Imagine a life when every time you get into a car and you’re going to work and every car approaching a stop sign or the end of the road, you have this mental image of that car not stopping and crashing right into you. Every single car! Now, imaging going down the interstate and traffic comes off the ramp and you have to merge into traffic, you think that no one is going to let you over or you’re going to run into somebody. Now think about going down the road and you have a feeling that the cars around you are going to cross the line into your lane, or the cars in front of you is going to stop suddenly, or around a curve in the road, there is a car stopped and you crash right into the back of the car because you didn’t see them until you were right upon them.
That’s how I feel every time I get into a car, and that’s just me being a passenger. The other fear is that the driver won’t stop in time before running into the back of the car that is materializing in front of you at 55 mph. When I drove, the feeling was 100 times worse.That example is just one way that my anxiety has crippled my life. It’s to the point where I rarely want to leave the house. Decision-making is completely in chaos because my mind runs away with horrific outcomes and situations and keeping focused on projects and school is next to impossible. When the telephone rings, it morphs into this monster because talking on the phone sends a fear of dread that I can not describe. The closest analogy I can give is when Nancy answers the phone in the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the phone has a tongue and licks her. That reaction of her screaming and smashing the phone on the ground is how I feel when I have to answer the phone. It’s something that I’m sure upsets the extremely few friends I have. You can make mistakes that the fear that can encompass you will drive you to choices you will later regret.
Fortunately now, I have the Affordable Care Act and I am able to get medication. I was put back on a generic brand of Lexapro and I’ve only been on it for almost 2 weeks and I can tell a small difference. I can focus more, but the anxiety is still there, especially when in a car.
The reason for this short personal article is to hopefully reach those who are anxious and know that you are not alone. I know the struggle to know how you don’t know how you’re going to feel from one moment to the next. This author may be a space geek, but I also struggle with demons.