Thank You, Anxiety. You Helped Change My Life.

February 25, 2014

My Running

In June of 2004, I was at work. It was another regular day. Nothing extraordinary happening. Except I hadn’t cleaned my house and my parents were coming that weekend and the only time I had to clean was at midnight. And then I had to be in Santa Clarita the next morning, meaning I had to leave at 5am in order to make it on time.

Oh and my daughters were graduating. One from pre-school. The other from Jr. High.

So my day started out okay, considering I hadn’t slept that much. Got to work and at that particular job—they had fruit, muffins, coffee and orange juice out for everyone. It was going to be an easy day.

About an hour into the assignment….I had this huge surge of adrenaline rush through me. It was a feeling of pure fear. For no reason. I took a deep breath and shook it off and thought “that was weird…” And then it happened again. I thought I was going to be sick. I told the other interpreter I needed to go to the bathroom and he needed to take over. I didn’t give him an option. I left the room.

The only way I can describe my feeling was I was just scared. “Something” was going to happen. I didn’t know what. I just knew something was going to happen. I walked outside and felt a little calmed. Walked for a bit and went back to work. Replaced the interpreter and said sorry. Began to interpret….and about ten minutes later….that adrenaline fear-filled feeling came back. I got up and said something was wrong. And left the room again. I went walking through the building. I saw this lady sitting at her desk and I just went and sat by her. She looked at me like I was a homeless crazy person. I said “something’s wrong…” She asked what was wrong. And I started to cry and I said “I don’t know. I just know something is goi to happen….” She asked “do you want me to call 911?” And I said “yes”. I couldn’t believe that had come out of my mouth. And when I said yes….my mind told me “oh my god. Something IS wrong!!”

Paramedics came. I was ok. A bit dizzy. All my vitals checked out. There wasn’t anything wrong with me. They asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said Yes. Again, my mind thought “WTF? You just said yes to the hospital????!!!!!”

I was told at the hospital that I was okay. They did an EKG. And I don’t know what else. But they said I was healthy. I called my husband and he left work and got a ride to come pick me up. He said he was soooooooo worried. He stayed home with me that day. I remember thinking that was such a big deal.

A week later, the same thing happened again. I was home. And my husband took me to the E.R. My doctor called in a prescription for Xanax. She told me I was having anxiety attacks. I am sober so Xanax is not really an option for me but I took one. I didn’t feel any different. I was still worked up. My mind would NOT stop. I don’t know what was making me feel so afraid.

My mother-in-law came and sat with me because I didn’t want to be alone. My sister in law worked for a chiropractors office and told me to go see him. He explained that my body was out of whack. And even if I didn’t “feel” like I was under any stress the body and mind reacts to things subconsciously. I saw him two or three times a week for a few months. I felt better. Dr Marks. I will never forget that man.

My doctor prescribed me Paxil. She told me anxiety attacks are caused by the mind.

I took Paxil for four years. I hated taking that stupid pill everyday, at the same time. When I went to see my doctor and told her that taking the Paxil everyday at the same time served as a reminder of that day in 2004, and basically kept me in fear. She looked at me and said “I’m doubling your dosage”. I left the office knowing I would not be doubling my dose and decided to wean myself off of it. Then I was given a book by a very good friend. “From Panic to Power”. By Lucinda Bassett. I felt true relief when I read that book. This is my experience ONLY.

I started to run in 2006. My husband left me that same year and I went through an identity crisis after being with him for twenty years. I was living in constant sadness. I lost a job. I moved. I found a full time job. I also lost that same job three years later, because they closed our center. A year and half later they re-opened and I got to get my job back. At lesser pay. And everyday I lived with the constant thought: what if I have another anxiety attack????. Constant. That thought was my constant companion. And that day in June 2004 really feels like just a couple years ago.

Last night I was driving home and I thought: wow. That happened TEN YEARS AGO. And I never had another anxiety attack like that since 2004. I have had anxiety as a companion on many levels, especially going through my divorce and loss of job. TEN YEARS. What was my mind trying to tell me back then?

there’s something very wrong with your marriage. LOOK. (?)
you need to start exercising or you will die. (?)
you are so absent from life. (?)
HELLO! Don’t ignore me…..(?)

I will never know. All I know is it has been ten years. I do believe that anxiety is caused by what I’m thinking. My feelings are caused by what’s in my brain. I downloaded affirmations by Louise Hay. I leaned on people and let them in. I had a choice: To save face or save my ass. I chose my ass.

Change my thoughts; my feelings will follow. If I predict doom and gloom; those feelings will follow.

If I predict a happy life with lots to be grateful for…..

Well—those feelings will follow too

I run because it truly does (and has) heal(ed)my mind.

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About rsouleret

I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I work full time. And I run. ILML.

View all posts by rsouleret


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6 Comments on “Thank You, Anxiety. You Helped Change My Life.”

  1. cognodissonance Says:

    Such an inspiring story. Anxiety is no joke, and as an individual that has experience attacks before, there is no way to explain the horror during that very instance. Also, having an attack around people and trying to explain to them what’s going on doesn’t really work out. Congratulations on your breakthrough, and run on!


  2. Chris Says:

    I am so glad you shared your anxiety story. I will have to tell you mine some day…when I am locked in my head I am in big trouble. Got to get out of self


  3. Lele Says:

    Proud of you, Girl
    Youve survived many things
    You overcame those kind of feelings
    And they MADE you STRONGER
    Stronger, Renee, I mean, stronger!

    Just keep running – running is your healing.
    I love to hear your stories, your thoughts and love that you are just being YOU
    You are strong person



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