Where is my Mind

Where is My Mind I have been trying to decide on what topic to blog about. I was brutally honest with the vague rundown about my life in ‘The Wild Boy’ and ‘Sin City’ blogs. They were very condensed, but they were done with a vulnerability and authenticity that had me second guessing myself at times. Those events are tucked away deep within my soul, they almost feel like dreams or fictional events at times. If you have kept up with my previous blogs, I am sure that you would agree that I do not care about the opinions of others. I am obviously referring to negative opinions or people stereotyping me. I have battled some very severe mental issues over the last 14 years. I have had daily bouts with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for well over a decade. It is actually closer to 14 years.

My first anxiety/panic attack

My first anxiety/panic attack was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was a bachelor living in Clear Lake. It was on a Sunday and I was watching Football. I can not remember the teams that were playing, but I will never forget that day. This was during the prime of my former lifestyle. I just finished smoking a blunt and I put a Red Baron pizza in the oven. I returned to my couch and continued to watch the game. The timer went off and I took the pizza out of the oven. Out of nowhere I began seeing dark spots and my vision became extremely blurry. My heart began to race, I was gasping for air, it felt as if I was suffocating and I was about to faint. My heart began to beat so fast I could feel it pounding through my chest. I was having sharp pains pulsate throughout my body. The left side of my body felt like it was going numb and a sharp stinging sensation was noticeably becoming more severe by the second. I had no idea what was happening to me, but I thought I was about to die. I wanted to call 911, but like I said previously this was during my ‘Wild Boy’ days. I had huge amounts of cocaine and some firearms at my place. Some of which were an SKS assault rifle, Ruger P90, and a shotgun. I did not want any sort of EMS or HPD at my apartment for obvious reasons. So, I called my parents and they rushed over.

Panic Attack Symptoms

I told them my symptoms and they took me to the emergency room. They did all sorts of tests on me. EKG, CT Scan, Stress Test on my heart, they tested my blood for every major disease. All of my tests came back negative. In early 2000 anxiety and panic attacks were becoming more ‘mainstream’ but they were not as common as they are now. Of course they have always been there, but most people had a naive approach to these problems. There was not very much information concerning mental health issues. They are still barely tapping into the severity of the problem and are in its infancy stage in terms of understanding them. Each year more and more people are diagnosed with all sorts of mental health disorders. I feel this is due to a couple of reasons. First, I believe that the people suffering from these horrible afflictions are more comfortable speaking about them. I feel that people used to be embarrassed by having mental health disorders. I remember feeling weak or inadequate as a man the first few years. I always thought I was as tough as they come. I could get through anything that was thrown my way. I was a perfectionist and a born competitor. Later on I would find out that these are the type of personalities who are more prone to G.A.D.( General Anxiety Disorder). Another reason why more people were diagnosed with GAD is just like all the other medical conditions, which is money. This is why we have pharmaceutical companies and those ridiculous commercials we see all day long. You know the ones, ‘Do you have a headache? Well try this pill. Side effects include, heart attacks, stroke, thoughts of suicide, or in some cases death.’ In most cases the side effects are far worse than what the medication is for in the first place.

Anxiety and Panic Attack Diagnosis

It was difficult for me to accept the ‘anxiety and panic attack’ diagnosis. I thought I was misdiagnosed by the physician at the ER and by my own doctor in my follow up. I truly thought I had a life threatening disease. I was given all different sorts of anxiety medications. I did not like any of them. Paxil, Celexa, and Prozac just to name a few. I have also battled some form of depression for as long as I can remember. Anxiety and depression seem to go hand in hand. I was not a fan of any of the medications or their side effects. I look at most ‘normal people’ and I am jealous of the way the majority of you are able to live your daily lives. Anxiety and Depression is a horrible beast. Anxiety is both a normal and useful response to potentially stressful or dangerous situations. It helps by increasing our awareness of what’s going on around us and in other ways. For most people, the anxiety is short lived and normally goes away once the situation has passed. But that is not the case for an estimated 40 million adults in the United States who have some type of anxiety disorder and experience ongoing and unwarranted psychological distress. Over time I have learned to deal with my mental health disorders. It is not an ideal situation for me or anyone else who has GAD. I have always tried to place how this came about for me. I understand why people have anxiety. Anxiety disorders are associated with certain chemical imbalances in the brain involving neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma aminobutyric acid(GABA). These chemicals are associated with an individual’s sense of well-being or with the ability to relax. Anxiety medications can’t cure an anxiety disorder, but by altering the level of these chemicals, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs help control the psychological symptoms. Knowing all of this, I feel like my Anxiety was brought on by a few things. I feel I did not properly deal with the loss of my sister and I feel all those years of drug use in my teens and early to mid 20’s is a

