not alone in your journey, even at your loneliest moments.
And we need you here.
This week on Conversation Piece…
On this week’s episode of Conversation Piece, we dive into a new segment: The Mailbag! Patrick answers questions from you, our audience, about whatever you ask. We also give a brief recap of July and look ahead to what’s coming in August, including an exciting partnership announcement!
We’re excited to announce that we’re once again partnering with
Cold Tea Collective to help amplify the show for the month of August!
Check out their website: www.coldteacollective.com
And stay tuned for more info 👀👀👀
A good TED Talk
I really appreciate all of you here. It makes this journey easier knowing I have an incredible community I can lean on and reach out to.
If this is your last stop, thank you for your time.
If this is your first time, I hope you got something from this week’s share.
Regardless, I appreciate you all. See you next week 💙
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