Picture this. Your seatbelt is fastened. You're carrying on a conversation with the couple to your left, who are natives of Salt Lake City. They have an unbelievable garden with an even more unbelievable setting of the largest mountains and scenic landscape you've ever seen. You know this because they're showing you pictures of various fruit trees: apple, peach, cherry, pear and more. A garden so huge, they've put themselves in the photos to scale the size of trees and hanging vines they told you were green beans. You’re learning things about gardening you've never known, but you don't care; anything to keep your mind off your clammy palms and pitted through shirt. You feel the hives on your face slowly crawl downward towards your neck and chest. You reach for the overhead air, hoping for some relief and hoping this sweet couple doesn't notice that you're struggling to keep it together. Then, it feels like you're on a rollercoaster ride as you free fall for what seems like an eternity. You white-knuckle the seat in front of you while reciting the Lord’s Prayer.... “Our Father who art in Heaven...” Just let me make it home.
The older I get, the worse my anxiety is. I'm not sure if it's because our world seems like it's fueled by constant narcissism and hatred, so the wool has been lifted from my eyes, if it's because I'm more cautious since I have adult things to worry about, or if it's more simple than that. I mean, I know that everyones days are numbered and if it's your time to go, it's your time, right?
A couple of years ago, my anxiety was so bad that it made my blood pressure skyrocket. The physical result of high blood pressure? Hives. Good thing I wear my heart on my sleeve, yeah? I’d go to bed at night and could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I'd wake up in the morning to the pulsating beat of my ticker working overtime. I was tired. I looked like h, e, double hockey sticks, and I didn't understand. I was 30...why was I having blood pressure problems?
I finally bit the bullet and took my butt to the doctor. I hate going, but felt like it was warranted, after feeling like I could have a heart attack at times. After purchasing an at home blood pressure cuff, writing down my findings 2-3 times a day, and lab results, I found out I was low in ferritin, which is a fancy word for “iron” in the blood. My amazing doc told me that she didn't want to put me on blood pressure medication at 30 years old, and I agreed. Let's take care of it with other things, I said. And we did. I began a regimen of vitamins and supplements, got a personal trainer, and what still saves my life when I struggle, L-Theanine.
L-Theanine is a “focused relaxant” and ingredients are found of that in green teas. I purchase it from a custom dosing pharmacy. When I feel terrible and anxiety-ridden, which anymore, is the only time I have to fly, I pop two of them the night before and then two the morning of. It helps keep me calm and doesn't make me feel drugged or sluggish. It helps me breathe and remain calm and although I still get nervous, it's way less than how I used to feel with the world seemingly collapsing around me.
...I walked back to use the restroom and make sure my legs worked. As I stood and waiting for the person in front of me to be finished, I asked the flight attendant if the turbulence was bad this flight or if I was just being ridiculous. He turned his grey haired head towards me, peering at me over his glasses, and responded, “This is in the top 3 of the worst flights I've ever had.” So, at least I knew I wasn't embellishing...this time.
**I am not a doctor. This worked for me and my body. If you have any questions, please consult your physician.**