Looking for Sunrise

Posted: April 9, 2018 in ADHD, anxiety, Life, Panic Disorder
Tags: , , , ,


(Trigger warning for anxiety)


My cellphone rang. It was my brother. He rarely calls.

It’s not that we’re estranged or anything. It’s that he has his life and I have mine, and we live far apart. And when we get together, we generally have a good time.

It was good to hear his voice.

“Hey Jamie. How are you doing?”

“Not bad, Wolf. How are you?”

I could never play the polite game with my bro. Plus, I was not a fan of chit chat and making polite noises.

“Honestly – not that good, Jamie. I’ve been having some severe panic attacks. I’ve gone to group therapy for about six weeks, only to find out I was in the wrong group and should have been in the panic disorder group, not the generalized anxiety disorder one.”

Silence. Then: “Man, that must suck.”

“Yeah, it really does.”

Silence again. He was probably trying to figure out what to say.

“I had anxiety  years ago, and it was bad. I didn’t know what was causing it. My palms were sweaty, my heart was racing and I couldn’t think straight.”

As he listed off his symptoms, my heart began to race. I couldn’t listen to this.

I knew he meant well though, so I let him continue. Silently, I writhed. Listening to him talk about his episode of anxiety was making me feel unsafe and afraid and….I was panicking.

You know, I have to admit: before my panic attacks began, I saw those articles with the words “trigger warning” at the top, and thought it was childish. Who in hell needs to be warned that a story may cause a problem? What are we? Nine years old or something?

As it turns out, I was woefully naive. And as it turns out, very very wrong.

My own brother was making my anxiety worse, and he had no idea. And I was too deep into it to explain it properly, in a way he could understand.

He rambled on and on, describing in vivid detail his brush with anxiety. (And it was indeed a brush, as it only happened to him once, thank God.)

My heart was racing, my head was aching, my stomach was roiling and I was beginning to shake.

I was freaking out.

I stopped my brother in mid-sentence. “Hey Jamie, listen, I’ve got some dinner on the go here, so I think I’ll have to let you go.” There was no dinner.

“Oh okay Wolf. Catch you later then.”

I haven’t been to work in a week.  This shit really messes you up. I look forward to a time when I’ll be able to take my good mental health for granted again.

In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to keep myself above the ground. It’s hard, but there are lots of places to provide support. My CAMH counselor made sure I knew that in the worst case scenario, I should call 911. And I will. And it may come to that.

I just know I can’t live with this crap. It’s no way to live anyway. It’s enough right now to just survive.

I won’t even go out on my balcony at this point. Because I don’t trust myself or my impulses.

Anxiety sucks.

  1. “Liking” this post seems wrong. I hate this. I hate that you are or have been going through this. I am so sorry. I wish I was equipped with the knowledge and know-how to deal with this. I am so sorry my friend. So sorry. Do NOT go out on your balcony. You don’t need too. Yes, anxiety sucks. I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • wolfshades says:

      Thank you. I’m doing what I can to distract myself from my thoughts. Watching movies, playing on the net – everything I can do to keep the panic away. So far it’s working, and I’m glad. (The balcony and I aren’t on speaking terms though.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. darlenebloggityblogger says:

    I’m so sorry to read this, Wolf. I’m sorry because I know exactly what you are feeling. It’s been a few years – like maybe 30 years, but I was able to win against fear and anxiety with one little trick. Please try this because I know it works. Deep breathing exercises. Take deep, slow breaths. Slow breath in and slow exhale out. I know it sounds crazy, but it is what I did to overcome and overcome I did. Also, I don’t know where you sit on faith these days, but I reminded myself while breathing that the Lord said to be anxious for nothing. Check out some deep breathing techniques. There’s lots of info on the web. I think one thing it does is when you focus on your breathing, it takes your focus off other things. Also, I think the extra oxygen is a plus. I hope I haven’t made you anxious by bringing up my past problem, but I know you can get better because I’ve been there. At that time in my life, I didn’t think I could ever be happy again, but I am and you can be too. Just remember that the Sun ALWAYS comes out after a storm. Big, gentle hug, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • wolfshades says:

      Darlene – thank you very much for your empathy and advice. As it turns out, I already had researched the breathing stuff, long before I knew I was having an anxiety attack. I didn’t know what it was at the time – I just knew I needed to figure out how to breathe properly. Wish what worked for you would work for me but it really really doesn’t. It’s not GAD anyway, not strictly anyway. It’s outright full blown panic. Anxiety is certainly in there (hence the mistake about putting me in the appropriate group therapy), but panic disorder is something else – or so I”m told anyway.

      Again, thank you for your caring and your thoughts.


  3. darlenebloggityblogger says:

    I see that I left out a very important part. Every time I felt fear or anxiety coming on, I did the deep breathing exercises. My best wishes go with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. contoveros says:

    Darlene is right.

    You gotta start learning how to meditate. Find a group that won’t push you so hard and then close your thought process for a while. Let your thoughts go — all of ’em including the really cool ones.
    Feel your shoulders relax and your jaw untighten.

    Then take some LSD and have fun.

    Only kidding. Writing helps me to relax. That’s if I can stay away from stress-related topics and even then I feel better after meditating.

    Hang in there until your next life and your current karma is all burned up. You help so many people with your authenticity.

    Michael J

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You can do it, dude! I don’t like to take meds myself, but situations like this is where they do come in… It might only take a slight advantage to get you on the track to coping. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • wolfshades says:

      Thanks James. I actually did try some meds but the side effects were so horrific I stopped them immediately. Going back to the doctor’s office next week so we’ll see what she has to say.


  6. Hey, hope you are doing well.

    I invite you to read a post of mine where I am gathering links of warriors facing mental health challenges 1st hand to educate people, to raise awareness and acceptance.

    I need help from you in fighting stigma.

    Here is the link to post..

    Your participation can change life of someone.

    Thank you 🙂


  7. […] last time I wrote about anxiety (Looking for Sunrise), I hadn’t yet started any meds. I went about six weeks suffering multiple panic attacks, as […]


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