Thursday, August 17, 2006


Since 2001 I've been taking anti-anxiety medication. In hindsight, I should have been on it a long time before that. Growing up I never knew that my anxiety issues were any different from other people; I thought it was normal.

Looking back I can see how I dealt with the anxiety, and how if I had known that it wasn't normal things could quite possibly be different today. My fear of failure held me back quite a bit. I played that I was uninterested or I would start and give up in fustration. I wasn't exactly afraid of asking for help, but continuely asking was out of the question; I would appear as stupid and in turn, a failure. I didn't think this of other people, but had such high expectations for myself that it only pretained to me.

Criticism was my worst enemy. If someone criticized something I said or did, however innocent, it was a personal attack on me and I would basically be melting inside. I felt like I could throw up, cry, and punch someone all at the same time.

I rarely studied, though I was a good student. Possibly putting effort into something without an added return was basically yet another failure. Why try harder than I have to? If I can "get by" without giving more of myself I should be safe.

Then I went off to college. In all seriousness, I went to college because it was expected of me. I applied to two schools and was accepted to both; UofM-Duluth and UofM-Twin Cities. I played with the thought of going to Globe College for Graphic Design, but when I even mentioned it to my mom her reaction told me that it wasn't acceptable. God only knows if I read her correctly, I could have jumped to conclusions- but that's a big part of the anxiety! I jumped to conclusions based on the the "what if" factors! I seriously chose the Twin Cities campus over Duluth for one simple fact: hills. I drove a manual and was freaked out about having to drive it in Duluth! For those that have never been, the entire city is on the side of a hill. Regardless of where you go, you have to go straight up or down.

During my first few weeks of school I would lay in bed at night thinking of all the things that could go wrong back at home and at school. I had always been my mom's second set of eyes when it came to my younger brothers; what if something happened to one of them that could have been avoided had I been there! What if I went to my class and it had moved to a new classroom? What if I sat in a class for weeks only to find out that I was supposed to be in a completely different class! STUPID STUPID STUPID thoughts in hindsight, but they were all too real then. What I know now as anxiety attacks were an every night occurance as I lay there!

To add to the anxiety I started to deal with depression during my Sophomore year. On November 16, 1996 a good friend that lived across the hall from me committed suicide. I remember the day like it was yesterday, and now it's going on 10 years! It wasn't the first time I had ever dealt with suicide, a elementary school classmate and my grandfather had both taken their lives. In this experience we found her, we summoned help, and we had to deal with the fact that "had we only been a few minutes earlier!" Still today my heart sinks thinking of that day.

In the following months of my friend's death I contimplating leaving school and just leave life behind for awhile. Go West, South, or East...somewhere that wasn't there. The only thing that kept me in school was the fact that my other friends were going through exactly the same thing. At that point I stayed in school for all of the wrong reasons. From that point on I was there to earn a piece of paper, not the education. I went to class, did the work, and then escaped from campus.

The weekend my friend died was actually supposed to be the first time I would have met the man that is now my husband. It's weird to think that one is apart of the other. Two weeks following my friend's death I started my new job and was introduced to him. I remember that night being the worst night ever. It was the first time I had been away the comfort of my friends, and on top of that I was the new girl on the job. Still today I hate the first day of anything! Midway through the shift I had to take a break because I couldn't stop crying. A few years later I found out that everyone at work had been misinformed. They were told that MY roommate committed suicide (not that THAT would be any more or less painful!) so they were all surprised I was even there two weeks later. When I was the sobbing mess they all felt really bad for me.

My husband was actually my direct supervisor. He had been recently promoted, right before I started, because my older brother had demoted himself because he was moving. So for two weeks I worked with my older brother...which can actually be a bad thing.

Months after my brother left town, Jason and I started to casually date. We'd go out for breakfast after work (2am) and just sit and talk. Our first real date was in February of 1997, and he took me snowboarding. We spent the entire day on the bunny hill. Poor guy.

When word got to my brother that I was dating Jason, shit hit the fan. They weren't exactly friends. My older brother called my parents and told them that I was dating a complete ass and blah blah blah.

Since that day, having never even met Jason, they've had it out for him.

to be continued...

1 comment:

Chameleon said...

I am so glad that I came across your blog. Anxiety has been an unwelcome companion of mine since I was a child. I have seen shrinks, taken every med under the sun and still nothing worked. Anxiety still takes over my life from time to time, to the point where I won't answer the phone. It sounds like you have a mountain of courage to be so candid about such intimate details of your life.

I started blogging about my life (in a very similar way that you do) several months ago, and I find it a real chalenge sometimes. I will definately be coming back to read more of your blog.

Take Care :0)