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.