March 3, 2010


So where have I been?

Well, dear reader…..I’ve been feeling sorry for myself.

I’m about to make some confessions here that may cause me a lot of embarrassment. Who knows, I may delete this entire post – but I feel the need to be completely honest. To purge, to confess, to get this flipping monkey off my back.

So Leigh, why are you feeling sorry for yourself?

Let’s back up a ways…..a long ways to when I was 13. I traveled with my church’s youth choir to Nashville. Never one to shy away from anything social or fun at that age, I was excited. Excited about singing in front of large groups of people, of spending the week with my very best friends and for the day trip to Opryland that was on the itinerary.

It was all going very well until the day of the theme park trip. It was hot – I wasn’t with my parents and therefore my diet consisted of Mountain Dew and doughnuts – and those two things combined didn’t go well together and I had a little heat stroke in the middle of Opryland USA.

Mortification follows, being 13 and all.

And then suddenly, I’m convinced that I’m dying. I wasn’t, of course. I had been hydrated and treated and all was well – but I was 13 and away from home and scared senseless and I was pretty sure I was going to die. I remember kneeling over a toilet that evening with one of the chaperones holding my hair and my best friend Ashley rubbing my back and I just kept saying “I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m dying. Dead, dead, dead.”

I got home and was no better – my parents rushed me to the home of our family physician (and also dear friend) and he diagnosed me.

Official diagnosis? CRAZY.

At 13 I started having anxiety attacks and they haven’t let up since. I go through times (sometimes months) where I’m doing great – completely in control of my emotions and reactions and then WHAMMO! I’ll have a huge anxiety attack and it throws me right back into square one. Head over toilet, chanting, “Dead, dead, dead. I’m dying. I’m dead.”

Medication can help – but the medication also causes me to be lethargic, gain weight, have a general “who gives a flip” feeling about life. (Well, the one’s that control the anxiety attacks do at least.) Yet, I’m not able to get control over my emotions unless I’m on something.

I went to the doctor 10 days ago and he prescribed Buspar. So here I am, day 10 – not really sure if I feel better and just praying for some relief.

I want to be able to live my life and not worry about ridiculousness. I don’t want fear to swallow me whole. I can’t live my life worrying about things that are completely out of my control anymore.

In high school a lot of people thought I was a snot. Aloof, distant, averted all eye contact. The truth was I was terrified – and I still am. There were very few people I was comfortable around and I am still that way. Making friends and keeping friends is nearly impossible for me because of constantly being consumed by fear.

So yeah, there’s where the feeling sorry for myself enters.

I hate that I can’t be that person. That I can’t grab my own shoulders and shake some sense into me. I hate that one side of my brain knows that I’m fine while the other side of my brain is convinced I’m not. I hate not being able to enjoy life, my child, my husband, a pretty day, for fear of an anxiety attack.

I hate being afraid of being alone. Driving. Flying. Traveling far from home. Meeting new people. Etc, etc, etc. (I could go on but the list of crazy is long and honestly, quite mortifying to see all sprawled out in black and white.)

I hate all of it.

So…..if you’re the praying sort – would you say a prayer for me?

And, if you’re a crazy sort – would you share your story with me? Any of you out there dealing with this? Dealt with it? Beat it?

Leigh needs a hug. And maybe a cheese plate.
P.S. If you don't really want to talk about it in my comments section feel free to email me.


  1. How about some prayers, hugs, and a plate full of Keebler goodies. It helps being married to an Elf sometimes. ;)


  2. Hi there!
    I found your blog through Bonnie's. I'm really glad I stopped by.... I really like your blog :)
    As far as anxiety, well...I have always had a lot of it, but never taken anything for it. But believe me at times, I wish I did. I've never had an anxiety attack (I'm surprised I haven't) and seriously cannot even imagine. I'm sorry you've had to go through what you have. You're in my thoughts :)
    PS--Not sure if you have gotten any Girl Scout cookies this season, but we just got our order and let me tell you, those things always make everything better!!!

  3. I Leigh, I too found you through Bonnie - and I am so glad I stopped by. I am anxious by nature - and have experienced a lot of what you're talking about... at least in terms of fear holding me back from a lot of experiences. I will be praying for you - that you'll feel better and that this new medication will the the answer for you!

  4. I found you through Bonnie, we actually went to High School together. I have issues with anxiety as well, but have managed to deal with it to a level - some things still scare the crap out of me, but thankfully I haven't had an anxiety attack in about 2 years. It's mortifying when it happens though. Just know that you're not alone out there!

  5. Hi! I found your blog through Bonnie. My mom has gone through that alittle and is on Buspar, she said it helps alot. I'm not saying it cures anxiety, but I am in acupuncture school and I give my mom treatments usually once or twice a month and she loves them and says she feels so much better afterwards. She usually sleeps for about 6 hours for a nap after, i'm guessing because the anxiety and worry (which is Chinese medicine is associated with the spleen/Stomach and its functions) have her rundown but the worry doesn't let her relax and rest, so the acupuncture sort of sedates the spleens function of "overthinking" they call it. Have you tried acupunture at all? Please feel free to email me if you'd like to talk more about acupuncture or anything (you can get to my email from my profile page). thanks and hope to talk to you soon!

  6. Bless your heart - you are the sweetest thing. I will pray for you! Go do a random act of kindness for someone and don't tell a is amazing how good it will make you feel.

  7. I know this comment is kind of late to the party, and not a lot of people know this about me, either, but I did and do get crazy panic attacks. They don't need a legit reason and it feels like the entire world is going to crash around me. Haven't had one for a while and I think a lot of it is based around the fact that I finally learned in the last year or so to just "Let Go."

    That's easier said than done, and I still find myself getting worked up about anything. A light going out. Politics. Guy driving too fast. Whatever. Anxiety will come out of nowhere and eat me up and spit me out and nothing can help me.

    You're not alone, and you've got a good support system with Michael and your family. You'll be fine, and remember...while "they" might be out to get you, whenever they do, you won't know it. That's how I got over my flying in planes anxiety. "I can't control it, and if I'm dead, I'm dead. Oh well."

    Suddenly I was a frequent flyer.

    Okay, I'll quit prattling.