ddcash96 Welcome.................and a Bit About Me .....

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/27/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey people,

this is my first post here and I gotta say as sad as it is to hear that there are so many people who are suffering in this way, its very comforting to finally see that I'm not as alone with this as I feel like I am. My first attack came almost 1 year ago today and god has it been a long year since then. I am seeing things much more clearly now and I understand why I'm in this state that is so different from what I was used to, I guess the problem is that I got too comfortable being the way I was (which proved to be quite dangerous, destructive, and lacking a healthy perspective). I'm having to re-teach myself some very basic lessons that for some reason I just missed out up to this point.

I guess the good thing that I have going for me is that I'm only 22 and soon I'm going to be graduating from college, so I've got a wide open world that I can take advantage of if I'll but pay attention. So in a way I guess I'm lucky, but it certainly has been anything but smiles and happiness.

My first attack happened one night as I laid in bed trying to fall asleep. My whole life up to that point I can honestly say I had never felt an ounce of any real pain, or fear. The irony is that I came from a life where there were a lot of bad things going on, but for some reason none of it caused me any suffering as it happened. I realize now that during those traumas (sexual abuse, mother's battle with cancer, and parents divorce being the 3 that come to mind) I was numb to the hurting that should have naturally occurred. From the time I was about 10 years old till about the time I turned 21 I know for a fact that I cried only 1 time, and never experienced any real worry or fear. That all changed the night of that first attack.

I was lying in bed and for some reason my mind was just racing with some very irrational thoughts. All of a sudden the thoughts started to worry me. The thing to remember is up until that point none of the thoughts that went through my head ever caused me any worry. I didn't know what fear felt like because I truly believed I had some special ability to not ever feel fear or pain- I thought I was invincible. That night my thoughts were racing and eventually it spiraled into the thought "I am dying." I don't remember now the exact order and sequence of the thoughts leading up to this, but I remember that it was this specific thought that triggered the physical sensations and altered state of mind that usually accompany panic attacks. I remember that for some reason I thought I was having a heart attack. I think what happened was that for the first time in my life I actually felt my heart beat in my chest, but it was just one, specific beat that I felt. It scared the living crap out of me and I laid there with my hand over my heart waiting to feel the next powerful thud happen again. It wouldn't happen though, so basically I was stuck in the heightened anticipation that you get when you're widing up a jack-in-the-box; you keep waiting for it to pop out and scare you but you don't know when its going to come so you get stuck in this anxious nervousness that you can't shake.

From there the physical sensations worsened and eventually I thought I had no choice but to go to the infirmary around 4 in the morning, because I just thought I shouldn't be alone right now. I started having hot and cold flashes, uncontrollable shivering and an inability to sit still. I went into the bathroom and made myself throw-up, I tried moving to the couch in the living room and tried to fall asleep with the sound of the TV on to distract me. Nothing worked, so finally I got in the car, drove to the infirmary and asked for help saying I didn't know what was wrong with me.

The nurse had me do some breathing exercises which helped reduce the physical sensations I was experiencing, but my mind remained in a state of panic and worry till eventually the exhaustion took over and I was able to sleep sometime around lunchtime the next day. What I failed to connect was that this episode was happening because of the abuse I had been putting on my body for my first 3 years of college. My invincibility complex blinded me to the thought that I was headed straight toward a brick wall and it was only a matter of time until I reached burnout and had to deal with the wreckage. I had been suppressing any and all pain or fear that knocked on the door, and finally I suffered from what one therapist refered to it as "the soda bottle effect." The pressure built and built and built until finally something happened that loosened the lid enough to make it come flying off and all the soda gushes out after it.

The trigger in this case was that for the 3 weeks leading up to the first attack I had not attended one class on account of drinking to the point of puking and pissing all over myself while I was passed out, every single day. This, in fact, was common place for me, but I also got introduced to cocaine for the first time at the beginning of that binge, and that I feel is what finally pushed me over the edge.

Within about 2 weeks I was out of school, in therapy, AA and having these panic attacks on a daily basis. So that's my story so far.

