This Bitch I Call Anxiety: The Unfortunate Events Of My Breakdown (PART 2)

If you haven't read The Prologue or Part1...go back...

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't have left most of you hanging with that ending, but how else could I force  you to keep reading? Huh? Thought so.

Side Note: A lot of you reading this already know my story or parts of it, but the ones who don't, please don't feel sorry for me. Thats not why I am writing this. I am alive. I am happy. I am healthier and stronger, because of what happened throughout my life. The positive of my anxiety is I am a better person now, a year ago I couldn't say the same thing but here I am. So please, DO NOT TAKE PITY ON MY STORY. I  got this.

THIS IS MY STORY. THIS IS REAL. THIS IS RAW. IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE READING ABOUT A PANIC ATTACK YET,  STOP NOW. 

Let's start by saying Sergio was fine, thankfully, after his car accident.

When he called me, I had lost my shit. I didn't lock the doors to my house, I left all five of my dogs out of their cages, I was distressed. The accident happened three blocks down the street so I rushed as quickly as I could. I am definitely not the type of person to think clearly in an emergency situation, so you should probably never count on me. I called Jess, as she was around the corner, and had her go to the house to lock up and get the dogs and then she met me at the scene of the crime.

When I got to Sergio and saw my car, I literally broke down. My car was totaled, wrapped around a tree. Sergio was fine, although I still think he should have went to the hospital for his hand. (Thats my anxiety talking). Once we waited for the police and tow truck we went home and instantly I hit freak out mode. I knew I needed a car for work, his car was a lease which means I couldn't take his car to and from work because of the miles. (Did I mention in all of this that for two years I was driving to and from Cleveland, an hour from my house, for work? Ha, yeah.)

That same day, we went to trade in his car and get a new one and realized it was more expensive this time around but what choice did we have? I got a call that weekend, my car was considered totaled and I needed a new one. Back to Kia we went. Another new car. I was so stressed and exhausted after these events. The money spent, the stress...But I kept it moving.

That week, my store manager was FINALLY back from maternity leave, so I could have a sense of normalcy in my life again. Well, the saying goes..."The calm before the storm". January was a breeze. I went on PTO for a week, Melissa came to visit me, I got our new house together and started to make it into a home, everything was great. Until January 28th, that is.

I have always had a fear of bridges but for the most part I could manage driving over them, until this particular day. I knew there was going to be traffic and I had drove over the 480 bridge in Cleveland tons of times. Well, this was my breakdown and the day of my very first panic attack, the day an explosion went off in my mind.

As soon as I hit the bridge and was stopped in traffic, not really stopped, but you know that 10 MPH traffic, so basically stopped, I got this urge to turn off the radio, roll down the windows (in the middle of 10 degree weather), take off my jacket and my seatbelt. I felt trapped, stuck, I was overwhelmed but oddly enough my hands were sweaty and I was hot. My heart was pounding so hard I thought I was having a heart attack and my legs were shaking, I literally could not breathe. I started crying and called Sergio. I had no idea WTF was going on. I was so scared and panicky. I tried to gain back control and I drove in and out of lanes trying to get off that bridge and when I finally did I pulled off the highway and got out of the car. I was hysterical. After about five minutes I calmed myself down and then realized I had just had my first panic attack, out of no where (or so I thought at the time).

From this day on, I was scared of everything. I mean I basically already was, but I still handled shit, shit didn't handle me. I couldn't drive over ANY bridge, or in the snow storms, or driving in the dark. It got to the point where driving on the highway gave me a panic attack. I was taking the backroads from Akron to Cleveland daily. Television shows and movies caused panic attacks, being sick, leaving the house, talking about my anxiety, literally everything, even walking into Walmart. I had no idea what was going on, I was so scared, I thought I was going crazy. I called my therapist whom I hadn't seen in four years and she diagnosed me with generalized anxiety. There it is people. Official and all. (NOT DEPRESSION Team of Dr. Assholes, I have ANXIETY... two different mental illnesses).

I went to my family doctor (AKA Team of Dr. Assholes) and all they wanted to do was throw medicine in my face. Here's a prescription for Zoloft. And if you know me, thats NOT an option. I get anxiety thinking about the side effects and the possibility of dying from the medication. If you have anxiety you understand this the most, everything is going to kill me, literally. It sounds dramatic but I think of the craziest ways something is going to kill me. But, thats another post in itself. But these doctors wouldn't let it go. When I came in, it was "Oh, did you start Zoloft? We can raise the dosage", like.... biiiiiitch, NO.

Anyways, I went on trying to live everyday. But because of the panic attacks I was so tired. When I wasn't working, I was sleeping, period. Hours. Days of sleeping. I couldn't function at work because by the time I drove up there, I had already had one or two panic attacks, so I came in everyday crying. I decided I needed to transfer or quit. I didn't want to but my anxiety was literally crippling. I couldn't drive to Cleveland anymore. But, my job was understanding and offered me FMLA. So was April to June, FMLA I went.

For the first month I was at the doctors once a month because my head hurt, my heart was pounding, I was scared of this, or I was always sick, something was going to kill me, but I still refused the medicine. Going to my therapist was working and she didn't push meds so I felt safe there.

Although, there is there girl named Briana at my family doctors office and she is a gift from God. I could talk to her for hours at my family doctors office. She doesn't judge, she understands, doesn't push meds, answers any questions and even rides the elevator with me in my new found fear. I wish I could have her with me everyday. She was a huge part in my recovery. She even still calls to check on me. I literally love this girl. She is a behavioral health counselor by the way, not some random girl I just talk to, and she's NOT imaginary, Im crazy but not THAT crazy. Yet. (If you haven't noticed I can get very side tracked, Sergio will call me "Steve", my dads name, to get my attention. My dad doesn't pay much attention either and can get side tracked very easily too).

After a month of FMLA and more panic attacks and doctors visits, I decided to pump the breaks. I HAD to start taking back control and I HAD to get better. I'm JENNA MOTHER FUCKING GARLOCK (FALZONE) and I REFUSE to let this overtake my life anymore that it already has. So I came up with a game plan and got to work.

Signed Opinionated Fashionista

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