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Road to Recovery

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Sunday, 19 July 2009

  The first time I ever experienced an anxiety attack I was at my part time job.  How I got to this part time job well that is a story in itself.  First let me tell you about myself....

 

         

I reside in the midwest with my parents and two wonderful wacky cats. I have one older sister who is pretty terrific and is married to a pretty good guy, except for the fact that he is an attorney....LOL.  They are currently awaiting the birth of their first child.  As for me, I am twenty five years old and I am stuck in the place between child and adult.  You ask what I do for a living....well that is easy I am a forensic investigator with a coroner's office.  I have been in the forensic field for over three years now and I have had my major up and downs with the business, but I love my job.  It is the type of job where I feel fulfilled and I know I kick butt at it. 

At the age of 23, I was offered what I thought to be an amazing job.  I was offered a position as an investigator in a beautiful locale way down south. I was promised a great job in a tropical location. I sunk all of my money into the move and a new apartment.  I was nervous about leaving my family and friends,but really excited about the move. I felt like such an adult and that I was opening up a new chapter of my life.  My parents were wonderful enough to assist me in the move and get me settled. My new staff members threw a welcome party in my honor the first week I moved.  It was so wonderful that complete strangers would go out of the way to do something like that. My parents left at the end of the week and I was sad to see them go,but at the same time I could not wait to start my new job and get my apartment into order.  I left some baggage back at home and I thought that this new move would cure my troubles.

Before I made my move south I was grappling with my first major heart break. I thought I was a late bloomer because I fell madly in love with some at the age of 23. However, this love was not puppy love it was fireworks would go off in my head when I saw this man. However, the man was superior and teaching figure, also he was 19 years my senior.  I confessed the way I felt, but he took the role as an adult and said it could not happen. I was devastated at the time and what made matters worse is that he became involved with another girl in the office who was only 26 and married. This man and I tried to work on continuing our friendship, yet his new girlfriend at the office would not allow for this and she butted me out of his life.  I am still working on this issue today because I know both of us want to be friends.


To get back in track, since living in the south things were looking up.  I was getting good appraisal from my bosses in the first few weeks. I am begin to decorate my apartment and I was constantly out in the city trying to get know people/places. However, the honeymoon period of the new job fell through after two weeks. My new boss who happened to be only two years older then me and a family friend of the head boss to our office.  This girl made my life a living hell. She would never help me if I asked a question she dumped all of her work on me because she would the office to attend to her other job which was her primary passion. The office we worked at was what paid the bills.  On president's day, I was called into the boss's office and I was let go. I was let go for no good reason beyond that It was just not working out.  I was devastated plain and simple.  I immediately got on a plane and went home that same day.  By the next week I moved out of my apartment and back north. My attitude in general was not let the situation get the best of me and to move forward.  I caught up with my old friends and went on a mad job search.

Yet, the economy was starting to bottom out at this time and work was scare. I found a temp job and I had unemployment to live off of. My parents were amazing. They moved me right back into the house and have never asked for any rent since then.  I thought the temp job would be for a month or two.  I was sending out resumes to offices out of state. I thought I was ready to kick some butt and take on the world again. However, one morning at my temp job I began to feel really warm and my temperature just climbed. I could feel hives breaking out all over my neck and face. The room felt like it was going to crash in on me.  I went to the restroom to calm down,but nothing would. I excuse myself from work and went to the hospital down the street. I was terrifed of going home because I was too afraid of being on the freeway.

After being assesed by the doctors and speaking to a counselor, they diagnosed with my first panic attack.  They put me on Atavin and sent me home.  Unfortunately I did not have medical insurance so I could not see a therapist.  All I had was time and small dosage of Atavin.  It took what seemed like weeks to feel "normal" again.  I was afraid of another panic attack hitting. 

I had some speed bumps along the way last year, I fought with my friend because she acted like a total bridezilla and I refused to speak to her for three months, my sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, my bank card was stolen with all of my money drained, and my cat that was nineteen years of age was put to sleep before christmas. When new years came around, I let out a sigh of relief that the year was over. 

Yet things seem to improve..my friend and I made up,my sister overcame her cancer,my money was refunded by the bank,and we have two new cats. 

Earlier this year, I obtained my dream job. I became a full fledge forensic investigator. Things were looking amazing for my family and I by this past May.  Unfortunately, I sustained a scalp cut and needlestick at work in the same month.  Over fourth of july weekend my sister thought she had a miscarriage. After a million visits to her doctors she has turned out okay.  Yet these situations threw me into another huge panic attack.  All I could do was laying on my mom's lap and cry.  I refused to go to the ER. I followed up with my family doctor the next. She prescribed prozac and I suggested I see a therapist. Two days later I had my first session with my therapist and I really let it all out.  I am approaching my third week in therapy and there is so much I need to talk about.  I threw out my prozac because I had a horrible reaction to the mediction. I am opting for a good sleep schedule and workout routine. Just about talking about my fears and anxities has gotten me through the toughest moments in the last few weeks. I am still afraid that I will always be this way,but I am looking only to the future of panic attack free life.  Best of luck to all survivors.

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Irish said:

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I don't know about a panic free life for the near future, but you can certainly improve on it with proper meds. Prozac is for depression not panic attacks. Meds like xanax are for panic attacks. Is your therapist a psychiatrist? That's who can prescribe you the meds you need. It takes awhile. You have to find the right one, the right dosage, maybe you need two, etc. etc. It is very important however, to make it through the day ok. Sometimes just having the meds in your cabinet can ward off the attacks because they are like a security blanket. I have been dealing with anxiety disorder for 47 years and I can honestly say that I'm ok to live life, but will always be wounded from this devasting illness. That's what it is and don't let anyone tell you it's just in your head. It's an illness that you just can't see. Anyway, hoped I helped a little here. Remember all those situations you experienced could have triggered the attacks, but were not the reason for the attacks. You would have had them anyway. My last panic attack was so long ago that I can't remember when it was. Meds and therapy work wonders just like they do for a physical disease. Your mind and body will fully adjust eventually and that will also help with no effort from you. It's a survival instinct. Take care...Ed
 
August 19, 2009
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