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prime suspect for part of the reason. So, you may asking yourself if you know the cause or at least part if it, why do you not correct this? This is a good question. The only way to beat anxiety and depresion without the use of medication is to seek Cognitive Therapy.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is generally focused on helping people deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior. I went to a Cognitive Therapist for a few weeks many years ago. I had to go once a week and it was almost $200 per session. A small price to pay for my well being. I just stopped going for some reason. It is lots of hard work. I guess I was not ready to take on that type of responsibility at that time in my life. I may attack this again now that I am in a different place in my life. So, what has gotten me through 14 years of anxiety? One word. Xanax. This little pill(in the beginning) was wonderful. It had me relaxed and I was able to focus on my daily activities. Some people abuse Xanax and it has a different affect on them because their body does not need it. For me, it made me feel normal again. After my original diagnosis with anxiety and my inability to accept that diagnosis I had 30 days of hell. I could not eat or sleep. I stayed at my parents house for nearly a month. I lost 40 pounds in just under thirty days. So, I was prescribed Xanax. For the first time in a long time I was able to take a long slow deep breath. I felt great, but after years and years of taken this pharmaceutical delight, I became reliant upon it. Withdrawal symptoms mimic anxiety attacks. It took me many years to realize that I do in fact suffer from GAD, but my daily “Anxiety and Panic Attacks” were actually withdrawal symptoms from Xanax addiction. So, this is what I have been dealing with for years.

Xanax Withdrawals

I am battling this head on now. I put myself through physically painful days to wean myself off of Xanax. This is extremely difficult. After years of daily use it is impossible to stop ‘cold turkey’ because it can cause seizures or even death. The withdrawals are more severe than heroin. I have never done heroin, but this is a well documented fact. Exercise is a key factor in defeating or maintaining a normal life for me. I train very hard most days of the week. I am also about to begin Yoga soon. I am very excited about this. I feel this will help me tremendously with all of my mental health disorders and my Xanax intake. So, if any of you out there suffer from any of this, just remember you are not alone. Try to find somebody close to you who will be patient and understanding with your illness. You can beat it. Also, if you know somebody who suffers from GAD, please be understanding with them. I have been through so much in my lifetime. I am very fortunate to have an amazing person in my life who helps me and makes me feel safe and comfortable during my really bad attacks. If you have kept up with my previous blogs you will know the crazy experiences I have dealt with. My mental health issues is the hardest thing I have dealt with besides the death of my sister. Prison was easier to handle than my daily bouts with Anxiety and Panic Attacks. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Take care….

Comments (24)

  1. jay

    keep em coming dude, nice to hear your perspective on the pharmys..I know a few ppl who have been :battling” to get off of them..obv some do great things for ppl but as you said sometimes the effects are worse than the original culprit..cant wait for the next

    • 1rare1

      Thanks for reading and your continued support Jay! I really appreciate it! Definitely agree most medication helps people and can save lives. Just a shame so many do more harm than good. The ”money machine” is a funny thing my friend:)

  2. RANDY

    When I was in The clink last time on what I like to recall as my “extended stay” visit… I had an anxiety based black out. I had just watched a young, sweet blond boy get raped seven times while constantly yelling for his Mommie. They took him away that night and you could hear him very clearly screaming all night and half the next morning till all of a sudden the screaming changed, then was silent. They say he ate a can of Comet to finish the job the big black boys had started on him. The night before I had watcheda guy be beat sasolid 45 minutes then have his face slammed into the steel floor numerous times till he died. We put his mutilated body into a trash can and shoved his carcass out in to the hall of the callblock when the pigs came for his body. might point being… that I saw so much violence in a very short time that I overloaded and went completely bling for about an hour… just kept it to my self and very slowly, my vision returned and I never told anybody till I got out about six months later. Aniety overloads are for real. they are all consuming and manifests themselves in many ways… I came out of my incarceration like a front line soldier came home from a double duty tour of Nam… I was a hardened mean. displeasurable overloaded “soldier” that had a very hard time playing with others.

    • 1rare1

      Wow! Very crazy ‘story’ my friend! I never even considered that the violence I may have witnessed as being a cause to my anxiety. Come to think about it, my first anxiety attack was during a crazy time in my life. During my past blogs I touch on some violent tales from my past. They were rated PG-13. I can not ever speak about a few other things. Definitely something I will ponder on and see if I can recall some specific triggers. Thanks for sharing, reading, and being supportive. Take care brother!

  3. Samantha

    It takes such an extremely strong person to handle the daily bouts of anxiety that you have love. I am so glad we are on this journey together. Love you!

    • 1rare1

      Thank you so much my gorgeous little woman! I could not do it without you!

