Many years ago (more than 10), after a series of upsetting events, I’d find myself staying awake through the night feeling the band of pressure across my chest and waiting, just waiting, for the heart attack. I just “knew” that if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up.
Yes, I’m obviously still alive.
That’s the “fun” part of anxiety. It gets you in its grasp and won’t let go, no matter how hard you try to calm yourself, eat the right foods, exercise, meditate, take the “right” supplements.
I spent 10 of the 11 past years on medication to control the panic attacks that would hit, often out of the blue. My heart would race, my blood pressure rise, hands shake and that horrible band of stress would hold me again in its grip. I even had a back-up prescription for those days my nerves had control of me.
A few months after my ex-husband moved out and just weeks after my divorce was finalized, I was able to wean myself off of the medication.
I felt like a champ.
Now, here I am, about 9 months later, once again being held captive by the ridiculous band tightening across my chest. Seemingly every afternoon and other times as well.
I’m more centered now than ever in my life (shocker, I know), but I can’t beat this. Back on medication I go. I’m hopeful that I can get through the next few months (including my daughter’s brain surgery) and get back to a more “normal” me. But, in the meantime, I need help to get through this.
While the logical side of my brain says, “It’s been a rough year, give yourself a break.” A year which included divorce (after a 16 year marriage), financial mountains to climb, facing unemployment, nearly losing my house, and no insurance while living with a chronic condition, my body and emotions have been pushed to the limit and I’ve burnt out.
What people who’ve never suffered from anxiety don’t understand is that despite logic and clear thinking, sometimes it’s an insurmountable issue without proper help. I know myself well enough to understand that now’s the time to go back to the doctor and get the medication to calm myself to the point where I can again move forward and not want to rip my skin off. I know it will take a week or two to feel substantially better, but at least I’ll know relief is on its way.
In the meantime, for anyone who has quietly tried to talk themselves down from a heart racing anxiety attack, just know you are not alone.