Where it all began

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a bit of an anxious guy. I don’t know where if stems from but it never was a big issue for me. It was something I just dealt  with. However, these past two years have been completely different from my low level anxiety. Things took a major turn when things began to happen in my life. 

My ex, who was also my best friend died from cancer, dealing with a bad break up, losing a job which caused financial struggles. Things became really bad, really fast. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. The last two years of my relationship took a toll on me mentally and emotionally. My best friend was battling cancer. I remember the night that he passed. It still haunts me till this day. I had fallen asleep early that night and when I woke up, I had a missed call from him. Naturally, I called back, just knowing he was going to pick up like he always does but this time was different. The phone just rang and ranged, and ranged some more. I called his mom whose phone also just rang. This is when I knew something was wrong. I soon got the news that he’d passed. I became numb. 

Fast forward a few weeks, my relationship was at it’s end. Things haven’t been going well for a long time. With the passing of my best friend, I just didn’t have it in me any longer to continue being unhappy. I didn’t have to energy to fight anymore so I called things off. Sometimes I wonder if it was the right decision because he was the only guy I truly loved and felt such strong emotions for. We spent 6+ years getting to know. Unfortunately, people came between us. We became untruthful about the pettiest things. We allowed our egos to cloud our judgment. The way things were going left me questioning myself. Especially in the last few months. When it was over, I fell into a deep depression. I was mentally checked out of everything. I just wanted to disappear.  And in a way I did. 

I deleted all my social media. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. I was deleting numbers in my phone of people who drained my energy. I began to isolate myself. I was this way for a little over a year. During this year, I just buried myself in work. At the time, my sister and I were running a business in partnership with another company. We use to get into arguments a lot because I use to do 90% of the work while she often would cut work days short to spend time with her boyfriend. Me doing most of the work meant that I didn’t have much time to spend with my boyfriend. This was one of the reasons our relationship didn’t work out. But that’s beside the point. The company that we were in partnership with who also was getting up clients who helped pay the bills just abruptly shut down. They filed for bankruptcy what seemed to be out of nowhere and without warning. I knew something was up when payments started to be late, and the last 4 months of work with them, they didn’t even pay. This left me in a bind and only added to the stress I was already dealing with. 

Weeks later is when I had my first ever panic attack. It was the scariest thing I ever experienced. I thought I was going to die. I remember it like it were yesterday. After the first one, I had a few more which were equally as bad because I had no clue what the fuck was going on. The doctor at the ER didn’t even explain it to me. He just ran some test and said your heart is fine, there is no bleeding in your brain. Would you like an Ativan to calm down. I didn’t even know what real anxiety felt like, let along a panic attack so the next few days I was depressed, on edge, felt like I was going crazy. It got so bad that I didn’t sleep for 3 days straight, the mind was racing, heart rate up and down. I didn’t get 1 min of sleep. I was a wreck. On the third day, I had another major panic attack, this time I experienced depersonalization and derealization. I felt like I was losing my mind, I was so tired from not having slept, not eating, and now I thought I was losing my mind. I was so scared I was going to do something stupid like jump off the balcony cause that’s what crazy people do right? I immediately called 911. When I got to the ER I began to hyperventilate to the point it felt like I was going to pass out. My blood pressure was like 194/111. I was crying thinking I was a failure, crying that I lost my only friend, lost who I thought was the love of my life, my job everything, my mind was just going and going. At this point I thought I was losing it, I was having suicidal ideations and decided to check myself into the psych ward.  

This was the start of my panic disorder & general anxiety.