I read a post the other day by Erin over at Living in Yellow that really hit home.
It made me finally decide to open up and share about a topic that's taken over my life these past 2 months.
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.
Let me start by saying that I have always been so laid back and had a "whatever, I dont care, it could be worse" attitude. I blow everything off and very rarely get upset/freak out over things.
My husband has had a night shift for the past 90 days that I have absolutely loathed,
every minute of everyday.
He leaves at 4 pm and doesn't get home until 7 am.
Then he sleeps until about 2:30 pm and wakes up and does it all over again.
Not only does that leave less than 2 hours a day to spend time together but I'm alone a lot.
I also can't contact him because once he gets to work they have to turn their phones in for security reasons.
AND he works over an hour away.
One night I was laying on the couch watching The Office when all of a sudden I had a burning in my head, pounding heart, horrible neck and chest pain, and numb arms.
I literally thought I was going to die.
I had no idea what was going on with me and it scared the crap out of me that my husband wasn't there and he couldn't take me to the ER. He was over an hour away and being in another country makes you feel crazy alone at times.
I had to call one of his friends who took me to the ER at the German hospital.
They really couldn't understand my english and insisted nothing was wrong with me.
The doctor kept saying it made no sense and gave me muscle relaxers and sent me home.
I flipped out.
How could they just send you home when you feel like you are literally dying.
I took the muscle relaxers when I got home and they knocked me out.
The next day I did some research and found out it was a panic attack,
my first one ever.
I became so obsessed with the thought I would have another one that 2 nights later,
it happened again.
For about 3 weeks all I could think about was having a panic attack
and I had constant chest and neck pain. I couldn't sleep because I was alone every night so I just stayed up trying to calm my nerves until my husband got home and I could feel okay again.
I always had a lump in my throat and was pretty much scared to leave the house in case another one happened.
Enough was enough.
So I went to the doctor, was told I had Anxiety/Panic disorder, and got put on anti-anxiety meds.
Laid back, doesnt care about anything, happy old me...on Anxiety meds?!
Besides crazy headaches and blurry vision, guess what else comes with these meds.
NO CAFFEINE OR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.
I live in Germany and can't drink.
Or have coffee.
For the next 6 months.
It took a little over 4 weeks for them to start working but I'm finally starting to feel "normal" again.
I've always been against taking any pills of any kind.
I dont even take advil or tylenol unless I REALLY need to take it, which is hardly ever.
But I tried to get over anxiety without them and nothing I had tried was working.
Its such a crazy feeling. You literally feel like a crazy person.
and if you have never had anxiety or panic attacks, you won't understand the feeling.
I have tried explaining what it's like over and over to my husband but he thinks its all in my head and doesn't understand why I just cant stop.
I had the same mentality towards it, before it happened to me but it is so hard to talk yourself out of feeling this way. 9 times out of 10 once you start feeling anxious you sit and think about it and it gets worse and worse.
Before you know it you are having a panic attack. Apparently Germans don't get those because their doctors don't understand what one sounds like.
Thanks to bloggers like Erin I can finally start feeling normal again and that I'm not the only crazy person on the planet.
Hopefully my story can help/comfort one of you and know that you are not alone!
Its actually extremely common to have anxiety/panic disorder.