Wait…. You can have anxiety and not know it?

This article popped up in my newsfeed and made me laugh.  The title made me laugh.  I didn’t read the whole thing – feel free.  Or not.


13 Signs You Have Anxiety — and Don’t Know It



Done with Wellbutrin, Starting Celexa

Yesterday I took the last wellbutrin pill that I plan to take.

I’ve been weaning off of those ever since my big driving panic attack that I am convinced they triggered.    On Friday my doctor agreed that I needed something different.  Not sure the wellbutrin had been helping much before that anyway and I have been taking ativan almost daily so thats not good.  That is not the purpose of my ativan.  It’s just supposed to help me as needed, and I’m not supposed to need it every day!

Part of me wants to just wait it out and see how I do without any medication in my system.  I hate that medication has become normal for me.

But then kid2 asked me to take her and 3 friends to the mall this weekend to shop for dresses for the spring formal.  Just the thought of driving them there made me want to start popping ativan!

Last night I drove to kid3’s playoff basketball game – my kids and kid2’s BFF – and it was HARD.  I did it cuz hubby didn’t go to the game but it wasn’t fun at all.  I had a little episode on the way there and slowed way down, expecting to pull over, but kept fighting and and got through it and kept going.  Amazing to me that kids don’t notice.  Ha.  They were gabbing and picking on each other and fighting and all that they do and were oblivious to what was going on up front.  Ha.  Even Kid1 who sat in the front passenger seat.  She had her headphones on and her head laid back and was in her own world.  I’m glad she was.

Anyway…. the thought of drivign them to the mall should not freak me out.  And that is ridiculous.

So I decided I would start the Celexa  (Citalopram) today.   I haven’t done it yet though.  I keep putting it off.  I’m starting with half a pill and its unlikely to have any side effects immediately but I was reading online about how one of the beginning side effects is dizziness and I am afraid of that I guess.  And I really don’t want to have to deal with that and have to be in charge of my kids…. I don’t know.  Then what if I take it now – almost bedtime and it keeps me awake tonight?  I have a conference call tomorrow with the Maybe Millionaires and I need to be completely focused and ready for that.  I cant be all sleep deprived and foggy!  Aggh.    Yes, this is just me babbling whats happening in my head right now.  Ha.

OK.  I’m going to take it now.  If not now, when?  I am praying this will help.  The plan is for this to help me overcome a lot of my social anxiety and get strong and confident and do all the things that I need to do and that I want to do!  Then I will wean off off this medication too and be forever fixed.  Yep, that’s right.  I didn’t use to have panic attacks.  And I don’t plan to have them for the rest of my life either.  :D

Here we go.  Celexa:  Day 1

Pity Party Is Almost Over

OK.  I think I’m almost done with the ‘woe is me’ posts.  Almost.

Yes, I’m mad.  Yes, I’m sad & discouraged.   Frustrated.  Feeling hopeless, helpless.

I keep thinking about the fact that I am happier now than I have been in a long time and the panic attacks are coming back with a vengeance.  That’s not cool at all and I can’t even begin to make sense of that.  But.  I have to find the hope in there somewhere.  My marriage is better than it’s been in probably 6-7 years.  Shouldn’t I have more confidence and strength?

As I typed that, a thought popped into my head.  A quiet little thought, one I’m not sure I want to hear…  Am I worried it’s not gonna last and that increases my anxiety?  Perhaps.

Are my hormones just completely screwed up and panic attacks thrive in that environment?  Perhaps.

Is there actually ANY reason for the panic nonsense?  I don’t know.  Maybe it just is.

Will God save me?  I hope.

Do I need to fight back with every ounce of energy that I have left.  Yep.  Problem is that I’m running out of energy for this fight.  I’m tired.  I know I keep saying that but it’s true.  This battle has taken it’s toll on me. I am tired.

But, it’s time to get over it and get on with it.  So, that’s what I will do.  Sigh.

Social Anxiety Videos on YouTube

I found this recently when searching for info on Celexa which my dr prescribed at my appointment on Friday.  I have it, but haven’t started it yet….

