My G.a.d. Story

I started to say its been 2 years coming, but it actually been 4 years going on. In 2008 it just all started to spiral. In a matter of 6 months I had several major stressors. The first of which was a major mistake at work that cost close to $40,000. Now in the large scheme of things where I work, that wasn't a year ending amount, but it wasn't small by any means either. 3 months later the week before Halloween my wife was diagnosed with Leukemia, within a month she was in remission, and three weeks after my wife came home, my mom passed away two weeks before Christmas. I had started to feel the effects of these stressors. Then two weeks after Christmas I was shifted in my department to take on a more important job, which actually I thought would help as the trust they were putting in me. It actually back fired more and sent me into a daily panic. The first bad mistake I made behavior wise was I would bring home copies of paperwork and stack them in the hall, I couldn't walk three feet away before I had to walk back to them to make sure that I was right. My worst behavior by far happened while my wife spent a month in the hospital. Twice I took my 3 year old daughter to work late at night to check my work. Actually that may have been three times. And we are not talking right around the corner. This was a 20 to 25 minute drive to and from work, not counting the time at work in the middle of the night. I didn't trust myself to know that I had put the work in. I would end up waking up in the bed in the morning having panic attacks just kind of shaking. My wife would put her arms around me and hold me to get me to calm down.I would push myself to work, but end staying as late as 2 hrs checking and re-checking my work.Then I would also go home and check emails and work product at home until my wife had to lock me out of the computer with a password, that Thank God, I would have never guessed. I knew a change had to come about when after bringing home dinner one night and just staring at my food, my daughter who was I believe 4 at the time asked me why I wouldn't eat. The opportunity came for me to transition back to a previous position that would take me completely out of this dept and hopefully away from this stress. I told my manager in this dept, that I needed to come back to a job that I couldn't take my work product home, one that I had to leave at the door. It would mean going back to a second shift schedule, which I knew my wife wouldn't be happy about, but it was my health or a great schedule with stress. Not to mention I had lost around 30 lbs to stress. Well this didn't work very well either as I would wait until the end of the normal day for admin people to leave and go check on paperwork that still had my name on it and would affect a product for as long as 6 months. After about two weeks of doing this, I went to my former boss and said to please remove me from having a password to this system as I needed a cold turkey break from this obsessive compulsive behavior. At first this was soooo hard. I had to make a break from it. I spoke to a counselor on one occasion, and probably should have gone back, but never did. I eventually spoke to a doctor (this was while I was still in the former job), who put me on Lexapro. It took about 4 weeks to get the stuff going, but it started to help some, I quit taking it cold turkey which was another bad mistake and all my symptoms and behaviors returned quickly. Three things finally kinda worked. Staying on my med, changing my job, and slowly changing my behaviors. It has taken about two years to get back to a comfortable place. In the meantime my wife went through another round of Leukemia, but has been in remission for about two years now. There was a blessing in there as I had to take three months of FMLA leave with her while she had a stem cell transplant. It gave me a break from the stresses of work and I got to spend a lot of time volunteering at my daughters school. I recently over time quit taking my Lexapro. In recent weeks, I have seen signs that it would not hurt me to go back on it a little while longer, but at a lower dose as I was right before I quit taking it. Tomorrow is always another battle, but trusting in God, and making good behavior decisions are two things I must do, sometimes they are both so hard. I have found over time that when I walk away and get the brain on the next task I can move on. I am not a pill taking guy, so to go back on the meds, is not my favorite decision, but one I think I need to do. I hope you are doing well, but please do not let it get as bad as I did. Seek help. Talk to your doctor, talk to other people with G.A.D as I am reaching out tonight.
Jasonmac Jasonmac
1 Response Jul 23, 2012

Great post! Another person's strength can be contagious... Just reading your story helps me gather strength to face my problems.