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The Cycle

Anxiety is an interesting emotion.

I may have always been an anxious person, though it was disguised as “shy” through the words of my parents and friends growing up.  I never knew I was an anxious human until August of 2006.  I left for work on a normal summer morning when a panic attack struck me while driving on the highway.  In my mind I was sure that I had suffered a heart attack.  I pulled to the side of the road, unable to move my arms.  Surprisingly, I was as calm as I had been in years.  I could feel every heart beat, every breath.  I managed to get my right hand to put my car in neutral (manual transmission), and then move my pelvis to get my right pant pocket near my right hand.  My fingers started to regain feeling and I was able to dial emergency.  To my recollection, I was able to have a very mellow conversation with the operator.  I told her that I believed I had just suffered a heart attack while driving.  The nice lady stayed on the line until help arrived, wished me luck, and hung up.

To this point, I haven’t even mentioned that my fiance was driving behind me on the highway that morning.  She was driving behind me because she was following me to the doctor as I had requested.  I felt as if an elephant was sitting on my chest the morning of my panic attack.  I asked her to follow me so that as soon as the doctor told me that I was just a hypochondriac, we could both make our way to respective work locations.  Little did we know, neither of us would make it to work that day.

About 3 miles into my drive on the highway, fiance directly behind me, my body locked up. Later in the hospital this would be diagnosed as “tetany.”  I tried to lift my right arm up to signal to my finace that I was pulling over to the shoulder.  I managed to push my hard fist against the “emergency” indicator button in the car.  For those who don’t understand my poor description, this is the button that makes your turn signals blink at the same time.

Let me quickly get past this event and on to reasonable material.  A couple of fire fighters were closest to me and helped me a great deal.  They put me in the back of an ambulance upon its arrival.  I went to a hospital and was checked out for most of the day.  Eventually it appeared it was “just” a panic attack.  Fast forward a week and I paid a visit to my normal physician, who prescribed some depression/anxiety pills, and pushed a visit to a psychologist.  The phsychologist had me do some tests and actually diagnosed me with ADD.  His report also stated that I may have depression.  Both of these diagnosis were out of left field to me.  Both of these diagnosis made me feel anxious.

The thought of taking medication made me anxious.  Taking anxiety medication makes me anxious.  What?  What kind of emotion/illness is this?

I immediately wondered what people would think if they knew I was on anxiety medication.  What made me more anxious was knowing that the medication for anxiety was the same as for depression.  Everyone is going to think I’m a maniac.

I’ve dealt with this feeling ever since.  I’ve been embarrassed of taking medication for my anxiety.  I ask my wife not to tell anyone.  I don’t even know if it works.  I’m anxious all the time.  I automatically assume the worst.  I don’t network enough in the professional world because I’m afraid of being judged.  I overeat.  I always have a vice.  I want to see if marijuana will help me but I’m too anxious to buy it – fearing I’ll get caught.  An anxious person afraid of getting something that may help them – imagine that.

Well, odd first post.


Hello world!