By Shawn Shawn
So as I write this I’m sitting at home by myself while I should be at work. My wife, after checking to make sure I was physically okay, just had to leave for her job. I had a panic attack at work, one of many I’ve experienced in my life but this one wasn’t the kind I could just take a break and breathe for, this was “oh fuck you’re either dying or going insane” type of panic. So after making an excuse up to leave (because telling someone you’re having a panic attack is too embarrassing to deal with) I made it home. My sons eyes light up because he thinks I’m home for the day and he can’t wait to play in the pool, and I have to break the news to him that dad isn’t home to play he just doesn’t feel good. Of course my wife is concerned but shes also seen this before, she leaves me be as I go to lay down in our room. After a while she comes to check on me and all she can really do is rub my back as I try to calm down, she’s learned that talking to me wont help, I’m too far in my own head at this point.
I’m only writing this now because I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried it all, and all the google doctors say that writing your thoughts down is good for anxiety and depression. I don’t know if I’ll even share this, but then again if it helps maybe it’s what I should share.
There is no real point to this, I just need to get it off of me so it stops weighing me down. It’s amazing the extreme guilt someone can feel when they grew up the way I did, with no real problems, middle class never wanting for anything but thinking they have it bad because they can’t control their anxiecty. How weak can you be? So weak that you have to leave work to calm down? I should be fired. I’m letting my entire team down right now as I try to collect my thoughts. I have people that count on me at work, I have a family that I provide for and all I can think about is how to stop my mind from racing so I can do my job. To me my anxiety brings on depression. I get so anxious that I can’t do my job to the fullest, then I realize I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing and it crushes me. The first time this happened to me I was working for my parents, I was debilitated by my anxiety, and because of that I missed so much work I became debilitated by my depression. I knew in the back of my mind that if I worked anywhere else but for my parents I would have been fired. You can’t afford to keep somone on your payroll that can’t come to work. I was letting them down, I was costing them money, it broke my heart. That’s part of the reason I left, felt that my anxiety came from working the position I was in.
Now I work for someone that isn’t family, I can be fired for missing work, I can be let go because I’m unreliable. I probably should be. I’m lucky enough again to have a relationship with my employer that comes with trust and understanding. But that can only go so far. Business is business and if you can’t produce at work what good are you? I’ve never once been told that by my new employer, in fact I have told them before I’ve had a panic attack and needed time off and they were more than understanding, I am very lucky for where I work. Knowing again that I’m working for someone that understands has been great for my anxiety, but the guilt I feel every time something happens to me and it affects others that rely on me is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with.
Again I’m only doing this to try something new and hope it works for me. I’ve tried every anxiety medication they offer, I’ve tried therapy beathing excercises, all of it. I can’t find a sure fire way to help me just yet. I think that maybe if I share this and hear back from others that are dealing with it it may help. Then again I don’t necessarily want the attention for this, it’s not something I’m proud of, it’s not something I’ve beaten yet. I’ll never give up trying and I don’t want anyone to worry about me, I do have a fantastic life with an amazing wife and children, they push me to be better everyday and one day I will be. Today wasn’t it though, maybe tomorrow will be.
I think about these lyrics a lot “ Anxiety, why do you always get the best of me, I’m out here living in a fantasy, but I can’t enjoy a god damn thing”.
It’s tough knowing in the back of your mind that any moment can be ruined by your own thoughts. I’ve got a lot going for me now, if I could control this anxiety I would be in such a great place. I truly hope writing it down helps me, if I get the courage to send this out I hope hearing from others will help me too. Sitting on a couch telling some old man I get scared sometimes didn’t help but who knows with this one.