This is one of the most difficult entry's I have posted. It's so difficult because it's the blatant and embarassing truth of where I'm at in my life and how this whole experience has affected me. I thought I was alone. I thought I was crazy for feeling the way I do. But social media can have its benefits. I have learned through the many forums I have joined regarding stem-cell transplants that many of us share similar experiences and side effects. And the experiences and side effects I'm referring to are anxiety, depression and even PTSD.
I guess I'm not doing as well as I thought I was. I had my first anxiety/panic attack last week. This occurred at work. As soon as it happened and was over, I was embarassed. I was ashamed. And I felt like I didn't have control .
The situation involved a local news channel wanting to tape a segment about one of the programs the agency offers. My boss was out of town and it was up to me to do this. I instantly became nervous thinking of what I was going to say. Then those nerves led into becoming extremely warm, my heart started beating more rapidly and my chest felt heavy. I was in the room with three other people but I felt like I was so alone and also felt as if the room was closing in on me. And while all of this was happening, I was picturing myself being broadcast on TV. That I would be on display as one of those so-called 'freaks' back in the time when circuses or carnivals would display them for other people's viewing pleasure to either gawk at or make fun of. This is how I felt. Once I came out of my attack, I felt shame and embarassment. I felt as though I let me boss down and that I didn't fulfill my duty as a manager. I'm supposed to be a leader and lead by example and have confidence but I failed. I didn't do any of those things. Actually, my boss was on the phone with me and talked me out of the attack. She was very supportive that day and still is which I'm very grateful for.
But since that episode I realized I'm not as well off emotionally as I thought I was. I thought I was becoming more comfortable and coming to terms with my 'new' normal self when really I'm not. I feel as though I'm a freak out walking amongst the normal. I wear a wig to appear more normal but I feel as though people see through the so'called disguise and see the squinty-eyed, near-hairless, overweight freak underneath.
It has been said that many symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD are quite common post Cancer. And that it could be a result of the combination of both the chemo and meds that are used, as well as, the whole experience which results in a lot of stuff.
So now that I've come to terms of my so-called underlying freak status, combined with my self-diagnosed anxiety, depression and PTSD, I realize I need to seek some professionsl intervention.
I don't want to live this way. I want to finally come to peace with everything I've been through and with who I am now.
Image source: http://thefamilyfirstcoach.com/2013/06/i-surrender/