A visit from an old not so friendly friend

by Corey
(Pulaski, WI)

This last summer was looking like the best summer of my life in years. I had plans to take a road trip to Canada just to take pictures and site see. I also had plans to visit a cousin I hadn't seem since I was a kid.

Then things began to catch up with me. My grandmother who lived to be 100 passed away the March before and watching my mom live through it was really hard. The stress of that had snowballed and gained speed as my ex-girlfriend of 6 years just got married to a guy she only knew for a year. The guy was someone I could never be for her so that too chipped away at who I was.
They cut my hours at the office and I was only down to two days a week. Eventually just going to work gave me a bad stomach. I couldn't wait for them to just cut me loose! A few weeks after that torture they did. It was none-to-soon either. My last drive into work proved to be challenging. I had a bad panic attack on my way into work. I nearly got sick all over the car. I felt I was going to lose it. I had no control over my body. My conscious mind just wanted to get there and get to work but my subconscious and my body were at odds with that. They wanted to render me useless.

As the weeks marched on I got more and more introverted and isolated myself. I became overly sensitive to the slightest thing. The idea of going around the corner to the store sent me into the shakes and gave me an upset stomach. When I did manage to get to the store I shook like a leaf on a tree. It was bad.

I made the mistake of taking my medication with a highly caffeinated energy drink the evening before. Caffeine as I later learned is NOT good for people who deal with anxiety. I had a very hard time getting to sleep as you'd imagine.
I had major tremors and shivers until I fell asleep and when I awoke they faded back in and took over. I felt very sick to my stomach and crawled to the bathroom and laid by the toilet. I called my mother and told her there was something very wrong with me. Long story short she took my pills to the Pharmacy and spoke to the Rx about my condition and he said I made a big mistake with the pills and the power drink... my General Practitioner later told me one shouldn't effect the other. I later learned that General Practitioner's don't know much about Anxiety and Panic Disorders.
I forgive her for her ignorance and I moved on to do my own research.

I did a lot of reading/research and soul searching which lead me to more revelation than I'd ever had about anything I'd ever known in my life. It's actually inspired me to work towards my PhD in Counseling.

I referred to this as my old friend because this was the second major time this happened to me in my life. By "this" I mean a season of Panic Disorder. constant and intense anxiety
About 11 years before this last season of Panic Disorder I was rendered almost useless. Last time it was far worse and I should have been in the hospital. Not withstanding the agony of this condition I compared the two and learned that they both started off with chronic stomach problems which may have been the result of stress-overload, bad diet, poor sleep habits etc.

With all of my research and personal note I've learned the following:

Anxiety can only be a part of your life if you let it.
Anxiety which leads to worse conditions if not dealt with enters your life through one of four areas and effects the remaining three almost as much as the one that welcomed it...

1. Your mind how you think about you, the world around you, etc.
2. Your will goals, dreams, hopes, your spiritual side
3. Your emotions how you feel about you, etc
4. Your health what you're putting into your body goes into your brain and effects it's chemistry

With all that I know now I still deal with my anxiety but it's far less that what it was a couple months ago. It's merely a matter of desensitization from here on out.

Oh, and the most important part of my healing has been spiritual.
I prayed a lot! Do not underestimate the power of prayer. God is good and healing is possible.

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