I want to share with my readers something that affects about 18 percent of the United States, it is anxiety.

Anxiety is nothing to joke about, it is nothing to look down on people about.  It is real and it is one of the most common mental illness.

When I first experienced anxiety I was a senior in high school.  I had no clue what was going on.  When it hit me I felt like I was ran over by a semi truck.  I thought I was going to black out, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't function.  I felt overwhelmed by a force that wasn't there.

It went away for awhile until I started my freshman year of college.  I lived in the dorm and had a very psychotic roommate.  She was ok as long as she was high on weed but when she was off she was not a force to be reckoned with.  She would throw things around our room, she would yell, threaten, but fortunately she never hit me, I don't know why she never did and really didn't want to know why.

After my first semester I had enough so I moved down to Georgia to live with my parents.  My dad was stationed down there.  My anxiety subsided for awhile..or so I thought.  I was driving down the road with my sister when it hit again.  Driving while having an anxiety attack was not fun.  I would never want anyone to experience what I had experienced that day.  After that my sister knew when I was having one.  She would talk to me and it helped blow over.  Driving was the worst and that was when I started having driving anxiety.

My illness got worse even after I got married.  I went to doctors, therapists, and it seemed that nothing was working.  Medicine helped for awhile but it kind of just helped my depression more than my anxiety.  My first marriage was a disaster, it did not help my anxiety or depression.  That marriage lasted for a mere 10 years.

After that time I lost over 60 lbs and then my anxiety started declining and I was able to drive with little to no problem.  I still have problems driving on the interstate or where ever there is a lot of traffic and cars.  My now husband does not understand driving anxiety, he will never understand.  People who never experienced this will never understand the anguish we go through every day.  We don't have to be driving or even in the car to experience it.  It could happen just by being at home.  I remember having them frequently when I was first married.  I guess that should have been a red flag right?

All joking aside though I still have them, I don't have them as much, and I hope one day they go away completely so I can have my life back.  I want to be able to drive where ever I choose without having that suffocating feeling come and go.  I want to be able to enjoy driving again like when I was 16.

If you never experienced these issues please don't look down on others who do.  You never know if one day you experience them yourself.


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