I like this guy.  Only watched 2 videos so far but definitely interesting.  Check it out.  Link below.

Social Anxiety Videos on YouTube

Off Wellbutrin to Try Anti-Depressant?

So after all that happened with the Wellbutrin, I want off of it!  Once I figured out that it contributed to my freak out I started weaning myself off of it immediately!  I have reduced my dose significantly and feel so much calmer overall.

I also have been taking Bright Spark from NativeRemedies.com and think it works wonderfully for concentration and focus.  I seriously feel happier!  I dont know if it is because of reducing the wellbutrin.  Or taking Bright spark (take this occasionally, not every day so I don’t know…)  Or maybe I’m just happier because my marriage is pretty great right now.

Don’t get me wrong, Wellbutrin did help me for a while.  The reason I chose to start taking it was because of this comment I read on a forum:

“The wellbutrin gets rid of the obsessive thoughts I have about my anxiety and panic attacks and I take the ativan when I am having an actual panic attack.”

And it really did help with that.

The problem is that I am still struggling so much to do everyday things.  I am so tired of having to work so hard to do normal things.  And I’m sick of missing out on life.

I was on Paxil for post-partum depression after kid3.  Paxil is a wonderful drug!  It helped me so much and not only helped with the depression, but helped in many other ways as well.  It basically erased my shyness.  That’s the way I described it at the time.  This was way before panic attacks had entered my life.  I have always been shy and hated being the center of attention, or giving speeches etc.  I’ve done those things – just didn’t like to.

Now – I have trouble sitting in the bleachers watching my kids play volleyball.  Then – I was on the volleyball team playing in front of everyone!

Now – bleachers at football games suck!  Then – I was in the band marching around on the field in front of everyone!

Now – Do not even ask me to get up and talk in front of a group.  Then – not only did I give oral reports etc at school, but I gave a speech at graduation!  In the same gym that I have trouble sitting in!  That gym was packed for graduation with some people having to stand.  And I stood in front of all those people and gave a speech!  Now I wont even go into that gym unless I’ve taken ativan and can get a seat near the door.  Ugh.  What the hell happened to me?  And why?!

Anyway… Paxil cured me of that.  I even hosted a wedding shower for my sister and was bossy and in charge of the games and gave a sweet little talk about my sister – in front of all those people.  I didnt know a lot of them either.  And then I stood up in her wedding as maid of honor – in all my fat glory.  Ugh.  I hate all pictures that I am in from that wedding! When my other sister got married before that I refused to be in it and was guest book attendant instead.  Heck even for my own wedding, we had a “destination wedding” with 4 other people there – cuz I didn’t want to be the center of all that attention!

Paxil worked wonders for me and I remember thinking that this must be how everyone else feels.  I felt normal for once.

The problem with paxil though is that I gained 40 pounds.  yes – 40!  And Paxil withdrawal is no picnic.  That is putting it mildly.  So I don’t really want to go back on Paxil.

I want something that works just like paxil but without the weight gain.  I doubt that exists.  I’ve googled so many different medications and it seems all anti-depressants have possible weight gain as a side effect.

I’ve decided I want to try an anti-depressant again though anyway.  Just remembering how I felt when I was on Paxil makes me think it might really help me.  I want to get on with living!  And I’m hoping that other meds are as likely to result in weight gain as Paxil is.  And I know to look out for that side effect now so maybe I’ll be able to keep it under control if it does become an issue.

(Of course I’ve just set a new weight loss goal for myself too – 10 pounds by April 30th – just in time for our 20th anniversary!)

This post was a lot of babbling I know.  I’m trying to figure this out.  I go to the doctor on Wednesday and am going to talk to her about all this.  I’d also like to try xanax instead of ativan since it works faster – that should help with having to plan ahead so much – to be sure to take it in time for whatever event is gonna stress me out next.

But then I love my dear ativan.  I need a refill on that and am wondering if they will do both – refill ativan and a new RX for xanax at the same time.  They may not.  I want my ativan still – it is like my security blanket!

See, I have no idea what will happen but I’d like to have an idea about what I want before I go in there on Wednesday!