      • Gina M

        I sympathize with you on your battle. I am grateful I no longer suffer from these attacks,but for many years I finish did. That’s ironic how yours began because mine started in similar fashion. I was smoking pot heavily on a daily basis then one day something was not right but very wrong. I did call the EMS because I thought I was dying. My parents were asleep and had to wake up to the EMS knocking on the door not knowing what the fuck was going on. My mom was so cool about it even when I had to explain what triggered it. She had suffered from the attacks when she was younger. I think that’s the hardest part is trying to explain to someone who has no idea what’s going on what you need from them to walk you through it. It’s so awesome you have someone who understands you and is the for you 100 percent. For me, I had to quit smoking after that because every time after just the anticipation of maybe having another one would cause an attack. So I started drinking… daily and heavily. Not alcholic portions but pretty damn close but this started to make them worse and more intense. Ultimately, a lifestyle change was necessary as well a destressing evaluation of my life. If I can do it so can you. I believe in you, you’re a survivor. Best of luck to you. Keep us posted.

        • 1rare1

          Thanks for reading, Gina! Yes, it was a horrible experience. I’ve had them for so long now I can just deal with them. A lot of days I am just no good in terms of being able to accomplish anything productive. I had to stop smoking weed because of my anxiety too(which was good). It triggers major anxiety and panic attacks. Also, like you mentioned, I began drinking heavily back then to soothe the effects of my anxiety. It is extremely difficult to combat this disorder. Thanks again for reading and THANK YOU for your support. God speed my friend 🙂

  4. Dori

    Thanks for sharing this. This read sure helps, but more importantly it’s ur personal strength that opens my eyes. As I read this I thought about Sam and you in the begenning stages of ur relationship. I’m sure it was difficult but she is awesome and looks to be an understanding person with a big heart. Right now I’m battling a small bout of depression. Physical restrictions are bringing me down. Only time will heal my fustration. Take care and thanks for posting. Please keep it up.

    • 1rare1

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it. Yes, Sam is great. We have had our ups and downs just like everybody else. I am sorry to hear that you are having some issues with depression. You have a great friends back in Houston. Stay strong…I know you can overcome this!

  5. Frank melchor

    Another great blog! Outstanding!

  6. Your Madre

    This one made me sad that you have been fighting your anxiety for so many years…..I love you son…..keeping fighting the battle and I know someday you will be completely well again!

  7. Peggy Wiegand

    I had no idea we had the same issues with mental health. I have been dealing with both anxiety and depression for many many years and still continue to struggle with it. It puts such a strain on my marriage. People just don’t get it or want to understand. My dad was an evil fucker who caused so much pain and destruction in my life. Even after years of therapy I still have bouts and major meltdowns but I’m just crazy. It’s the people that have taken the time to get to know me that has saved me from myself and for that I’m blessed. Thank you for telling your story because today for once I don’t feel so alone. Thanks Adrian really thank you!!!

    • 1rare1

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I appreciate you being so honest. Yeah…it’s a motherfucker dealing with anxiety and depression. Unless you have it, nobody can understand how difficult it is to handle. You are not alone with this struggle my friend. Hit me up anytime buddy:) Take care of yourself!!

  8. Coachguru

    Thanks for sharing Adrian and I wish you the best of luck in battling this everyday. Again, your blogs motivate me.

  9. London E.

    This is very fascinating, You are an excessively skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and sit up for in the hunt for extra of your magnificent post.
    Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

    • 1rare1

      Thank you so much! That is very kind of you. I appreciate you reading and commenting. I am very humbled that you have shared my blog in your social networks. I will be posting a new blog tomorrow. I have some interesting stuff from my “Wild Boy” and “Sin City” series(earlier blogs about my life) Hopefully you can check them out. It is very entertaining(not trying to sound pretentious). Take care!

  10. Olivia

    I have read this one slowly, trying to read it to understand. I have no words to sympathize with what you have lived with. I can only imagine it is like a mental cage. Exercise is a great salvation. I think you will enjoy Yoga. People laugh at it, but they know nothing of it. My son (he is 13) enjoys Yoga at school. It is a great way to relax and find a small shred of peace & sanity. Before this post I knew nothing, NOTHING about GAD. I found myself rereading parts of this post to try and place myself in the experience. I think it bore a compassion in me for it, of course. I am glad you are coping with this positively. I am also glad you have a wonderful supportive love in your life. Let me know how you like Yoga. (:

    • 1rare1

      Thank you so much, Olivia! You have always been supportive by reading and commenting on my blogs. GAD is very difficult to cope with. I have been through so much in my life, as we all have, and each day can be different. It all comes down to what type of person we are on the inside. I am a fighter and will never give up. I am definitely going to start a yoga class within the next few weeks. I hope it helps! Thanks again! Your comments are always very kind and supportive:)

  11. Dizzy Bee

    Wow what another story about your life. You have had to endure so many battles. Thanks for sharing your life stories. Keep on writing. You got skill lol

    • 1rare1

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Yes, I have had to go to war once or twice in my lifetime. Lol. I feel I should be payed up with karma and all that jazz by now!! Haha….thanks for the support and the compliment about my writing 🙂

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