What extreme anxiety feels like

I’m a therapist.  I should know.  But I didn’t know.  I thought I was dying.  I didn’t connect the physical symptoms with my stress level.

It started with a humming in my left ear that came and went and was better in the mornings.  I did have ear infections sometimes and fluid behind my eardrum, but this was partly caused by clenching my jaw so much that I moved my eustachian tubes.

Then what I would call vertigo started.  If I moved my eyes to see something I was dizzy and disoriented, just a little.  And felt like I might get a headache or be coming down with something.  It got worse and the floor felt spongy and as though I would fall forward into it.  I started getting head rushes that would start at the back of my head and move forward and I would start to worry about passing out, especially when driving.

I thought it was my sinuses and catching everything from the daycare the boys go to, which is of course partly true.  I tried a lot of benadryl and allergy medicine.  The pressure got worse and worse until I remember asking a friend if I was going to die.

Inside, I feel like I’ve got my stress level handled.  I don’t dwell on things.  I know there’s a lot of stress.  I know there’s nothing I can do about most of it.  Then I went to the ER twice, once with back spasms and once with the head pressure.  Valium helped  so much both times.  Ah, stress.

I have a prescription for Ativan now, which cuts the weird humming in the top of my head a little, but doesn’t completely bring me back down.  I find that a little wine with the drugs puts me where I want to be.  Just getting by.    Good enough for me right now.

 

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