Driving Anxiety : My Last Big Panic Attack

So here it is.  The story of my last big panic attack that I keep referring to.

I take  wellbutrin to help me with my anxiety.  It has been working.  I need brand name because the generic makes me puke and I don’t stop puking even after an “adjustment period”. Every single time my prescription runs out and the pharmacy requires a new one from the doctors office they give me terrible trouble and try to get me to switch to generic.  So much I could say about their nonsense but the result this time was that I was almost out of pills and they were taking their good old time in approving the new RX.  I started stretching the pills out.  You don’t just quit taking these pills, you have to taper off of them.  I didn’t want to do that, I was just trying to spread them out until I got more. And it was taking forever!  I finally got the refill and started back in taking them again as normal.  That was my first mistake.  I didn’t think about the fact that I was weaned off of them pretty well by now.  About 3 days later I was a nervous wreck and it took me a while to realize it was because I overloaded my body with the wellbutrin too quickly.

Of course that was the day I had to drive my daughter to the ortho.  I had been sweating all day.  My hands had been shaking.  At times that day my heart felt like it was beating so hard I was sure people could see it popping out of my chest.   I took 2 ativan to help me calm down and then I picked my daughter up from school.  I had the window down in the car. The cold air helped even though she kept complaining that she was freezing.  We were talking a lot.  I was trying to distract myself and focus on her instead of how I felt.  That worked for a while.

Then we started talking about my brother and his wife who are trying to have a baby.  That turned into a conversation about sis-in-law’s sister who died from a brain tumor shortly after her twins were born. That is an emotional story.  Oh my.  I hadn’t thought of that in several years and it hit me.  I don’t like medical stuff.  It makes me feel queasy even on good days.  Well I was not having a good day anyway and the emotion of those memories put me over the edge I guess.

Here it was.  The panic monster had come for me.  We were stopped at a red light and I was trying hard to refocus.  I changed the radio station, looked in my purse for nothing really, checked my phone.  Oh my.  I couldn’t shake it and the black spots were there and they were big.  I was terrified I was going to pass out at the wheel of my car!  The light was red for what seemed like forever so I put the car in park, figuring that would be best in case I actually did pass out.

The light turned green and I was shaking so bad but put it in drive and went.  My daughter was worried by this time so I told her I felt very sick and that I felt like I was gonna puke any minute.  There was no where to pull over.  There was a lot of traffic and I was in a middle lane.  Thank God that there was a left turn possible at the next light.  We stopped at the light and I put it in park again and waited.  You have no idea how badly I just wanted to get out of that car!  I pictured myself getting out of the car and walking across the traffic and sitting down on the curb.  I just wanted out!  When the light turned green, I went and pulled into the first parking lot we came to on that road.  I got out and just kind of walked back and forth pacing.  Taking deep breaths and being thrilled to be out of the car!

She was worried about being late for her ortho appt.  Last time we were late the lady was not nice at all and upset kid2 so much she cried when we left.  So she wanted me to hurry up and get back in!  Wow I wished she was old enough to drive!  I talked myself into trying again.  It wasnt very far away and only 1 more light to go through.  So we went.  The light to pull back out on the highway took forever though and I was a sweaty mess again by the time it turned green.  I sped there as quickly as possible – like a mom on a mission.  SO relieved to reach the parking lot!

Her appt was  just a quick adjustment.  Basically each time we just sign in, they call her back, I sit there and wait, she’s done in 10-15 minutes and we leave.  I told her to go in herself.  She was nervous about it and got a little mad at me.   I laid my seat back in the car and told her I’d be right there waiting.  She is 14.  She could handle this with no problems and I was parked right by the door.  So she did.  As soon as she was out of sight I kinda freaked out a little again.  I was still having trouble catching my breath.  I tried turning music on the radio to help me relax.  Didn’t help.  I got out my ipod and played some games, thinking I could distract myself enough to forget about it a little.

