I was a young mother of 18 when I experienced my first horrifying panic attack triggered by anxiety. I had just left the hospital with my baby boy only 10 months old who had a fever, and recently survived spinal meningitis 8 months prior. I heard the loud roar of a motor cycle and next my heart started racing, pins and needles stabbing at my body from head to toe and through my tongue, I was fighting desperately not to lose consciousness, as the world was getting dimmer and the sound more distant with each heartbeat.
For the next couple of years I was in and out of the emergency room convinced I was dying. And when I wasn’t in route to the hospital, I was suffering with massive fear that just around the corner was a loud noise or unanticipated event that will leave me spiraling into the abyss of “I can’t handle it”, “being out of control”, and “I’m gonna die” hell.
The doctor’s solution was to prescribe medication. In truth, I never really gave the medication a chance. If I did fill the prescription I would give it a week at most and having a deep aversion to pills, even to this day, I would quit taking them.
My anxiety was not an issue for over a decade without prescription medication and I drank only only on Fridays. I give the major credit to placing tremendous focus on advancing in my career path, being a single mother for the most part, and a passion for exercise, particularly running. But as time passed, I made decisions that compromised my core values, the drinking increased, the personal development decreased, and my life became less about progressing and more about surviving.
My alcohol increased to help relieve the stresses, disappointments, poor choices, and lowering opinion of myself. Anxiety was always waiting just around the corner to make life even more unmanageable. That was until for the first time in 15 years I raced into the emergency room once again convinced I was going to die. My doctor shared a bit of information that changed my life for ever. Dr. Warren shared the “bungee effect” of alcohol and anxiety. The drink allows you to relax, but as the alcohol wears off the anxiety is like a bungee cord and shoots you from 0 to 100 instantly, causing…PANIC!
Knowing that I was feeding the “anxiety” with alcohol was the tipping point for me to quit abusing alcohol and find another way to LIVE!
– Teresa Rodden, Certified Life Coach