Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I was on a conference call at work, my head started hurting, I got flustered and frsutrated with a few minor things in my life, and my heart and mind started racing. The spiral was downward and I couldn't stop the inevitable. I called my doctor, didn't get anywhere, got more fed up, and called my wife. She was busy,so was her friend, my friend too, and I snapped at them on the phone. I wrapped up my conference call, realized I had a break, and started rationalizing, wrongly, that i could take care of four things in an hour and a half, before my next meeting. I felt trapped by my stress and I had no good reason for even being at the bank, but I decided to do same menial task there. I was missing my daughter, Bug, who I hadn't seen in over a week because of a crazy schedule, and I had to see her immediately. As I made the thirty minute trek, I caught every red light, every cell phoned driver, every in my way clueless fool that I couldn't legal knock off the road. I get to Bug's afterschool program (she's on Fall Break for the week) she was doing kickball games and she wasn't in her usual place. I couldn't find her. No one knew anything. My wife is calling to check on me and every vibration made me fluster more. There Bug was, on the furthest field at the place. Suddenly I was a little better. Not much, but enough to calm me, some. After visiting for a few minutes with her I decide to drive to my doctor. Again, does anyone know how to drive in this county? I get to the physician's office, my doctor's nurse, the only person in the place with a brain and a bedside manner see me right away. She listens, understands, and gives me two pills, which I take with no water. My perscriptions, which had expired five days earlier, were being refilled later. I go back to work. My wife, still checking on me, says she needs something from the store, I take this as a personal affront, the medicine hadn't kicked in yet. I apologized for snapping at her, eventually. Finally back at work, the pills are making in into my system. I'm much better now.

I've had anxiety since I was a teenager. I ignored some symptoms and some diagnosis for years. Over two years ago, I had a similar attack I described, only I was working out with weight in my garage and I tore muscles in my arms and chest. This exacerbated the panic attack so severely I passed out and failed an EKG. I and everyone around me thought it was the heart trouble I had 9 years earlier. It wasn't. Another doctor didn't blow me off, prescribed anxiety medication and my life has been smoother since. I have attacks rarely, only when the medication runs out and I try to make it a week or more without it. It had been almost a year since I had something this significant as I had today. This was the best I had ever delt with an attack. Good to know I'm getting better.

Before I scare you off from this blog or any other correspondence, know that my mental illness is minor in the grand scheme of things. I function well at work, at home, and with my family and friends. They and I like to call me "regular crazy". I never believed in pill popping. It's why I avoided taking anything for twenty years. I was flat wrong. If you have anxiety symptoms, bi-polarity, or depression and you think you can handle it without medicine or a doctor's care, you're flat wrong too. It's affected almost every relationship and job situation I've ever had, at least I have it under control now.

Its funny, when I'm racing, which is what I call not being on the medicine, I'm more prolific in creative things like writing and music stuff. I think the great artists are and were probably afflicted with something. Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke has the exact same disorder I have and he says he doesn't take his meds on days he pitches because he likes to feel as loose as possible. I'm neither a big league pitcher and my writing can go at the pace it can go so that my family and friends don't have me whacked.

As I write this I still feel the medicine I was given at 11am this morning. I am about to post this and leave for the grocery store and pick up my normal pills. I don't preach and I don't care if this blog made you uncomfortable but if you have issues, trust me when I tell you, you can't handle them by yourself. My wife is the most amazingly patient woman I have ever met. She loves me enough to let me know when I can't handle my life on my own. Today was one of those days. For twenty years I thought I was strong enough to handle things myself. It took Bobina, a great doctor, and some children who need the best father possible to make me realize, I wasn't Superman and I was weak minded to think otherwise. Now, they appreciate and love the flawed, pill regulated, me. Thom Yorke has social anxiety disorder, I'll listen to Radiohead on the way to Kroger.


  1. (((hugs)))
    I understand where you are from your wife's side. My husband is bipolar and it's a struggle sometimes daily and without medication... well, it's not pretty.
    Thinking of you and hoping the real meds kick in quickly.
    And thank heavens for the people who invented the drugs!

  2. Again, parallels. I suffered from full-blown panic attacks in my early 20's and spent most of my mid-late 30's struggling with pretty serious depression. I didn't realize what it was until I had been suffering for at least 5 years or so. The meds they are unbelievable. Yes, sometimes if I go off them I realize how much more easily all my creativity flows. Read my blog posts from April, May and June when I was off meds. But in the end I hate myself off the meds because of how I treat the people I love. It is tough.