Paralyzed by Anxiety: Has this Ever Happened to you?
Paralyzed by Anxiety
The heart beats. You can hear it in your ears, you can see it pounding in your chest, every time you glance down. You know it's not a heart attack, but sometimes you wish it was. At least that can be treated, but this... This paralysis, this terror, this fear, if it can be treated, the treatment is far away.
First you would have to be able to get out of the house.
Before that you would have to know where to go, to get treatment.
Before that you would have to know what questions to ask.
Before that you'd have to know who to ask.
You can do a search, if you can even type. But the searches just turn up those who prey on people like you. They know you are desperate. They know you want help. And they are willing to bet you will pay, give them your last dollar to get some relief, some help. When you don't have any money, they remind you that you are hurting your children, and ask you: "Don't you have any friends? They would help you, lend you the money..."
Don't even go there. I can't ask my friends! Then they make you feel like you are betraying your friends and family if you don't borrow the money. This adds to your anxiety, further paralysis. At this point some people will get so upset they pass out. I have never been so lucky. At least if you pass out, your breathing returns to normal, your heart beat returns to normal. Sleep is restful, rather than the nightmare plagued sleep of the night before.
Desperate for Hope
When you become desperate you will go anywhere, do anything, trying to make some sense of the day. You will rush to your e-mail hoping to find some hope, or at least something to take your mind off of your fear.
You will come here, check your adsense and Amazon earnings... No that isn't enough yet. You go to the forums and search, ever hoping there is someone in the same boat, maybe one who knows where or how to get help!
Your breathing is more rapid, "some hope, some hope", you chant in your mind, just to try to find a rhythm that will keep you from hyperventilating.
You go back and forth from e-mail to forums, just hoping there will be someone you can help. Helping someone else is good, makes it better, but no; no one needs your help, they have each other. You have junk in your e-mail.
Your Brain starts to Numb
When you woke up, you thought you would get through the day, you would write, even had ideas. By the time you finished getting coffee, and trying to face the day, a couple of phone calls from bill collectors, or insurance agencies, and now... you can't breath.
The brain is numb, you are now your fear, and nothing else. You can't think of anything but the fear.
There is no stalker, no threat, no terrorist. There is nobody here, except you! Why do you do this to yourself?
Why do I?
It is a mechanism in the brain. When you are in extraordinary circumstances, your brain seeks the escape route. It's called fight or flight reflex. Unfortunately this reflex is dependent on an actual physical threat. Your mind has perceived the threat, but your mind cannot find an escape route, because the physical threat is not real.
Pay attention here: The physical threat is not real. You are in financial dire straights. You face lawsuit, eviction, foreclosure? Repossession of goods?
These are not physical threats. You will not die. There is no knife at your throat or gun at your head. Your anxiety is in you. The foreclosure will not kill you. Spring is here, an eviction won't kill you either. Yes, it will decrease your comfort. I have lost everything more than once in my life, and I fear losing everything again, but it will not kill me. It never killed me before.
If there is a physical threat, perhaps a family member is ill, then the eviction will be postponed by court order. The power being shut off? This will not kill you. Again, if there is a physical threat, an ill family member, the shut off will be forestalled. You have to make sure that everyone is fully aware of the situation. If there is a family member who is ill, then it is up to you to make sure that everyone concerned knows this fact.
Why am I writing this?
I am in the throws of an anxiety attack right now. If you have ever had one you know how it goes.
I am a reasonable human being, and in reasoning with myself I realized, some people may not have the actual tools necessary to fight their way through the problem of the day.
You need to ask yourself:
- "What is the worst that could happen?"
- Assuming the worst happens, would anybody be physically harmed.
- If the answer is yes, will they die?
- If this answer is yes, What can be done to prevent it.
- If the answer to question 2 is no, then there is nothing to worry about.
- So assuming the worst wont result in death, what is the worst that could happen?
Is there anything you can do to prevent the worst from happening?
- If there is something you can do, then do it, if not and the worst is inevitable, then there is a new list.
- How can I minimize damage.
- Where do I start rebuilding my (life, career, relationship, credit, credibility,) Fill in the blank.
- Depending on your situation, make all necessary preparations, as if the worst has already happened.
For instance, in the case of eviction, start looking for your new place, pack, sell anything you don't plan on taking with you. In this case, you are prepared for the worst, you are packed, you have some money, and you have gotten rid of unnecessary baggage. If the money was lacking, and you have it now, pay. Unpack. If, on the other hand, the eviction went through then move, you are packed, have money and found a new place.
I know this sounds oversimplified. You're the only one who can know where your anxiety comes from, and you are the only one who can tame this beast.