Moving is a huge change with many parts involved. It is enough to make anyone stressed or anxious. As for me, someone who already suffers from anxiety disorders, it is extremely difficult to cope with everything that goes into the moving process.
Buying a house alone is stressful enough. Then there’s the packing. I worry about things getting packed on time. I worry about items breaking. The mess gives me anxiety. I hate seeing boxes and bubble wrap everywhere. I hate putting everything on a truck or trailer and wondering if the furniture will tear/get scratched, or if it’ll fall off. As the closing date got closer and closer, I was increasingly becoming more and more anxious.
Then there’s the people. So many people offered to help us move. The more people who are involved with something, the more stressed I become. I’m already a mess about moving, so I don’t want to socialize on top of that. Having social anxiety disorder makes me extremely anxious during any social interaction. And I can’t control everyone who is involved. What if they want to do things their own way? What if they aren’t careful with my furniture?
When we closed on Friday, July 27th, I was on the verge of breaking down. Matthew would hold me and tell me that everything will be OK. God is in control and worrying won’t help anything. He is so patient with me and I am incredibly thankful to have him in my life. We began unloading boxes into the house and I was feeling a little better. Then the evening came…
Time to move furniture. Katie, my friend, was there to help. We left the heavy lifting up to Matthew and his little brother Brett. Katie and I packed up my little car as fast as we could so I could get out of their and not have to watch the boys loading the furniture onto the trailer. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
As we were driving to the house, I felt very sick. I thought I was going to need to pull over. The anxiety I felt was overwhelming. Katie struggles with anxiety as well, so she was very understanding when I told her what was going on. I began to see in tunnel vision and my hands were falling asleep. These are usually the first signs that I am about to have a panic attack. I frantically pulled out my Altoids and popped one after the other into my mouth. For some reason the mint flavor calms me down. We got to the house and I ran to the bathroom. I seriously thought I was going to puke, but thankfully I didn’t.
After we unloaded my car, we went to the in-laws to get Pappi. I felt sick again. My hands and feet were both going numb. My vision was getting splotchy. And then it happened. Another panic attack. I couldn’t breathe. I just wanted to break down and cry. I wanted the move to be over. I wanted to be alone. I was tired of socializing and moving and driving. I wanted to sleep.
Katie just kept talking to me and reassuring me that everything is fine. Even though I wanted to be alone, I will admit that having her by my side helped me immensely. Once we got Pappi, I was almost 100% better. Dogs sure can cheer people up!! I should make him an emotional support dog, equip him with a vest and everything. Just his presence was enough to calm me down.
The majority of the move happened on Friday night, but some moving was still going on Saturday morning. Katie and I went shopping and came home to a fully furnished house. Now that we are pretty much completely moved into our new home (except for a couple other pieces of furniture that family members are holding for us), I look back and think about how ridiculous it was for me to be so anxious. I realize that having an anxiety disorder means you can’t simply “turn it off” and be fine. It takes a lot of work. Unfortunately I did not put in the work to calm myself down and my body suffered the consequences. I had an upset stomach for two days after my panic attack and my body is still very fatigued. I am just thankful I have Pappi to help me through these stressful times.
If you suffer from anxiety or depression, I highly recommend adopting a dog or maybe even a cat. Having Pappi around has helped me an incredible amount.