It all started in September of 2012. I thought life was running pretty smoothly. I was doing fine at my full-time fast paced job, busy being a wife and mother and on top of all of that I was working hard on a website that I was building. My spirits were high and so were my expectations. Nothing was going to stop me. I was on a mission to live the life that I wanted. I always had this reach for the stars attitude.
Over the course of a few months I started noticing little things. I was losing quite a bit of my hair during showering. Since I had such long and thick hair at the time I got a cute little bob haircut thinking my hair length was the problem. That helped with some of the hair loss mystery but I was still having issues. I just shrugged it off as hormones since I was in my mid 30s by this time. The next thing I started dealing with was tightness and tension in my neck and some mild aches and pains. I kept going full speed ahead with my obligations and just assumed it was due to too many hours in front of the computer.
Yea, I knew I was "a little" stressed but who isn't these days right? I had way too much to accomplish to let a few aches and pains stand in my way.
One bright September morning I went off to work like I did every day. All dressed to impress and ready for tackling client problems which is what we always did at our law firm. I knew my chest felt strange but I assumed it was allergies or a cold since the allergy season was coming into full swing by this time. That was the day it first happened. By mid-day my dull chest ache turned into full-blown seering pain which led me to think I was having a heart attack. I left work early trying my best to act calm in front of my co-workers and by the time I got home I litterally thought I was dying. The pain was crushing, I was shaking, sick to my stomach and scared to death. My husband came home from work and took me straight to our family doctor. They did an EKG, x-ray and all sorts of tests and everything came back fine. I was relieved to know I was not having a heart attack, but on the other hand I was still wondering what was wrong with me. The pain had calmed some but was not gone. I really needed answers. My family doctor said it could be anxiety. I wanted to throw something at her! She prescribed me Xanax. I left her office angry and still in pain. I just knew something was "physically" wrong with me and I was upset because they did not find anything. I threw the Xanax prescription in the trash can when I got home.
Over the course of several months I had attacks simliar to the first one and worse. I went to several other doctor offices seeking answers, more specialists than I can count and three different hospital ERs not to mention went through a hosts of tests and the only thing they could find was a bad case of gastritis. I started taking proton pump inhibitors and after some time they helped dull the pain in my stomach and chest. Nothing could completely stop the pain nor the shaking and whacky epsidodes I was having at least on a daily basis by this point. I had to take two weeks off from work and found myself wanting to just sleep and remove myself from the world. I lost a dangerous amount of weight. It was all a very stressful time for my husband and children.
After much prayer and getting at least 25% of my thought process back in order I returned to my regular family doctor like the prodigal son. This was only after some encouragment from my husband. I was still stewing over the fact she mentioned I may be sufferring from depression and anxiety but by this point I was willing to give anything a shot. She prescribed me some meds for depression and anxiety and started monitoring me closely. I did not want to accept this diagnosis and strugged with it for a long time. I had been strong all my life so how could this happen to someone like me? I knew it ran in my family but I just did not have time for something like this. I am sure that is what we all say.
Fast foward a few years later and I am doing much better. I stay on my medication. God forbid I have tried to get off a few times and the anxiety came back with a vengence. I have learned to take the time to slow down, just breathe, spend quality time with my family and do what I love and that is write and work on my blog. I work to live not live to work. I have discovered the beauty of life by taking the time to actually smell the roses. Sometimes our bodies have to shut us down in order for us to heal and I think that could be what happened to me. If we do not practice utilizing a wholesome balance of work and life we can quickly let stress overcome us. My body tells me when it is time to take a break and now I listen. Do I have it mastered? No, of course not, but each day is a new day to be positive and to let myself focus on what is good and not what is bad. Anxiety does not control me now. I am able to control the anxiety.
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