I'm in a much better place now, and I realize that what I suffer from is a real fear of growing up and letting the change that comes with that happen without it completely paralyzing me. In a way, this past year has been the bes thing that has ever happened to me because I realize that I never developed a sense of self and had no real identity that I was aware of and now I can't escape from trying to figure that out. The hard part has been having to see for the first time exactly how far from invincible I am. What I've discovered through this is that although I may not currently possess all the strength and support that i wish I had, there are other people in this world who can help hold you up when you are too weak to hold yourself up. Of course I've faced the sad reality that some people are able to help more than others, and I've had to witness people- who I built up to mean so much- drift out of my life. I've got a bad tendency to hold on to things that maybe I should let go of, but I like to think I'm getting better at it.

Anyways, by having read some of the things that you guys have posted on here I see now that I'm not as hopeless as I think I am, and that help is there but I have to be the one who seeks it out. It isn't going to just come to me by some divine grace or mere happenstance. Well, I'll wrap up this little short story, but I just wanted to say that it is a huge relief to finally feel some connectedness to others in this battle that has made me feel like I'm carrying some big secret that I just can't seem to tell someone about no matter how badly I want to.

Rock and Roll.
** I added a title to your thread hun so more will answer it okay as they will know what it is about....YOU can change it by going to your post and hit edit wipe out what I have and enter what you want ....k ..**

Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 3/28/2008 6:34:20 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/28/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to you
Kudos on your Sobriety
I am a sober alcoholic and have been since 1979
I TOO had hit my bottom I would have been dead if I had NOT quit
I am so glad you have shared you very poignant and powerful yet heartwrenching story with us here.......I DO feel your pain and many others here will as well .we dont just SAY it my friend we MEAN it ...
the Support and caring are unbelieveable here and we all look toward one another as family
YOU now are not alone anymore and we will try our best to help with anything possible within our reach
You really were brave to post I give you that and you need to acknowledge this as well .it is very hard at times to tell anyone our downfalls our bad ass mistakes all of it
I know I wrote a almost full page on my history of alcohol abuse here a yr ago and soo many DEMONS came out of the closet it literally scared the crap right outta me ..........
THANKS for sharing......for what you have written I KNOW you have helped at least ONE person with this post and for that be so proud...I am ...........In Sobriety..........Luvs....LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 3/28/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ddcash96! 
Welcome and so sorry for what you have been through, your post struck a cord with me bc that could have been my first experience with panic as well, verbatium.  Same thing, laying in bed, sweating, dying having a heart attack.  I went through this for several months before I saw a Dr. that diagnosed me.
Part of my anxiety is trauma as well, PTSD.   I like you never had any issues until I "popped"  I have been dealing with anxiety ever since, although much better now that I am finally on medication.
Just want you to know you are not alone, and you can feel better :) 
Congratulations on your Sobriety, I know the college environment is not really condusive to NOT drinking, but I have not had a drink in a realy long time and find I have just as much fun on a night out and no hangover!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 3/29/2008 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Congratulations on being sober - that's a huge accomplishment!  I've been sober for many years now and actually like being sober - never thought that would happen while I was drinking all that alcohol.  To think of the damage I've done to my body during that time!

I am so happy that you have learned so much about yourself - you seem to be a very insiteful person.  You've done a great job with all of this and I'm also glad that you no longer think you are invincible.  When we learn to shut out the world, especially at an early age, we don't let ourselves feel anything and tend to think we are invincible because we feel stronger.  In reality that doesn't make us invincible, it just closes us off to the real world.  In my opinion, we need to feel in order to be strong. 

You are so right when you say you have the whole world to look forward to - you are young and just beginning your life.  I bet you can't wait until you graduate and get out to do what you want to do.

Lyn is right when she says that many of us here know and mean it when we say we feel your pain.  Many of us have experienced some of the same things and will be able to support you knowing that we understanding what you are talking about.  I am so glad that you found the Healing Well family! 

Keep posting to let us know how you are doing.

Take care,


Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

Every little bit helps, please donate to HW if you can!   http://www.healingwell.com/donate 

I am in no way a medical professional, any advice given is purely on an amateur level.

Please seek professional advice from your doctor.

Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, Social Anxiety

Rx: Abilify, Flexeril, Lamictal, Lunesta, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER, Valium

“People have two ears and one mouth for a reason; you need to listen twice as much as you talk.”

Top Fuel pro - Bob Vandergriff, Jr

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