A Very Long Story....

I have been battling my anxiety for nearly three years now. I realize now what has been causing so much of it.

It all started the summer of 2006; the summer right before my senior year of high school. Everything was great. My junior year was awesome. I was involved in so much and was totally excited to start a new chapter in my life. Then, we lost a dear friend to melanoma; a very heartbreak story. My twin brother, then, needed to be evaluated and tested for multiple learning and mental disorders. We found out in the month of July that he has ADHD, Depression, Aspburger's (sp?) Syndrome, Autism (yes, he's on both ends of the spectrum), OCD and Tourette's Syndrome. That put a  huge strain on our relationship that had already started to crumble into what it is today.

Then, the worst week of my life hit. On the Monday, I believe it was August 7th, 2006, my mother was diagnosed with a reoccurance of breast cancer. This was her third ever cancer diagnosis (she had had thyroid cancer and breast cancer when I was young; I didn't know until much later, though). Of course, the first things that run through your mind are "Is she going to live" "How bad is it?" "What will I do with my mother?". It was the worst feeling in the world. The next day, my Great Uncle had an aortic anyurism and went into emergancy surgery. He ended up in a coma with a 50% chance of recovery. The next day, my mother was watering the plants and our next door neighbor came bursting out of her house. Her son, Kyle was lost on the Deshutes River and no one can find him. She asked if we could call all the members of Genesis (this is the performing group at my church for the high school students. Basically, we learned a 30 minute Christian musical with songs and dances and scenes to be performed around our area and out of state for a week in the summer) to start a prayer chain. Little did we know that our house would soon be the center of information. We had three cell phones and a landline constantly going. Four hours after we first heard, we had to call everyone to announce he was found and had died. I can't tell you how horrible that was. My heart just broke into a million pieces. He was only 15 years old. The next day, my Great Uncle was taken off Life Support and died as well. Both funerals were on the same day two weeks later; August 17th, 2006 was a hard day!

But, even after life changing events, life still has to go on. By the end of my first week of my senior year, my mother had her surgery to remove the cancer and it all became a reality. I didn't suffer too much until my Homecoming Game that I had the first anxiety attack. I thought I was going to be sick in front of a huge crowd of people! Lucky I didn't, and my attacks began that day and I haven't gone a day without one for three years.

And, you would think that my life couldn't have gotten worse, eh? Guess again. My grandmother's health soon started to fail. Her dementia soon became very evident and she was placed in a home, where she continued to get worse and died while I was on Genesis Tour that year. That hit hard. My grandmother has always been there for me, went to all my special performances and ceremonies. Suddenly, she couldn't even attend my graduation, something in my heart I knew she desperately wanted to be at, despite her condition.

Well, once again, life had to move on. And I started college. What a huge change! Even though my college is only about a half an hour away from my house, I was struggling BIG TIME!! My attacks were worse during class and I became sssooo stressed out! I hated living in the dorms because my neighbors were terrible, the food was hardly edible, and that damn fire alarm was always going off at night!! I had an awesome roommate, though, that I could tell everything to. Soon, though, had bond was somewhat severed when my father had his stroke. It's been nearly a year since the anniversary of his stroke. I had gotten the call about his stroke before a class and by the end of that call, it was determined that he might not make it. Fortunately, he did, and after two and a half weeks of rehabilitation, he was back home.

So, I had to stay home for the rest of academic year. My anxiety was never great. At the end of the year, though, it got worse as my mother was diagnosed again with very aggresive breast cancer. Because of her mulitple cancers, it has been suspected that she has a gene that predisposes her to cancer and I might also have. Another thing to worry about!!

I have been in and out of therapy since I've started college. And since changed insititutions, I have improved and I am starting my road to living the way that I want to.

Sorry this was soo long! It's good to have this all out there.

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1 Response Feb 22, 2009

Thank you for sharing your story of strength and courage despite your situation. I know it was an encouragement to me in my own anxiety battle, and I know it will be an encouragement to many other readers.