The World Of Health Anxiety
On the 6th doctor I visited to look deeper into what these agonizing symptoms I was experiencing could be, I got some interesting advice. The advice I was given was unlike what anyone had ever told me before, and in time it showed me a natural path to overcoming my generalized anxiety disorder. After the numerous tests that came back to this doctor all showing no sign of anything serious, the result was that these symptoms such as my consistent dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains etc that would ultimately lead me to full blown panic attacks, were all symptoms of anxiety. This was nothing new to me, I had done the same tests before and had the same negative results come back time and time again but I still had a lingering thought in the back of my mind that said..what if they missed something, AGAIN!
The doctor leaned over gently and in a soft caring voice he said “Dennis, it’s time for a fresh perspective that will lead to a new beginning.” Whatever doc I thought to myself. At that moment believe it or not, I actually felt a little disappointed that the results were negative again. If there WAS something physically wrong than I would have been able to start dealing with it right then and there and be done with this ‘thing’ that ruined my life in every aspect for 6 years. “Could you elaborate on what you said” I asked the doctor, he continued on telling me that I needed something to get my mind off of me and my anxiety disorder which was starting to look like my true profession in life. The cycle of what’s wrong with me, what will be of my future as a professional athlete with a dream that wasn’t fulfilled yet, will I ever be happy, and how the heck would I ever take care of this new born baby we had led me down a road of feeling powerless, this anxiety monster was impossible to be tamed in my eyes.
The Beginning Of The End
The doctor went on to tell me that I needed a strong attachment to something, and run with it so that it would stop my over-worrying cycle of thinking solely about me. Simple advice I thought, and I explained to him that their was nothing more important then me in this world (obvious answer right), and proceeded to leave the doctors room as I played the role of a hopeless and dead man walking again, and went home.
As I was home I pondered what the next step would be, I had exactly 36 different types of zombie pills (benzodiazepines), witch-doctor cures, herbs, vitamins, teas, antidepressants…you name it lying in my cupboard. Some were empty and some were half full, I was a hopeless wreck. But just before I did my usual google search on what this newest supposedly symptom of anxiety could be linked to potentially, I stopped myself and thought a little deeper into what the doctor was trying to tell me.
Let me remind you that THINKING wasn’t something I did much of, I lived a life in total reaction to my physical world and their were anxiety triggers everywhere from people, to driving, to snowflakes for god sake (true story). The only relief my anxiety disorder gave me was when I was sleeping, and most days when I woke up I couldn’t wait to get back to sleep again. I thought long and hard for the next 2 hours, wrote down all my thoughts about what the doc could have meant by his advice to me, and came up with some unexpected answers that were truly mind-blowingly simple but potentially powerful enough to create an exit strategy from the grips of panic and anxiety…
Follow the anxious athlete blog to get updates on part 2 of this 3 part series of How I Began Turning A Monster Into A Fly.