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Anxiety, What's Wrong with Me?

Women with panic attack

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Hey friends, thanks for joining us today. I'm here with my daughter, Kayla Lanier, a certified fitness specialist, and we're talking about anxiety. This is the first episode in our anxiety series called What's Wrong with Me?

My own story with anxiety started years ago, probably 15 years ago now, where I actually just was introduced to anxiety by having a panic attack in the middle of the night. That, to me, seemed to come out of nowhere. But looking back now, I realize that there were a whole lot of things that led up to that moment and things I hadn't dealt with, that I thought I had actually handled pretty well.

And my body, unfortunately, told me that I didn't handle it very well. And so I kind of thought of it like when the bucket of emotion and stress and all the things in life was filled up, it spilled out, and it was a panic attack, which was absolutely horrible. It landed me in the ER with no help whatsoever, and then to multiple doctor's visits where I was just continually told that:

"Everything's fine."

"You just have a lot of stress."

"Here's a medication that might help."

But in the center of my very being, I thought this is not the answer because this has to have a root, like I wanna know why I have anxiety, not, here's something to help you forget about it, but actually be able to say:

"Wow, there's a reason or multiple reasons for this."

And when I find those, I can actually start to uncover that and find some healing in it. But I think a lot of times we wanna just cover it up, put a bandaid on it, not talk about it, pretend like it's not there, that we're really holding our life together pretty well, but inside that's not what's happening.

That led me on a journey to try to find out for myself the root causes of my anxiety because I felt like I had come to a dead end with all the paths that I had tried. And a lot of the things, to be honest, the tips and the self-help and all those things really weren't doing anything for me.

And so, that led me to this journey where I went into practice to help people with anxiety after I had found out the roots and causes of mine. And I'm extremely passionate about helping women understand that if there is something wrong with you then you do deserve to find out what it is, and there are ways to do that and not really settle for the standard protocol, which is a medication.

Medications are fine if that helps someone get through a difficult time or if that's something that they choose to do. But for my own story, I just needed answers beyond that, and I'm very thankful that I did that because the journey has taught me so much about who I am, how my body works, why anxiety and panic attacks happen in the first place, and what we can do about it. There are lots of things that we can do that actually work so that you don't have to manage your anxiety the rest of your life, but you can truly be healed from it. But it is a lot of work. I just wanted to share some of the things that I found out along the way, and I'm still learning.

I learn from my clients as much as I learned from myself. So it's exciting to be able to offer people hope beyond what they've been told.

Wow. So I was literally brought to tears listening to you share that Mom, you were literally a super mom, the entirety of my childhood. And, I'm like, gripping my coffee cup over here, just like staring at you with tears in my eyes.

Like, wow, I didn't know that you struggled that much, to be honest. Hearing it now, you know, it, it really hits home for me now that I'm 27 and, I'm trying to like, Adult and make it through that journey of, paying bills, working a nine to five, you know, trying to pursue my dreams also. And I never thought in a million years I would struggle with the same thing, also.

Hit with a panic attack first year into my marriage, trying to, you know, be the perfect wife and make the perfect dinner and do the perfect things. I mean, even as I speak right now, my voice is shaking because it's all welling up within my heart.

Anyways, anxiety is real. I think the trauma that you experience throughout your life, it settles in places, unknown places within our hearts, and it comes up in the strangest times.

I think when I'm driving on the road, honestly, and I get behind some slow old man, like I just, I grip the steering wheel so fiercely, and it's all I can do to not say some colorful things. And I mean, I think that's just part of, you know, being a human. And I don't wanna exhaust the topic of anxiety as we talk about this tonight, but I do want to express that there's so much more to it than what is on the surface in media and what you see in your social circle when people talk about anxiety, they're like, well, you should try this or that. You know, sniff some eucalyptus or go out and do some yoga, and, I tried all that. I did that. I practiced that since I was a teen, you know, I was like, anxiety will not touch me because I do all the right things.

You know, I wake up and I journal and I pray and I try to be spiritual in every aspect that I can, but sometimes, you hit rock bottom and it's hard to get up, you know? It's hard to fight the day-to-day, but I mean, I don't know, Mom, that was a pretty rough example of my short journey with anxiety.

But have any thoughts on that?

Well, I think that we can't compare someone else's anxiety with our own because though I would think at times think, well, so-and-so has an anxiety issue, and they're handling it so much better than I am. But you never know someone else's story inside.

And then also knowing that one panic attack in your life is too many, you know? And so whether someone's had one or multiple ones, you know, it's, it's listening to people, letting them be heard, and trying to find a way to be real and let people know that this is a real problem. It's estimated right now that over 300 million people struggle with anxiety.

That's like one in five people. I know that as I have tried to find out during these years what's wrong with me, I've asked questions like:

Why do I have anxiety?

What did I do wrong?

What am I not doing that I should be doing?

And then I look at that and think I'm not alone because you can feel very alone.

And that kind of forces you to isolate yourself because you're not sure what to expect out of yourself. And that's a very scary place to be in, and I think just knowing that in practice often I hear people's stories about their anxiety, and sometimes all I can do initially is just hear them.

And I think that is really the most valuable thing you can do for someone is listen to their story....

Yeah. Right.

...and honestly, let them know they've been heard. I think the most frustrating thing for me was going to doctors repeatedly, just so hopeless and thinking...

Not being heard.

Yeah, thinking, just listen to me. And they would hear the first part, I have anxiety and panic attacks, and then I felt like after that, in my experience, and that's not what everyone's practitioners like that, but it was just kind of a closed door. I even had one doctor get very angry with me because she had handed me a prescription and I said to her:

"I appreciate that, but there's something wrong with me, and I need to know what it is. Personally, I have to find out what's going on."

