Last night, I woke up to the sounds of thunder. Being the light sleeper that I am, it made it difficult to get a full night of sleep. During my tossing and turning, I reflected on who I was just a few years ago.
I don’t know when it began, but at some point in my adult life I developed storm anxiety. I did not have a problem with rain, but severe storms put me on edge.
In Nebraska, we have tornadoes. I have had some pretty close calls, but have been lucky thus far. Though, the proximity of these violent storms made me panicked. I fear the things I cannot control.
Storm anxiety, for me, is like a twisted stomach, stomach in knots, heart racing, and panicking sort of feeling. Feeling like I am awaiting doom. It is not pleasant.
I remember one time when Chris and I lived in our first apartment, after getting married (we lived in one before getting married also). There was one night it was storming outside and I was really trying to not let it bother me. It was the middle of the night and I had the news station turned on. All of a sudden the tornado sirens were going off, but they sounded a little different. Regardless of the difference in sound, there was absolutely nothing about it on the news.
I was panicked!
I tried to wake Chris up, who sleeps like a brick by the way, and he couldn’t even stay coherent enough for me to get two words in. I kept pacing from the window to the t.v. trying to figure out what the heck was going on. The storm diminished (it really wasn’t even THAT bad of a storm) and I eventually zonked out.
I found out later in the morning that it was a malfunctioning siren. Seriously. Talk about a pointless panicking. I think it was then I realized I needed to do something about this. I didn’t want to be the cry baby who panicked every time thunder and lightening were happening.
Being pregnant at the time helped too because I thought if I panic, I could stress the baby out and go into early labor.
I had to start having the mind set that, I cannot control these storms. If a tornado kills me or I get hurt in a storm, then what else can I do? The only options I have are to either be dead or continue living under the circumstances (survival mode).
I started to become my own meteorologist. I paid close attention to the news and radars to gain better knowledge about storms. More so, to gain knowledge about how to track a severe storm and preparedness.
It has been an ongoing process. I am not as terrified as I once was. I can actually watch a storm through a window or glass door now. It seems silly to many I am sure, but it is so nice not panicking at the thought, sight, or sound of a storm rolling in.
I have actually slept through some less severe storms, but the louder ones tend to wake me up still. It is progress nonetheless.
It was a goal that I had set out to achieve. Even though it has taken a lot of time and effort, I am a lot better off now.
Do storms freak you out? Are you a storm chaser? Let me know in the comments!