Kevin Love and My Own Anxiety

Kevin Love’s recent article on his panic attacks helped me work through feelings I hadn’t been able to describe

Kevin Love wrote this won­der­ful piece on acknowl­edg­ing his anx­i­ety and get­ting help from a ther­a­pist. His sto­ry and rec­ol­lec­tion of events made me cry.

See, I also suf­fer of anx­i­ety, and Kevin described feel­ings in a way I hadn’t been able to. I’ve had pan­ic attacks for three years now. I remem­ber the first one I had, right before get­ting on a flight to Los Ange­les to vis­it fam­i­ly. My left arm felt numb, my heart was rac­ing, and my brain kept telling me I was about to die. I was so scared. There’s some­thing very sober­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing about your brain being able to fake symp­toms. That lack of con­trol over your body can be dif­fi­cult to come to terms with.

For the next few months, it felt like every­thing caused a pan­ic attack. Too much cof­fee, a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion, not sleep­ing well, need­ing to dri­ve some­where I’d nev­er gone to, fly­ing, and the list goes on. On top of that, I was unem­ployed and about to get married.When I look back, it was a per­fect cock­tail for panic.

At the time, I didn’t have health insur­ance, and had lit­tle to no mon­ey, so I nev­er went to the doc­tor — much less vis­it a ther­a­pist. I real­ly wish I had. Thank­ful­ly (and unfor­tu­nate­ly), I learned that oth­er mem­bers of my fam­i­ly suf­fered with anx­i­ety and pan­ic. Their sto­ries, and how they’d dealt with it real­ly helped.

The stig­ma of it all was dif­fi­cult too. I was embar­rassed to tell peo­ple I was deal­ing with this, espe­cial­ly when it was affect­ing oth­er parts of my life. I’d have a pan­ic attack and would feel exhaust­ed the next day. I didn’t know how to tell peo­ple that I sud­den­ly couldn’t do things that I’d com­mit­ted to.

Three years lat­er, and I haven’t had a pan­ic attack in about eight months. I’ve learned that I can only have one cup of cof­fee with caf­feine a day. I’ve learned that I need to make sure I get plen­ty of sleep. And I’ve learned that someone’s health isn’t made up of things you can see.

I’m hap­py Kevin Love spoke about this. In his piece, he says Every­one is going through some­thing that we can’t see.” Those words couldn’t be truer. Which makes talk­ing about what you’re going through of utmost impor­tance. The peo­ple that care about you, can’t show love and sup­port on some­thing they know noth­ing of.

I’ll let Kevin but­ton this up:

So if you’re read­ing this and you’re hav­ing a hard time, no mat­ter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or dif­fer­ent for shar­ing what you’re going through.

Just the oppo­site. It could be the most impor­tant thing you do. It was for me.