Since I was young, I was never very outspoken regarding my opinions or feelings. I have always pretty much gone with whatever someone else wanted to do, listened to other people’s problems and hardly ever took any risks. I always felt like I couldn’t really be who I wanted to be, I was screaming on the inside and nothing would come out.
As I grew older, I married, had a child and found a great career. Everything was falling into place. My husband’s uncle and grandmother passed. Unfortunately his family began fighting about the estate. There were court dates, appeals and way too much stress. I was determined to be the strong wife and do whatever I could to help my husband. In the meantime, my grandmother passed, I had surgery on my right wrist, was rear-ended on the freeway, suffering whiplash and severe back pain. I didn’t want to bother my husband with any of these issues and kept it all inside. A few months later, my mother-in-law was in the hospital, pretty much on her deathbed while my husband was out of town working. I didn’t think I could handle my husband not handling it if they couldn’t help her.
One morning I was working from home with a sick child. I started having a weird feeling in my chest. Almost felt like little stabbing pains right in the middle of my heart. It started to grow stronger; I felt it through my back, my arms, and my entire body. Then it hit me hard all at once. What happened? Did I just have a minor heart attack? That was the scariest feeling I ever had. I wasn’t sure if I should go to the hospital or not, considering I felt better. I figured I didn’t need to go. Until a few days later, in the middle of work at the office, it started again. I left immediately and went straight to the hospital without telling anyone. I had an unbelievable amount of test done to see if there was any issue with my heart. Everything was fine; they didn’t find a single thing wrong with me. They said I must have had a panic attack. At this point I decided I needed help.
I visited a psychiatrist and turns out I have a general anxiety disorder, also known as “the worry disease”. After many questions it all started making sense. I was worried about what was going to happen with my husband, my family, my work and I was trying too hard to hold it all together when I needed to express my feelings. The muscle tightness, headaches, dizzy spells and profuse sweating were all signs that this attack was about to happen. I ended up starting a regimen of Zoloft and use Clonazepam for attacks. Now I can recognize the signs when my anxiety is coming on. I will start to fidget with things very quickly and cannot stop moving, my chest will start to become tight, along with my body muscles and I will breath very quickly. I remove myself from the situation and try to find a quiet place where I can take deep breaths and let my muscles relax. If this doesn’t work, I will take a small amount of the clonazepam. Even knowing that I have that medication as a back up helps calm me down. I have been working on this for about seven months now and I feel so much better. I am able to communicate properly with my husband and am hoping to be able to start weaning myself off of the medication in another few months.