Anxiety Stories: Annette W
Welcome to ‘Anxiety Stories!’ I (Laura of The Mindful Mom Blographer), started Anxiety Stories after I read Brene’ Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly’. In the book, Brown talks extensively about shame, which is something I think many people who suffer from anxiety feel – as well as feeling alone.
We all know there is a mental health stigma in today’s society. So how can we remove that stigma? By removing people’s shame, and let them know they’re not alone.
Anxiety is a lot more common than people realize – I know this from all the comments and DMs I get whenever I get vulnerable about my anxiety experiences. Yet still, the stigma!
My hope with Anxiety Stories is that we can normalize anxiety by showing people’s stories from all walks of life. I ask that each person who conducts an interview be willing to be a little bit vulnerable, and each person who reads these interviews holds the interviewee in a loving space, knowing they’ve put themselves out there for a good cause.
*If you are dealing with anxiety or another type of mental illness, please talk with a
There are some great resources on how to get help below:
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Online Resources and Finding Help
- Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741 (US number) to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.
- Finally, this is a great page from ‘Everyday Help’ with a ton of resources for mental health assistance such as financial help for therapy and medications, support groups, etc.
Last but not least, please note that I nor my interviewees aren’t medical professionals, and the resources and tips are not to replace professional medical advice. We are simply sharing our stories and what we know from working through our anxiety with professionals in our own life. If you are feeling any type of mental health symptoms, please seek medical assistance.
I hope you enjoy the interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What types of things do you enjoy doing?
- I am a Retired Army Combat Veteran, mom and military spouse. I am a blogger, motivational speaker and life coach. I help those who suffer from ptsd, anxiety and depression know that they are not alone. I work my absolute hardest to erase the stigma and to reduce suicide rates by sharing my story.
- I am the CEO+ founder of A Wild Ride Called Life, LLC.
- I was born In New Jersey Bohr was raised in California. I lived there from the age of 6 until 21 when I decided to attend Arizona State University
What does the anxiety you experience look like (obsessive thoughts, extreme worry, intrusive thoughts, anxiety disorder, etc)?
When I get anxiety it starts out as a panic attack. I start to feel dizzy with a shortness of breath, all while crying. I start looking around to see if people are looking at me. I can’t focus and have to literally start taking deep breaths to prevent from hyperventilating. I have experienced this while driving, or even at Target.
Do you see a therapist/psychologist?
I have seen a therapist for years but haven’t since I moved here to VA 8 months ago.
Do you take medication for the anxiety?
Yes, take medication for depression and anxiety.
How long have you been dealing with anxiety?
I have been dealing with anxiety since 2009.
What are some triggers for the anxiety you experience?
I have noticed that some of the triggers are stress and when I start overthinking things. This can be something as little as what I need to get at the store.
Have you ever dealt with the dreaded anxiety spiral?
I have dealt with the spiral on several occasions and have tried to talk them out. I will need to message a friend or call them to be able to have them calm me down.
Do you experience panic attacks?
Oh yes, reverting to the questions above. I experienced one in the middle of target.
What are some things you do while you’re having a panic attack or are in an anxiety spiral to help pull yourself out of it?
Going back to the situation at Target…I literally started crying while walking around. I called my husband and told him I didn’t know why I was having an attack. All I did was visit the store Home Goods, and then went to Target and couldn’t decide on pillows (no joke). He told me that it was ok, I didn’t need to decide on those right now. I was crying and sweating and couldn’t breathe. I was in an aisle and had to lean up against it to keep myself from fainting. I started to worry if other people were staring at me. After I calmed down a bit I rushed to the checkout line and got out of there. It was scary.
What are some preventative measures that you take to help prevent the anxiety you experience?
I have to be able to talk about it before it happens (when I am able to catch it in time). Additionally, I have to take deep breaths and be in a space where no one is around me. After a few minutes it is usually under control.
What are some of your favorite anxiety resources (websites, books, etc) that other people could reference if they’re struggling as well?
I don’t have any favorites at this time. I usually try and follow other positive people on Facebook or Instagram. I am a blogger so writing about my experiences help me the most.
Why do you think the mental health stigma exists? Why are people afraid to talk about their mental illness?
I think the mental health stigma exists because those who don’t understand frown upon those who suffer. They tend to look at them as being weak or not in control. Which leads into those who are suffering not wanting to talk about what they are experiencing. They don’t want to be judged or looked at as a weak person.
We are not weak. In fact , we are strong because we are dealing with a secret that no one knows about. It is my mission to help those know that they are not alone.
A huge thank you to Annette for sharing her story!
Want to read more Anxiety Stories? Check out the other interviews here.
Want to share your own anxiety story? Check out the guidelines here!
I love doing these anxiety stories. I love being able to provide a platform for others to share their stories. I love knowing that with each story, the mental health stigma breaks down that much more. I love knowing that there are others out there (maybe you) who identify with these stories. Who see themselves in these stories. Who for a while, like me, thought that you had to be the only person experiencing the symptoms of anxiety you were dealing with.
If you feel moved by these stories, please consider supporting me on my Patreon page. Doing so allows me to continue doing this type of work and even more – which only helps further the reduction of the mental health stigma. Thank you!