Disclaimer: Mental Health is as diverse as people are, please keep that in mind while reading. Your mileage may vary. Oh, one more thing, mind the harsh language…
Hiya friends, welcome back. I know this is going to be shocking but there is more to me than being a bibliophile, and because of that I’ve decided that Monday’s here shall forever more be known as Mental Monday. Well, now that we’ve established that…let’s get mental.
Maybe the best way to start this is to explain what I mean, I have GAD (three letters that simply mean everything scares me, also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and a panic disorder, causing just enough panic to make me agoraphobic. (I know, right?!?! Could I really be any cooler?)
Basically, my brain likes to overanalyze everything and then deduce that the obvious response is fight or flight. I have spent the last 5 years trying to get control of this with no medications. I mean, I like the TWD as much as the next person, but I don’t like being a zombie. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried to use other things to cope, mostly booze, which didn’t help me at all.
When I was first diagnosed my family and friends had no idea what was happening to me, neither did I honestly. I can still remember the first panic attack I ever had, it was outside a restaurant and I was convinced I was dying. My parents kept telling me to “Just breathe,” but I couldn’t, I couldn’t stop the overwhelming feeling that I was suffocating in my own skin. I figured it was just a one-time thing and went about my business as usual.
Until it happened again, this time in a store.
I knew something was up, and I knew I needed to figure it out. I made an appointment with a doctor and was told, “It sounds like you had a panic attack. It was probably just residual stress from everything that’s been happening in your life. It’ll pass.” It didn’t fucking pass, in fact, they got worse. Another doctor visit and they decided to try medication, saying it would help. It did not help, it just made it worse. Another doctor, another pill, another moment of false hope. I gave up on meds after that. (Side Note: Just because they didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that I believe they don’t work for anyone. If they do help you, I’m so jealous and yet so happy for you that you found relief.)
Cut to now.
I have plans tonight!!! I’m supposed to go see a show, one that I’ve wanted to see for a VERY long time, and there is the anxiety. I am so worried that I’m going to panic in a room full of strangers, who probably could care less what the hell is happening to me, but my brain says, “everyone will see, you’ll be embarrassed, people will KNOW!” Did I mention that I really want to go?
UPDATE: The show got fucking canceled. Can you believe that? I was so determined to go and enjoy myself and then wham, cancelation. Did you know there is an emotion that makes you feel really bummed out when something like that happens? I didn’t know that, I actually had to ask if it was “normal” to feel let down when you were, in fact, crazy anxious and panicky all week.
I don’t really know how to end this honestly, welcome to my brain. Until next time…