JAP, age 30. Des Moines, IA.
I wonder if I will ever be off the medication. I wonder if I even want to be. Do I want to get better? Do I like having this as an excuse to not socialize.
I am the definition of anti-social, yet I can't stand the thought of being alone. I hate to go to work, but I feel better when I'm there because I can focus on something else besides this "weirdness" I constantly feel inside me. Will I ever feel normal again?
It began when I was 17. I was driving home and all of sudden everything became like a video game. Nothing seemed real and the corners of my eyes started to turn black. The car was closing in on me. I pulled over, got out of the car and called my mom. Mom, Mom, something is wrong!! I can't breath, my vision is weird, I feel weird! Calm down, maybe you just haven't eaten good enough today, you do have a protein deficiency. Ok, ok, calm down. I'm right down the street from home. I can get there. I can get there. It happened a few more times. Once while driving on vacation with my boyfriend and we had to switch drivers while we were still driving so we didn't loose who we were following. I couldn't drive anymore, I was loosing it. I rolled down my window and spent the next hour with my face in the wind and my eyes closed.
It didn't happen again until a year ago. I had been drinking the night before and was hung over. I thought that was all it was. I took some Advil and drank some Alka Seltzer. My heart started racing and my eyes starting feeling funny again. It felt again like nothing was real and I couldn't focus. My chest hurt, I couldn't breath, my hands were shaking and sweating and tingly and numb. I thought I was going to die! It took my husband 2 hours to calm me down while I went from laying in bed to laying on the floor. I finally fell asleep but in a state of terror. I woke up feeling scared but no longer terrified. I was drained.
Then next one happened at work. Same symptoms. I work in a call center and was on the phone with a client. I told her I would have to put her on hold and eventually had to have a co worker take over the call because I couldn't come back to my desk. I knew when it affected my work that I had to do something.
I went to the Dr and they tried to convince me I had a heart problem. I knew better. I'd felt this way before, but I did all their tests which came back fine. I said, I told you so, NOW HELP ME! 1 mg Ativan twice a day, 20 mg of Celexa once a day. Celexa makes me feel sick, almost makes the anxiety worse. I quit taking it but I still take the Ativan. It helps me sleep.
I can get through the day but at night it seems everything catches up to me. I try to lay down and relax in bed and sleep but my brain won't shut off and I start to feel closed in. I pop my Ativan and I start to feel better as I drift to sleep. No one understands what I am going through. My husband thinks I'm crazy. I blame him because if he wouldn't have cheated on me 7 months after we got married the attacks wouldn't have been triggered again. I hate him, I'm angry with him. I hate her, I'm angry with her. I know what's caused them, but what do I do about it now. I go to a therapist. He is awesome. He teaches me about Red and Blue. If you keep thinking Red, all you will see is Red, recognize Red for what it is and think Blue. I practice and practice everyday. I still deal with the anger even though I've made the decision to stay married and honor my vows. I have this garbage to work through.
I start to journal and it's like I am bulimic. I purge everything I have onto my paper. I go through pen after pen, book after book. Pouring out words of hatred and fear. I listen to Blue October 24/7. I carry their words with me like I carry my Bible. I start to feel better everyday but then a memory will come and send me spiraling back down. Now I'm diagnosed with severe panic disorder and depression. They add Wellbutrin, 150 mg. God, will this ever end??? Should I just walk away from my marriage? Will that take the feelings away? No, I can't do that, I love him. God doesn't approve of divorce. He's not cheating, he's being faithful, he's sorry, he's working on it. Forgive and move on.
I read Samantha's book, I don't want to be crazy, and I can't remember when I related to someone more. When she said, it's like I'm in one room and my panic is on the other side of the door, I cry. That's how I feel. My panic is at arms length. I am dependent on these pills so I don't feel the fear. I take everyday one day at a time and try to not miss to much work. I try to function as a mom, but I feel like I'm robbing my son of a real life because mommy can't function. I try to ignore it and sometimes it works. I read any book I can get my hands on and I try all the methods and breathing exercises and writing exercises and all of it seems to be only temporary.
Prayer. I pray constantly. I always have but I'm thinking that the Lord is using this to bring me closer to Him, more dependent on Him. If that is the case I think I can handle the fear. I pray to just know His will.