Every so often, I get a mild bit of anxiety. I'm not curled up in the fetal position, in a corner behind the bed, or anything like that, but it is a definite physical sensation.
Years ago, I had panic attacks for a period of about nine months, and I really did think I was going crazy. I was losing control, something I had always prided myself on. I was never out of control. Not me. I could handle anything. I was just too cool, which sort of gives away the age bracket I was in.
No, this was something different, something that nothing in the past had really prepared me for.
I was seriously worried that I might end up in a mental hospital for the rest of my life. They would take away all of my rights, my freedom, my dignity, and I would never get out.
The heart races, and palpitates, you're sweating, the walls are closing in and it's hard to breathe kind of anxiety attacks...a person would have taken almost any pill, even committed suicide, if that shit went on long enough.
That thought, that I really was sick, just added fuel to the fire, as much as anything else that was going on. You can't control an anxiety attack, all you can do is ride it out. Just getting up and going outside helped when it got really bad...
I did go to a psychiatrist, and take meds like Paxil and Seroquel, which essentially turn you into a zombie, and I gave that up after a few weeks. It's not what I wanted. I could not live like that. Take the Seroquel, you're unconscious in about five minutes at bedtime. Take a Paxil upon waking up, and you're still sitting in your underwear in front of the Weather Network at three or four in the afternoon. You have no life.
Maybe I just wanted my life back, eh.
And I got it back. I had to work at it, but I got my life back.
Looking back, the turning point was kind of personal, but it did happen, and I got through it.
Put in general terms, the source of the stress went away, and the panic attacks just ceased.
The thing is, without a car, (I'm using the shop spare van to go back and forth to work), I just haven't been getting out much.When I get the transportation challenge settled, and maybe get out and walk a trail a little more often, the odds are that it will help considerably. What I need, is to sit on a beach, or to ride my bike on some crummy little back street, go and sit down by the river.
Right now, we're still kind of stuck here.
There's all kinds of time to think—and to worry.
I'm spending too much time, alone with my thoughts.
Anyways, thank you for listening.
Image: Anxiety, by Edvard Munch.
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