When she came back I still didn’t feel confident enough to start the drive home so I gave her some cash and sent her into TJ Maxx – her favorite store ever.  She took a really long time in there and I was glad.  I went in after a while.  I wanted to walk around, build some confidence, feel normal again.  We paid for her stuff and I had  a hard time in line and went outside while she was still checking out.  I felt like I just needed air.

The ride home was terrible.  I just wanted to be home.  She was afraid I was gonna have to pull over and puke at any minute.  I was afraid I would pass out at any minute and kill us all.  There are not always places you can quickly pull over if you need to!  I felt like a race car driver.  When I was on a stretch of road without places to pull over, I was so focused and going as fast as the cars in front of me would allow.  I was determined to get through those places before more black spots came.  It wasn’t good.  At all.  On the more country roads where I could stop if needed, I relaxed a little and that helped get me through the other parts.  It was about 1/2 an hour drive home and we both were very relieved to make it home.

We went into the house and she announced that they should watch out cuz mom is sick and heading for the bathroom.  lol  I did and put cold water on my face and tried to not be a nut case.  I went to where hubby was sitting on the couch.  I wanted a hug so badly!  I sat close and he said something about me being sick and he didn’t want to get sick.  Ha. Cant blame him I guess.  He didn’t know what had really happened.  (I did finally tell him later – just a few days ago actually – and this happened at the beginning of December)

So then I went to bed and stayed there.  I felt like a rag doll, completely limp, worn out.  Everyone left me alone cuz they thought I had “germs” and it was bliss.

Panic Attacks are Stealing My Life

Things I have missed because of my fear of the panic monster:

Haven’t seen my dad’s new house in Florida.  This hurts my Dad.
Passed up 2 trips to Disney World.  Partially Paid trips!
Turned down a paid flight to Florida – more than once.
Declined a trip to Alabama to see my grandmother & cousins.
Did not attend my step-grandmother’s funeral dinner, which hurt my stepmom.
Bus trip to New York with a group of fun ladies
Winter Jam concert – 3 years now.
Tour of hubby’s work place (hot and crowded)
College basketball game with my son and his basketball team (twice now)
Countless dinner invitations from friends & sisters over the last few years.
Road trips with hubby.
Spontaneous shopping trips, restaurants, etc with my mom-in-law who loves to fly by the seat of her pants and is always up to something fun!

I feel like this list doesn’t even begin to cover the things I’ve been missing because I’m afraid :(

I can’t just get up and go.  I want to be able to do that again!

What am I doing when opportunities present themselves??
Counting how many ativan pills I have left.  Counting hours & minutes to see if there is enough time for the ativan to kick in before an event.
Or perhaps I planned to go and then chickened out.  It was offered to me and I refused.  I saw the event and wanted to go but knew it would be more trouble than it was worth :(

Things that are coming up that I DON’T want to miss:

Want to go to Disney as a chaperone on the band trip – planned For April or May 2015
BFF wants to go on a cruise as a graduation gift for us when our kids graduate.  Yes – for us, not them!  lol
Tour of Hubby’s work place is being planned again – think they are making it a yearly event.
College basketball game with my son and his basketball team .
As my very active kids get older there will be more banquets, award ceremonies, events, games…. things I want to enjoy instead of being sick about!

And let’s not forget the gazillions of things that I still do –  but are SO MUCH HARDER than they need to be thanks to the panic monster!  You already know most of these things if you’ve been here before.

I freaking HATE the panic monster.

Panic Attacks: It Never Ends

First ever panic attack:    Grocery Store.
I fought back against the panic monster.  Conquered.

Second major panic attack:  Football Game Bleachers.
Again, I fought back.  Mostly conquered.

Most recent panic attack:  Driving
Now I’m fighting back against this one.  I’m getting there.


It never ends.   As soon as I get one under control, I have another panic attack –  In a completely new type of situation.  Why?  What are we doing Lord?  Just mixing it up?  Keeping it fresh?  I don’t wanna play this game anymore!

