Apraxia & Anxiety
My heart pounding loudly, yet only I could hear it.
My hands were sweaty, could others see it too?
I'm trying to breathe, but each attempt at a breath is hardly productive.
My office space seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, simply because of one simple question on an email. Not even a bad question, but an unexpected one. What do I say? I don't know the answer, let me freak out instead. I start quickly brainstorming responses, but my brain quickly turned to mush and fancy terms are bouncing around with no coherent sense.
At least now as an adult, I recognize my Anxiety Attacks. I recognize when I need to step away, walk away, hide in a bathroom stall and take 10-30 deep breaths. As an adult, I have this luxury to know my limits and do what I need to do.
This anxiety I am all too familiar with. I felt it every single time I said "Here" during Attendance in School, every time someone asked about my voice, and every time a Speech Therapist corrected me that made me feel like I wasn't even trying.
The pounding in my chest and in my head. Even hearing it as an adult throws me back to certain childhood anxieties that I thought "I grew out of," yet here I am. Still in a bathroom, and still deep breathing.
I often ask myself which came first-my Anxiety or my Apraxia. I often wonder how my friends acquired their anxiety, yet they do not have Apraxia. Do you even acquire Anxiety, or are you born more prone to it?
I don't know. The one thing I do know though: Apraxia and Anxiety coexist. They must.
I don't need the medical studies, records, and testing to show me this. I know it, I've lived it and I've seen it in young adults and teenagers diagnosed with Apraxia.
With Apraxia, every single word or babble that comes out of your mouth is nit-picked. Every single movement or physical action, is criticized. With Apraxia and it's other associated hindrances, you gain early experience in receiving criticism, negative feedback, and learning to keep pushing through anyway. It's a strength in some sense; you learn a mature skill at a very young age.
With Anxiety, your mind tells you that something negative is happening or about to happen. Your body locks up in anticipation, you're heavy breathing and sweaty, and your heart is pounding. People say that anxiety is a false alarm, your brain is expecting something bad to happen that may not occur. Imagine the fear of a giant werewolf chasing after you-your hearts racing, head is spinning-but, wait. That werewolf doesn't exist, just a figment of your imagination.
See-with Apraxia, others are constantly telling you that something is wrong.
With Anxiety, you're constantly telling yourself something is wrong.
With so many voices around, sometimes simultaneously, it's difficult to know which one to listen to.
Do you listen to others when they correct your speech? How can you when your brain believes you're speaking correctly?
Do you listen to others when they tell you to 'Calm Down' during an Anxiety Attack? How can you when your brain believes there's something to worry about.
Perhaps that's the root of this coexistence of Apraxia and Anxiety-it's pure confusion . It's our personal battle to navigate and find the voices to listen to with the support of our loved ones.
I can only hope that maturity, focusing on strengths, and finding our peace (mine being blogging, hence this post) is at least one option in navigating these Apraxia and Anxiety Journeys.