Panic Attacks And Beer

I had another panic attack today. I normally live with a perpetual feeling of unease and voices in my head that seem to be dead set upon my demise. I think I balance out the weight of my insanity rather sanely but sometimes the voices of impending doom and the unease get the best of me. I have diligently battled this tempestual condition for most of my life. As I age I am becoming more convinced that it is the stain of a mental illness that cohabitates with my mind. I am beset with tragic thoughts most of my day and an undulating, tremor like anxiety has been with me since I was born. Beer (which I am currently downing) is the only substance that seems to set my mind at ease and after today’s attack all I could do to reconcile my horror was drink.

I am coming to depend upon beer more and more to deal with my anxiety. For many years I induced a constant state of somnolence and weight gain by taking Paxil (psychiatric medication) along with smoking ravenous amounts of weed. I stole enlightening fragments from the sun by spending the majority of my days reading philosophy and hanging out in strip clubs. However- my mental illness refused to diminish. It has merely taken on different forms and angles, redressing itself like a Sphinx or a yokel who decides it is time for a fashion change. My wife is at the point where she is so alarmed by my perpetual state of fear and trembling that she is insisting that I seek out treatment and find a way to live a normal life uninhibited by constant fear.

Like a drunkard who drinks too much wine my negative thoughts consume me on a daily basis. The terror is not of my own making but comes from several voices that sound of in my head when they are least welcome. These voices are as hard to get rid of as my bad back and it seems that with each passing day they climb that much farther into my subconscious. It has gotten to the point where I am unable to feel comfortable doing any activity that involves getting my heart rate up or involves being confined (flying, driving, bridges, etc.,). Some may suggest that what I am is Agoraphobic or obsessive compulsive but neither of these clinical diagnosis works for me. I am a man haunted by my own thoughts of mortality and trapped by my mortal body. I look at other people with the envy of a sinner sentenced to an eternity in hell. I envy their effortlessness, their complete absence of a thought about their own mortality. I long for a day when I can go for a run or a bike ride and feel free, but for now- the only way out of my anxiety and into the experience of joy and fearlessness seems to be through beer. I take beer with me wherever I go like a Shepperd his flock or a Preacher his bible- and I am rarely comfortable without a can of beer by my side.

I am well aware that living with this Faustian monster in my head is no way to spend ones days upon earth. I am also aware the my condition is exasperated by the very beer that I have come to depend upon for relief. When one is stuck in a coal mine what do they do? Try to break free with all their might or sit calm and wait for assistance to come? Unfortunately the way my brain is wired is to immediately try to break free, kicking and screaming, and find some salvation for my life which feels like it is in jeopardy. A panic attack is no fine wine, rather it is a rancid milk that leaves one ravaged and tethered. Rather than sitting calm and waiting for help to come- my brain triggers a flight response that desperately searches for the nearest liquor store so that I can drink my way out from fear.

To Be Continued.


  1. It might only be me, but within the sentences you write you do come across as someone who feels guilty. Of what I don’t know, and I don’t mean of the present condition you find yourself in.

    Something akin to survivors guilt echoes regularly enough to make me wonder that, perhaps, you continue on these perpetual paths of predicament because you are running from something.

    You obviously feel some downfall in drinking so easily – and wantingly – but maybe that is just a simple illusion to once again paint over something a little deeper, a little more concious?

    I do not know, just my opinion.

  2. Randall, I will be frank and mean.

    I just got 20 and I am in college. I sometimes fall into these inexplicable moments of loneliness and despair. I feel sleepless and full of energy, but even this energy gives me nothing to do. Unconsciously I walk from one corner of the room to the other, and then return back to my laptop. I visit the same pages of a book that I’ve been reading for two weeks. Boredom is an evil thing is such moments. I remember all the missed opportunities. The advice “Look at the rest who aren’t that lucky,” has no effect on me.

    But every time I read you, I am scared that one day I will remain in the same state of wilderness ,and that I might not become that paragon of power I’ve always wanted to be.

  3. Paul- Cheers.

    Sanders- I am Jewish. I wonder what you mean by “perpetual paths of predicament?”

    Sajins- I appreciate your frankness, I really do- but maybe you should stop reading my writings, if you do not realize that your real power is to be found in your weaknesses.

  4. Damn, someone asked me to define and/or explain what the hell I am on about…

    I think I meant that perhaps these events that transpire, these occurrences that put themselves in your way… these negative obstacles are in some way false challenges, or things that show up when you really need to confront something else.

    You smash into these things with such force and downfall, that the core of the issue – that hidden agenda – remains hidden and never confronted.

    Like I said, I have no idea. It makes a kind of sense to me (the explanation – this is an uneducated diagnosis). If you were Catholic however, well then you could be perpetually guilty for the sake of it… I jest.

    Oh, and to Sanjins. I feel the pain, but it’s one thing to look at someone else’s life and another to think of it as your own – present or future.

    I read you Randall, because you interest me. I take moments to consider what you write and how you live your life. I don’t judge it, or consider it a nightmare that I may wonder into. It simply is.

    I have two kids and a loving wife. My job stinks and I am as yet, a still unpublished writer. To me, that’s life; the good way outweighs the bad. But to some, that is their idea of a fallen-future.

    To each your own, I’m not going anywhere.

  5. You have quite a way with words RG Sanders. I must say that your comment has moved me towards contemplation (must figure out what the hell that hidden agenda is?) and humility. You are perceptive, to say the least, and I was wondering if you have ever considered a profession in Psychology? Writing and being a Therapist go very well together. If you keep writing with the insight and compassion that your comments display- there is no question that your writing will be great and eventually published.

    Thanks for sticking around.

    Thanks pieceofpie for the heart felt sentiment.

  6. “it seems that with each passing day they climb that much farther into my subconscious.”

    you know you did very well describing your pain. i think that recognizing how it feels deflates half of that quickbuilding flame of fear.

    my sense is that you have a will; which is encouraged by a faithful and considerate love. i hope that you find medicine in means which bring you far more sensory joy and far more forthcoming aide than those cans and cans of beer.

    self-medication is human and well-known, very sympathized by the suffering beings in the world around you (however they seem to easily glide through life, unobscure). but help in anyway its available; even if its a farther drive than the liquor store is worth the anxiety of making a phone call.

    i see that you are an artist of sorts. you do well in your aesthetic and i hope it guides you through the pain and helps you know what the next step must be. take some deep breaths and focus on your best senses. focus on the hand of your wife who holds you; she wants, i trust, to do anything to help you.

    i love that you shared with the world. its scary but there are millions going through this very same suffering. God bless you and your struggle.

  7. “live a normal life uninhibited by constant fear” … er .. this IS a normal life *wry grin* … if this is factual rather than (semi)fictional .. well, endurance outruns fear, Randall … fear is surprisingly malleable too; it can be used as a very cool stepladder to reach higher stuff or folded up, like in origami, to make unusual objets d’art as well …

  8. These comments are a testament to the wonderful qualities of human beings who step up and offer a helpful hand when they presume someone to be in need. These comments have also renewed my faith in the human being:) I am honored to have such comments upon my blog. The comments are invaluable. I hope I am not the only one benefiting from this.

  9. You took the words out of my mouth! May i please use you words to tell my doctor that is just as i feel? It is soooo great not to be the only one.

  10. I just couldn’t depart your website before suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply for your guests? Is gonna be again regularly in order to check up on new posts

  11. Man I feel the same, I have awful panic attacks and the only thing that calms me and breaks me free is a beer, i

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