My first ever panic attack was in line at the little grocery store in our little town.  I didn’t know what it was at the time but thanks to the internet I figured it out pretty quickly.  I freaked out a lot first and then came up with a plan to regain control of my life.  It’s called exposure therapy and it works. I went back to that store every day that my son had pre-school and made myself deal with it.  Sometimes I wouldn’t even make it into the store.  Some days I just cried in my car.  Other days I went in and just came back right out.  Some days I went it, got a peanut butter cup, stood in the blasted line and made it out alive.  The candy bar was my reward. :)  Eventually I was even able to go to Walmart and stand in those LONG lines.  I got better at it and stores aren’t really a problem for me anymore.  Most of the time.

Then I had a huge panic attack in the bleachers at a football game.  That one was much worse than the first.  It was harder to fight back against but I did it.  I had to.  My kids play sports so I needed to deal with it so I could be there to support them without looking like the lunatic that refused to sit in the bleachers.  (At the football games that works, but not so much at basketball & volleyball games.)  This one took a long time.  I can do most bleachers OK now.  But going to away games and new places with new bleachers always freaks me out at first.  And there are some concerts and college basketball games that I haven’t yet gone to because of the bleachers (and the crowds too I guess.)  But, I’m getting there and this one is kinda under control now too.

And Now… My big driving panic attack.  Actually this isn’t the first one I had while driving.  The one on the way home from the beach was pretty terrible.  It was a high traffic area, lots of stress, too much caffeine from my pepsi max….and on a road that I hope to never be on again.  That isn’t a situation I will have to face again anytime soon so I can let it go and move on.  But this last one was different.  It hit me harder I think because it’s something I have to deal with on an on-going basis.  It’s part of my daily life now.  We were just headed to the orthodontist.  And guess what?  We’re going back there tomorrow.  yippee.  My daughter was in the car with me and I scared her.  She thinks I was sick.  I told her I thought I was going to throw up and that’s why I pulled over.  She doesn’t even know I was having a panic attack and she was still scared!  And guess what?  Now she is a trigger for me!

I’ve been doing better fighting back against this one finally.  It was pretty rough at first.  But I have to do it.  I’m a mom, which means I’m a chauffeur.  I’m getting pretty OK with my other kids in the car, but if I know I’ll be driving Kid2 somewhere I take an ativan about an hour before hand.  Crazy that my daughter is my trigger!  That’s sad!  Of course I’ll never tell her that.  Never.

I can see how the panic monster could quickly take over a persons life – to the extent that it is debilitating.  If it weren’t for my kids and having to do this for them, I’d probably just crawl under my covers and stay there.

Venting: Driving Anxiety

From my draft folder, wrote this a few weeks ago. . .

My New Years Resolution:  Do more things with hubby.  Go more places.  Say yes.

Hubby is spontaneous.  He likes to just get up and go when he thinks of something he’d like to do.  I’m a planner.  And I’m a crazy person that gets panic attacks sometimes in crowded places.  Or sometimes even driving.

The Problem?
What if he wants me to drive?  He works 3rd.  So if he has worked and is staying up instead of sleeping to go somewhere, I should drive.  He’s had more than one close call where he almost wrecked cuz he was so stinking tired and trying to drive.  Usually this in on the way home from work.  (Did I ever tell you how much I hate 3rd shift???)

What if he wants to go to a restaurant?  Especially one I’ve never been to before.  What if my ativan doesn’t have time to kick on first??

What if he invites his parents too – and then I have to sit in the back of the car so his dad can sit up front with him.  What if I get car sick cuz I’m sitting in the back of the car?

I want to tell him all these concerns.  I want to tell him I want to go more places with him but its hard for me to just get up & go.

I want to ask him to please just don’t ask me to drive anywhere for a while.  Just don’t expect me to.  I want to tell him that if I’m feeling confident that day I’ll let him know I want to drive – otherwise just leave me alone and let me enjoy the passenger seat.

I don’t want him to feel like I’m a fragile mental patient that he has to take care of though.  That would be a burden to him.  That’s why I havent told him about my big driving panic attack.  But I want to hang out with him more.  Right now if he asks me if I want to go somewhere,  I usually just say no cuz he might want me to drive and that immediately makes me nervous.  This issue has gotten bigger since my last big panic attack.  I am fighting back, but I still feel like a freak anytime I drive somewhere.

