Kevin Love wrote this wonderful piece on acknowledging his anxiety and getting help from a therapist. His story and recollection of events made me cry.
See, I also suffer of anxiety, and Kevin described feelings in a way I hadn’t been able to. I’ve had panic attacks for three years now. I remember the first one I had, right before getting on a flight to Los Angeles to visit family. My left arm felt numb, my heart was racing, and my brain kept telling me I was about to die. I was so scared. There’s something very sobering and terrifying about your brain being able to fake symptoms. That lack of control over your body can be difficult to come to terms with.
For the next few months, it felt like everything caused a panic attack. Too much coffee, a stressful situation, not sleeping well, needing to drive somewhere I’d never gone to, flying, and the list goes on. On top of that, I was unemployed and about to get married.When I look back, it was a perfect cocktail for panic.
At the time, I didn’t have health insurance, and had little to no money, so I never went to the doctor — much less visit a therapist. I really wish I had. Thankfully (and unfortunately), I learned that other members of my family suffered with anxiety and panic. Their stories, and how they’d dealt with it really helped.
The stigma of it all was difficult too. I was embarrassed to tell people I was dealing with this, especially when it was affecting other parts of my life. I’d have a panic attack and would feel exhausted the next day. I didn’t know how to tell people that I suddenly couldn’t do things that I’d committed to.
Three years later, and I haven’t had a panic attack in about eight months. I’ve learned that I can only have one cup of coffee with caffeine a day. I’ve learned that I need to make sure I get plenty of sleep. And I’ve learned that someone’s health isn’t made up of things you can see.
I’m happy Kevin Love spoke about this. In his piece, he says “Everyone is going through something that we can’t see.” Those words couldn’t be truer. Which makes talking about what you’re going through of utmost importance. The people that care about you, can’t show love and support on something they know nothing of.
I’ll let Kevin button this up:
So if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through.
Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.