It was after lunch. I had made my way back to a private part of the office close to my desk. A part of me was convinced that if I could just make it through the end of the day, things would be fine. It was after noon and I was trying to power my way through the rest of the day.
As I was starting to build up some momentum, a strange feeling started creeping in. Could I push my way through? Could I move forward? A distant thought or feeling started to peek ever-closer in at me. I do not remember calling out to God, but I know He was there. It is funny how you know someone is there, but you cannot remember details of how or when they came in. I do know God was there with me through it all, I was just to deep inside my own head to see Him.
A part of me was basking in the hopelessness of my job search. I had finally found a good company to work for, good people to work with and at a good rate of pay. So much of the job was great, why couldn’t I just put up with the work? I now wonder if I could have somehow negotiate different job terms. I did not want to give up on it all, but the thought of going in to work was eating at my soul.
I had desperately been longing for someone to say yes. I needed someone to recognize my value and hire me. Countless times I remember being beat down by job advertisements which seemed so promising. I would prepare my application, ready my resume, apply and not even hear a word back from the company.
I would attempt to make contact with the company only to find out they would not answer questions in relation to posted positions. How weird? Certainly someone knew something, but no one seemed to have the answers to my questions. The job posting would soon disappear.
I remembered going in to company after company, job after potential job, applying for positions, interviewing, hearing nothing in return. It was as though the people who posted these jobs, did not exist. It was a very bizarre dynamic.
This feeling…blurry at first, slowly started to become clearer. Strange, I do not remember thinking it out loud at lunch, but I had definitely felt it before. As I tried to fight it off, the thought came back to me…I COULD NOT DO THIS ANYMORE! I could not, but I needed to…I had to.
This overwhelming sense of obligation burdened me like never before. Part of me said, hold on…you got this. Part of me said, WHAT?!?…are you kidding me? And then somewhere in between I snapped! All I remember from this point forward is talking to my boss. I do not remember exactly how I made it to her office or any of the details. I remember breaking down in her office…I lost it.
I am not sure how much time passed, but that did not matter at this point. My manager called my wife Kristi and tried to explain what had happened. I remember being present, but feeling completely awkward. My manager was incredibly kind. She was only concerned with my well-being. Surprisingly, I remember nothing in the conversation about what we would do about work.
I remember being in a doctor’s office explaining to the doctor what had happened and how I felt. The doctor was struggling to speak clear English, which should have been a sign. At this point, I was too far off the tracks to question others. I just needed help! I went home and returned to the doctor many times. Each time I left feeling as though the doctor did not understand my struggle. Each time I had a new set of side effects. It was not getting any better. I am not sure how long had passed.
At some point, Kristi had been speaking with my boss and my boss had suggested me going to a specific day clinic. I would not be staying overnight, it was just during the day. I went there to fill out paperwork and to see what it was like. Things were not getting better and I was desperate for something to work, so I said I would try it. At this point I did not feel safe driving, so my mom took me.
I remember being a part of group there where we would share something which was going on in our lives. Everyone seemed to have a different condition and it all seemed very overwhelming to me. Hearing the problems of others only seemed to compound my anxiety.
At this point the fear was eating me alive. I remember pounding…my heart was pounding. Fear overtook my ability to reason. Somewhere I began doing all sorts of weird things to cope with anxiety. Making weird sounds with my mouth was one way I coped with the anxiety. I had a new set of habits. Habits I was not fond of.