Reality of an Anxiety Attack
Updated: Dec 13, 2018
This week brought a new experience to me. One I want to share because it really put a huge perspective in my eyes, one I never thought to be real. Anxiety attacks suck!
Now, I am not perfect, and don't ever try to show or seem that I am perfect, but I never had an anxiety attack before. I always believed them to be episodes of worrisome people, focusing on the future and things they can't control.
Until it happened to me...
Now, my whole life, I was brought up in an environment of not sharing ones feelings, or if shared, being judged, ridiculed, or told that what I felt or thought was wrong. So, instead of sharing anything, I would keep quiet. Not all quiet of course, I can be quite opinionated, but the feelings that really mattered, you know? Those thoughts or feelings that needed to be heard and just wanting to be understood and told everything was going to be okay(worrisome). Those feelings were excluded.
I kept them hidden, suppressed, knowing that no one would ever understand. I managed those feelings alone, finding ways to find peace, but as I have read many stories and even in my own experience, though you may seem at peace, those thoughts and feelings are still there, lurking through every corner and waiting for the perfect moment to implode.
Being married for 4 years and a half and a father of two beautiful girls, I wanted everyone to take me seriously as an adult, I started to make my feelings known. In my words, "I was standing up and acting like an adult, taking no sh*t from nobody." I thought I had found my way, but then started to receive many mixed reviews. Why? because everyone was accustomed to me remaining quiet when confrontation arose and just making the changes needed so it didn't happen again.
This made it seem like it was always my fault, I was always in the wrong, and I was the only one that had to change. My self confidence decreased and my identity lost.
Well, like my blog posts have shown, I have been on the path to discover my self identity again, and gain confidence. However, managing a full-time job, with full-time school, travel time and working extra, has been a challenge for me (things I can't control). For the past couple of months I have been feeling a lot of pressure in my chest, one I never felt before, that makes it hard to breathe. I ignored it because it would only be for a brief moment.
Well, what I realize now, was that those were small anxiety attacks, giving me a warning. I didn't listen until It hit strong. Everything I held in, taking the blame for all the mistakes, errors, and all the bad things that had occurred(things I can't control, and worrying), finally came out, while driving I may add. My chest was in pain, my arms were numb and I was crying uncontrollably.
I even tried to pull myself together to make it to work, but nothing was calming me down. I even made it home and it still continued. My amazing and lovely wife, noticed what was happening and she did all that she could to comfort me. After more than 4 hours later, I started to feel my arms again, the crying had ceased, and my chest pain was relieved.
I believe if I had to pull myself together, it would have taken longer. I am thankful that my wife was there to help me and even my daughter Chloe, who would come and give me hugs and tell me "oh papi, don't cry, here have George(stuffed monkey)".
I now accept that I have the characteristics I described of someone with anxiety. Anxiety attacks are not fun and I give props to those who have enough strength to pull themselves out of an attack.
You are stronger than what you believe, and you are not alone.
I am doing my best to manage my anxiety better, and look forward to being strong as those who have had it for many years, just one step at a time.