Walk With Me
I struggle with anxiety. You know the kind of anxiety that runs deep within you without reason or cause. That is my normal. It is weird to be this way. I do not live on high alert. Just a constant hum of my worries inside me. It actually makes me seem the opposite of anxious. I react differently to drama. I do not fight. I do not raise my voice. If there is a fire, I fight it without getting excitable. If there is a medical emergency, I respond with a very calm nature. Some people mistake me for not caring. In reality, I just am at a constant hum. The best way to explain it to someone without anxiety is...a normal person's brain thinks "what COULD happen?" To those with anxiety it is "what WILL happen?"
Alcohol was my way of self medicating. The thing about alcoholism is you're better when you have alcohol in you. But, when you work in the transportation industry, you cannot drink within 8 hours of your duty day. Bring on the withdrawal symptoms. You know. Shakes. Sweating. Nausea. Headache. But, there is a surprise withdrawal you get when you've finally achieved alcoholic status. Hooray!!! Heart attacks. Just kidding. Panic attacks. But, they FEEL like heart attacks. The first time I had one, I downed about 5 aspirin because I was in the middle of a flight to London and my heart started fluttering, I lost my breath, and was 100% sure I was having a stroke.
Of course, my doctor did not know I was an alcoholic when I came strolling in with my panic attacks.. So, when I showed up with "panic attacks" my doctor gave me Xanax for my "anxiety." Panic attacks-truth. Anxiety-truth. But, the panic attacks were not caused by my original anxiety. The panic attacks were a million times worse because of withdrawals from alcohol. They always came after about 12-24 hours after abstaining from alcohol.
DO NOT TAKE XANAX. I repeat. DO NOT TAKE XANAX if you are an alcoholic. Benzos effect the same pleasure center of your brain as alcohol. You'll love it. I wish I had Xanax right now. But, instead I've learned to take a walk, not a pill. Walk with me.