Triggers: anxiety attack, panic, stress, medication, alcohol, marijuana,smoking
After high school things got a bit difficult for me. My anxiety was worse. I was drinking to try to calm myself. I was drinking all the time. I remember staring up at the ceiling with my heart just beating like it was going to pop out of my chest. The worry that would greet me every morning. I would sweat a lot. It did not help that I was addicted to energy drinks and large Starbucks coffees. Little did I know those beverages were just making my anxiety worse.
My anxiety would be triggered by the littlest things. Then came the panic. I believe that I had so much anxiety that it would trigger the panic attacks. They were frequent. Once it got so bad, I remember laying on the bathroom floor hyperventilating and I could feel my hands going numb and almost as if my limbs wanted to do their own thing. I was freaking out in the fetal position trying to get myself to calm down. It was exhausting. I felt like no one understood what was going on with me.
I finally went to go see doctor when I was 19. I was not really smoking marijuana, I thought a break would be good. I am guilty of the underage drinking and it sort of helped. The doctor prescribed me an anti anxiety pill. It was so small I did not believe that it would work. The doctor told me that I had to take them as needed. First panic attack I got I popped one of those tiny white pills and it instantly calmed me down. I was so happy. About two weeks had gone by and I realized I was taking those little white pills a lot. They did not seem to be doing their magic like they were before. So I went back to the doctor, she just upped my dose. No big deal, right? I started taking them, no problem. But then I realized that I NEEDED them. A couple weeks later I was back at the doctor’s office and the doctor upped my dose again. Then I realized I was taking these pills all the time. Even when I did not have anxiety I was taking them. I was drinking and taking them. But my anxiety was almost non existent. Then one day before work I took my pill and started drinking my energy drink. Did I mention that I was also smoking more than a pack a day?? Yea that too.. On the way to work I got these really weird thoughts, definitely not good thoughts and very out of the ordinary thoughts. I had to pull over. I was scared. I realized that I was abusing my medication. That day I stopped taking them.Cold turkey which is not recommended but I did, I was spooked, and I would rather deal with the anxiety than go through that crazy thought situation again.
The anxiety came back and I was pretty lost. When I turned 21 I was still having anxiety, still drinking to try to suppress it. Still smoking. I had been prescribed pain pills and started taking those. Plus I was up to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. At this point my anxiety was not around but I was not being healthy. If I did not have a drink in a social setting my anxiety would kick in. I would rip my nails off when I would feel anxious so I would get acrylic nails, that helped me have nice nails. I managed to suppress my anxiety and not deal with it. I was dealing with depression too. I thought if I just kept drowning my anxiety out with alcohol, marijuana, or cigarettes I would be ok. I was tired all the time. I was so thin. I think being anxious all the time kept me burning calories or something. I never really had much of an appetite. I felt BLAH, my hair was dull, my skin was dull, I was tired, I had trouble sleeping, basically I was a hot mess. My twenties was a juggling act of taking substances to try to numb the anxiety. I was having anxiety at work and at home. It got to a point where I could not take it anymore and needed help.
In part 3 I will talk about how things turned around with my anxiety. Thank you for reading and please like or comment on this blog. I would love to hear your feedback.
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Please note that I am not a medical professional. Even though anxiety meds did not work for me does not mean it is a bad choice or option for dealing with your anxiety. If you are taking medication and you feel like it is not working out or giving you weird side effects please consult a medical professional.