She actually stood up, laid the prescription down on my lap, and said:

"If you're not gonna use the tools in the toolbox, then I can't help."

And closed the door and left me, and I thought.. Wow. Oh my goodness, that, this is it. There is no answers. And the hopelessness just settled on me, and I sat there and cried like a baby.

Of course, I mean, sinking feeling, not having a way out.

Well, and being told that there's one answer.

That you're crazy.


You know, like just. Justifying what like everyone is anxious about. Right? Because, like in the end, like when you have a panic attack, you feel like you're going insane.

Yeah. And that's all I needed was somebody to tell me that I wasn't crazy and I felt like I wasn't hearing that at all. I was actually probably getting confirmation that maybe I was a little crazy, you know?

Yeah. And then the same conclusion and the same diagnosis with everyone that you saw.

So that, that's what led me to really go deeper. And I think that that's very empowering.

So, in that moment when I felt powerless when I left there that day, I thought, no, I'm gonna ask the Lord to help me. I wanna find out what this answer is. And it started a quest to be my own researcher, to be my own advocate. And I started just reading everything that I could, Googling everything that I could to say, what are the root causes of anxiety? What's going on with me? And then that led me into really finding out about vitamin D levels and your ferritin levels and your fasting insulin levels. Like there were so many connections for me with my blood sugar and with deficiencies in my vitamins that are a very big deal, and had I not addressed that, I don't think I would've been able to come so far in it.

And it's so unknown. People don't know, you know? Anything about vitamins or the importance of caffeine intake, how much are you taking in? You know? And I think you unveiled something really important here, and it was the fact that you didn't ignore the voice in the back of your head that kept telling you that there was more to what you were going through.

And I think that's a big key factor in what we're trying to talk about in, in this podcast.

I think we don't need to settle for an answer when we know that there's something more. There's a reason we have that within us, that pushes us beyond to say, I'm not settled with this. I don't have peace about this. And I actually found out later through another practitioner, it was actually when I left that doctor's office. That day I was met by a friend that we had in the area, and I was crying, I was a mess.

And he said, "What's wrong?"

And I was like, "Nobody knows what's wrong."

And he felt so bad for me that he said, hold on a minute. And he actually was a human resource worker there at the doctor's office that I was at, and he said, I want you to come see somebody. And he took me into a doctor that was a friend of his, and here I was a crying mess. I didn't know him from Adam, and I was like, okay, you know, whatever, it doesn't matter at this point. And he immediately, I just told him the symptoms that I was having, and yes, I was having panic attacks, but they were happening during the night and he said, "I know what's wrong with you."

And I thought, oh, could that be real? Could that be true? Really? Do you really believe me?

He actually discovered that I had an issue structurally in my throat that I'd had since I was little. So the schlotzsky's ring in my throat is supposed to, it's supposed to expand as you age, but some people don't have that happen.

So I still had this tiny throat obstruction that I didn't even know about. I had always had trouble swallowing, but I never really put that with anything. So ended up I did get some testing, and one thing that was the problem that actually probably started the trigger, it wasn't the root of my anxiety, but was the fact that when I would go to sleep at night, that little closure would actually collapse. And then I wasn't breathing, and I was waking up in a panic attack which was causing more anxiety. And then, once you have one panic attack, there you go. That's all you ever need in your life because the fear of having another one is like totally a panic attack.

And that's how, you know, people understand is like, yeah, that having one makes you forever afraid you're gonna have another one. Which isn't good.

But you know, he said to me something that I'll never forget. He said, "Are you on any medication?"

And I said, "No, I'm not."

And he said, "Well, it's a very good thing because the only thing waking you up at night was that gasping for air that you were doing, and had you been very sedated that may not have happened.

And I thought I knew it. But then that set off a cascade even after the structural problem was corrected, which they were able to do in a very short procedure. I was left with the anxiety. And the fear.

The fear of having a panic attack that was literally crippling. So for about four years when you guys were little, I really didn't go anywhere socially. I didn't go visit because it was too unpredictable for me, you know, I felt like I needed to control my environment because I couldn't control what was happening inside.

Sticking to a routine, something that's, Safe.

Yeah. Which is not entirely bad. Sometimes that's important, but you know, I mean, after a while it does get old, you know?

It does. It does become more of a cage that you make for yourself.

Yeah, and I think that it's like a cloud that followed me where you feel like I was managing it pretty well, but it was kind of always there, and I really, that's what led me to find out the other things.

The deficiencies, the testing that I ran on myself, all of those things that I then carried into practice because I want women to understand that if there's something wrong with you and you know that in your heart, don't settle for any other answers until you find out what it is because we're given that as a gift, and so if we fight against it or let other people convince us, otherwise, you know, we really sell ourselves short on getting to the solution of the problem instead of just putting a big bandaid over it, you know?

Anyway, there is help for anxiety. It's just a process. It takes a while to get to the place that I got to. Yes, I had a structural issue that prompted the panic attack, but I fully believe it was coming anyway because I was on overload, you know, and too much comparison to other people, to being a great mom, like you said, or be the best wife or all those things we put on ourself.

You know that really aren't what we're supposed to get under, you know, the bondage that comes from that, and these expectations are often fairytales we make up for ourselves because we want to strive for something. We want to live to a higher standard. We want to, and especially if you're a perfectionist, I mean, that will literally eat you alive and you're still the super mom.

Absolutely not. And I'm sure everyone else would agree, but it's one of those things, you know, it's just everyone deals with it, but there's so much more out there that you can utilize to get rid of anxiety and also to heal.

Absolutely. Well, Mom we finished our coffee, so I guess it's time to stop talking.

Exactly. When the coffee's gone, the conversation usually goes to. Thank you so much for listening.


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