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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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friendable Offline
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Name: Elizabeth
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Location: Florida

Posts: 62
Join Date: January 22nd 2009

How do I live like this? - May 4th 2009, 02:28 AM

I thought I was getting better with my anxiety issues, but today changed that. I've almost gotten used to and figured out ways around my complete inability to talk in front of anyone I'm not completely comfortable with, but that still really sucks. But there's a more immediate issue. I've been at this barn, leasing a horse in exchange for cleaning stalls, for almost two months. I love riding. At least I used to. I had a bad experience and I don't feel totally safe anymore, but I thought taking a break for awhile would fix it. Today, the really nice girl who owns the barn took me and four other people to a local place with lots of trails to ride.

I'm riding the calmest, most well-behaved horse ever, and I still managed to freak out. My horse was a little excited and occasionally spooked at stuff like deer, which was understandable. Then, the horse who happened to be in front of him at that moment, started cantering and so he had to too. Then he ran past the rest of the group and I finally convinced him to stop when we were just ahead of everyone. Then everyone got pissed off at me for not controlling him. I felt like crying for the rest of the ride. I just wanted to get the fuck off and walk back to the truck. I've ridden a lot. For like nine years. I have no idea why this is happening. I was so nervous for the rest of the ride that I was promising myself that I would never do this again, and I'm afraid that I won't.

I have serious anxiety issues at school and around people in general, but now I can't enjoy the last thing I like that doesn't involve sitting in front of my computer all day. The other times I've ridden him by myself on a trail have also resulted in me seriously regretting it. But I have to do this if I don't want my parents to force me to get another job just to get out of the house. Even two months after quitting my last horrible job, I'm still waking up with panic attacks. I can't take this. I'm sorry, I'm explaining this horribly, but I haven't slept well in forever. I'm stressed out from school and I have my first AP exam of the year tomorrow. I just need something to make me happy once in awhile, but everything is just adding stress. I don't know what to do.
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Re: How do I live like this? - May 4th 2009, 09:47 PM

Hey Elizabeth. I'm really sorry to hear about all of your anxiety. I get it too and it's no fun at all, especially when it interferes with things we want to do.

It sounds to me like your panic attacks during horseback riding are from two things - stress, and post-traumatic anxiety. If you had a bad experience with a horse, it's only natural for you to get freaked out when you start to ride again. Don't force yourself into it, it'll only make things worse. You probably won't be able to jump right back in the saddle. You'll have to build your way up to being confident on a horse again.

The stress from school and exams or any other number of things could also easily affect your riding. It also affects your sleep, and you mentioned that you haven't slept well in a long time. Unfortunately, school isn't a situation you can just completely avoid. You just have to find ways around it. Be as prepared as you can, because it will only cause more anxiety if you miss an assignment or don't study for a test. If you feel a panic attack coming on, just make sure you focus on your breathing, or read something, anything that distracts you.

If you're not already, I'd also recommend going to see a doctor and obtaining medication for your anxiety. It seems like it's really affecting your life. PM me if you want to talk about anything. Good luck with everything and good luck on the AP exams!

I lost myself in the space between heaven and hell.
...where do we go from here?

R.I.P. Sarah; 1991-2009
Kacy; 1992-2009
I'll never forget.

Two months clean and sober.
Seven months since last cut.
Still struggling and surviving.

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friendable Offline
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Name: Elizabeth
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Location: Florida

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Join Date: January 22nd 2009

Re: How do I live like this? - May 6th 2009, 01:50 AM

Thanks for replying. I'll try to talk to my parents about seeing a doctor, but I'm not sure how well that will go over. I'm doing pretty well in school and I'm almost done, so that's going to help a lot. I think I'm going to spend more time just doing really basic things while riding until I feel better about it. Thanks again.
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