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Thursday, 12 February 2009

I don't know if I qualify as a "survivor".  This is all new to me.  I am a decent man with no history of any psychological maladjustment.

But since about middle of 2006 I've been suffering from anxiety.

When I was younger and I felt stress i could sort of talk myself down to earth.


Now I feel it differently.  Now I feel shackled and weighted and electrified.

This anxiety came on during a period of time when I was incarcerated for 33 months.

I desperately missed my wife and children.  I was in a state of perpetual shock all the time.  Every now and then i would get those acidic tendrils in my gut...tunnel vision and I would hear sounds like they were in a distant tunnel.

I figured all this would go away by itself if I just kept my thoughts peaceful and undisturbed.  This worked for a long time.  I would feel the tide fall on me and i would swim back to shore.

The day I was released from custody in December of 2007 I had a terrible attack that I almost couldn't control.  I was scheduled to leave the facility at 8am but I didn't get out of there until 10:30.

My poor wife didn't understand what I was going through.  I tried to explain but she took my anguish for hostility.

To be quite honest, I don't ever think she took me seriously when i told her about my bouts with anxiety.  She always had something to say to top what I was going through.

I've told a couple of medical people about it but they looked at me like I was doctor-shopping for drugs.  They all say the same things.  They say to eat healthy, sleep and get lots of activity.

Well, DUH.  I'm in tip-top shape and get plenty of rest but I still can't escape the seismic activity in my chest.

Frankly, I would have expected my wife to understand since she suffered from anxiety during the time I was gone.

No matter how hard I try to convey what is happening to me I still get dismissive, doubtful looks from people.

Comments (1)add comment

ceejay said:

Get some help!
What you\'re going through is very tough! There are layers of issues and anxiety and panic will make them all more intense and more difficult to deal with.

I think that if I were incarcerated - even for a day or two - I would feel that same perpetual shock you describe. I think that sounds terrible - but probably normal for the circumstance or situation. Perhaps a really good therapist would help. Or, if you have alcohol and drug issues, and you\'re in a 12 step program maybe find a sponsor who knows first hand what incarceration is like.

The beauty (one of them) of this site is that we understand each other, because we have gone through it too. I imagine your wife does understand your anxiety, but the \"trying to top you\" and other stuff may be from undigested resentments, fears and other things that are bothering her. She probably could do with some outside help as well.

Both of you might want to look for a program in your area called \"Kairos\" and \"Kairos Outside\" -- it is a weekend program, free, designed to help people deal with the effects of incarceration. It\'s Christian-based but open to anyone whatever their personal creed. I think you can google it and find some organizers nearby.

I wish you well. I hope you\'ll mine this site for helpful posts and encouragement. You have a tough row to hoe, and I don\'t think anyone can do it alone. We are here for you.

Be sure to check out the Forums, you can scroll back for years of \"conversations\" about various anxieties and panic questions. Also there are various sites on the webs that we\'ve uploaded, and a booklist in the L I N K S section.

Take care. Good luck.

March 24, 2009
Votes: +1

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