Anxiety Stories: Rachelle 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’m Mama from Mama Writes Reviews. I have two little boys and three dogs and whatever other stray animals happen to be crashing with us for the moment. We live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. I pretty much spend my time being Mama. I’m a classroom mom, Suzuki piano mom, soccer mom and we have a safe place for anyone who needs it. I play bass and sing with our church choir and praise team. I’m also the coordinator for a preschool/kindergarten Bible club through our church. Suffice to say, I keep busy!
What does the anxiety you experience look like (obsessive thoughts, extreme worry, intrusive thoughts, anxiety disorder, etc)?
Usually, I have a general sense of “impending doom” and it gets worse when the weather
Do you see a therapist/psychologist?
I did for
Do you take medication for the anxiety?
I am on a low dose of Zoloft and have been since 5 days after my youngest was born. I also have Valerian Root, Skullcap, and Passionflower for when I have insomnia, and the Passionflower is great for knocking out panic attacks.
How long have you been dealing with anxiety?
My whole life since beginning puberty. My first visit to the OB/GYN, I was prescribed birth control AND Paxil at the same time. I had pretty bad OCD as a teenager.
What are some triggers for the anxiety you experience?
Physical triggers are environmental changes… like cold fronts or strong thunderstorms where the air pressure changes rapidly. Also, any time I have a bad cold where I can’t breathe very well causes my anxiety to get worse. Internal triggers are if I’m having an irritable bowel attack… it seems that my anxiety and IBS are linked in some way.
Have you ever dealt with the dreaded anxiety spiral?
Yes. Pretty much the second half of my pregnancy with my youngest, it just got worse and worse and worse until the point where I just wanted to go to the hospital and have my son delivered by C-section so I could just die.
Do you experience panic attacks?
Yes. Sometimes I can feel them creeping up, but sometimes, they hit me out of NOWHERE.
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?
I take passionflower, which has been a miracle drug for me. Other things I do is find a TV show to watch or some music. I have to flood and overwhelm my senses to help snap out of it faster. Little things I can do to help are to recite Psalm 23 over and over again and make and drink some sleepytime tea.
What are some preventative measures that you take to help prevent the anxiety you experience?
I take my medication. I’m not thrilled that I have to take it, but for me, it’s not any different than having to take medication for say, diabetes or high blood pressure or seizures or something. The medication is made to help, and it does. I also make sure that I have some alone time every day and that I spend time just CREATING something (crafts, music, baking, whatever). I have also eliminated a lot of the things that make me upset… blocked certain people on social media, avoid the news, etc.
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 really have any.
Why do you think the mental health stigma exists? Why are people afraid to talk about their mental illness?
I have no idea, and it’s awful that it exists. When I went on the Paxil as a teenager, my Pastor at the time told me that I just needed to suck it up and deal with it and not go on drugs to fix myself. He said that people who take drugs like that go to hell. My mom and I left that church THAT DAY. Ridiculous. Our brains and our minds are part of our body too. (Please note that that Pastor was an isolated incident and I have not met any other Pastors or clergy who shared his misguided opinion. My current Pastor is very accepting of modern medicine and is well aware that mental health issues exist.)
Want to read more Anxiety Stories? Check out the other interviews here.
Want to share your own anxiety story? Check out the guidelines here!
A huge thank you to Rachelle for sharing her story.
Bio: Mama can be found online at her blog Mama Writes Reviews, her Etsy shop, or her Usborne Books & More business. In real life, she’s probably either volunteering at her kids’ school, at the piano, at church, cheering on a soccer game, in the garage painting or sewing, or in the backyard feeding the various animals that are crashing at her place. If she’s not any of those places, she’s likely sprawled out on the couch watching Star Trek or Doctor Who.