Its worse if there is anyone in the car because then I have to appear normal even if I’m freaking out inside.  If I’m by myself, I can freak out out loud and get it out of my system!  My kids think I have been suffering horrible from hot flashes lately because every time we go somewhere I have the window down – and its winter here.  It was snowing in my window the other day and I still left it down.  I just want that cold air blowing on my face!

Side note: I even felt stressed watching a video the other day that Kid3 was showing me.  He was sitting on my lap so I couldn’t easily get up or move around.  I felt trapped.  It was just a music video.  I cant even remember what it was about now.  Oh baseball.  What was it about that video? I don’t know – it triggered an emotion in me and I immediately got uncomfortable and found myself holding my breath (which is just stupid) and then that of course caused the anxiety wash over me…..

I’ve gone back a few steps lately (a lot of steps actually!) with this anxiety crap.  I just want left alone to do my own thing until the vivid memory of my driving panic attack fades.  It really shook me up and I hate it.

We planned the beach for next year.  Hubby already decided he wasn’t going.  Whatever.  But the hard part about that is that I have to drive there!  Know what?  I’ll get in the car and get pissed off and I’ll get myself there even if it is hard.  BUT.  Its not just me.  I’ll be driving my kids there and that means I have to put on my happy  face and try not to let them see me freaking out.  No one wants a nut case at the wheel for 8 hours!  That will scare them and I don’t want that to happen!  Aagh!

And tonight I have to take Kid3 to his basketball game, its a late game and hubby cant go.  So its up to me.  That SHOULD be no problem.  I’ve gone to many of these games!  Hubby has driven though I think to everyone at the Y this year.  Remember how I used to freak about sitting in those bleachers?  Yea, well now the bleachers arent a problem, now I’m freaking about having to drive there!

I can do it.  I know I can do it.

Yesterday I drove kid1 to her volleyball game.  I’ve been driving kids to practices, the store, friends houses, etc.
Yea, I’ve still been doing it but it really SUCKS.



Tuesday was quite a day.  My plan was to get up early, do about an hours worth of work that absolutely had to be done that morning then LOG OFF.  Then run around my house like a looney cleaning, organizing, making lists for gifts, diff Christmas events, updating my calendars, planning what food I was taking where, etc.  All that holiday stuff that needed to be done and was getting away from me.  THEN, I was going shopping and not stopping until my Christmas shopping was completely complete.  Then meet my step-mom and sisters for a late dinner for a ladies night out.

Well the snow came.  The kids had a 2 hour delay. I didn’t get my peaceful organized morning, I got out the door way later than I wanted to and of course I was fretting about driving back to those stores where I had my last meltdown. (AKA panic attacks)

Long story short, I did it.  It wasn’t easy and I hated a lot of the day.  I despise standing in lines when I am on edge and trying to recover from recent panic attacks.  Of course I had to stand in lines.  I forced myself to do it and not flee even though I really wanted to.  I got most of my shopping done before dinner.  I truly enjoyed dinner with my ladies and felt pretty relaxed by that point.  After dinner, I drove to the Walmart parking lot, locked my door, and sat there with the light on in my car and organized my life.  I wanted to be sure I was DONE before going home.  I had just a few small gifts to get and lots of groceries.  I did it.  It was about 11:00 pm when I headed home.

As I was driving home, I went down the road that I was avoiding all day – the one where I had the big panic attack last week.  I was determined to drive down that road before heading home.  It was late, the roads were not busy and I felt confident.  I sat at that stop light feeling all proud of myself.  I thought “Wow!  I feel normal.  This is great!”

Then I realized.  I had 3 ativan in me.  Yep.  They were spaced out over the day but still.  THREE!!  I rarely take 3 a day – only on days that I am out & about in possible panic attack situations and the day keeps on going and going….

It takes 3 for me to feel normal apparently.  That sucks.

I am both grateful and ticked off at the same time.  I’m grateful that I am able to use ativan to help me work through this panic monster crap.

I am ticked that I would even need a freakin ativan to drive down the road past Target.  Ridiculous.

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.