Recovering from an Anxiety Disorder

Short Stories – My Dad

According to my doctors, anxiety like other “mental” disorders are hereditary and I mostly blame my dad (jokingly). I often joke that everything that is “wrong” with me, I inherited from him. He agrees and then we both laugh. My dad is very funny and I am so grateful that I inherited his sense of humor.

During this time, my dad would drive me to my son’s school to pick up my son who was four years old. At this point I hadn’t driven in about a month, afraid that I would panic (or have a heart attack or stroke) while driving. I had been taking Pexeva for about four weeks now and was still taking Xanax XR three times a day. I still didn’t feel an improvement, but felt confident enough to try driving again, since I was on Xanax XR.

Just like when I was fifteen, I asked my dad if he thought I could drive. He said “claro que si! Dale!” Translation: “Of course! Go ahead!” I was so nervous sitting in the driver’s seat of my own car. I took a few deep breaths, put the car in drive and slowly pulled out of the driveway.

I was sick to my stomach, my heart was racing and my hands were sweaty. No surprise there! I just kept driving and breathing. My knuckles were white from holding the steering wheel so tight. When I finally made it to my son’s school, I felt victorious! I had been nervous and nauseous throughout the entire drive, but never reached the point where I had to stop. I was so happy over such a little accomplishment; so much in fact, that I didn’t want to stop driving!

After I picked up my son, I was like “ok, now where should I go?” I was afraid that if I stopped driving and got out of the car, I wouldn’t be able to drive again. I felt like I had to keep practicing. So, as is typical for my culture, my dad told me “vamos a comprar cafe'”. Translation: “let’s go get coffee”, which meant a trip to the Cuban bakery by my house for a shot of Cuban coffee. I wasn’t drinking coffee for obvious reasons, but I drove to the bakery and waited in the car while my dad and my son grabbed a quick coffee and croqueta.

Just like that, from one day to the next, I was able to drive. Of course, when I got home, I started crying but it was only a few tears, not sobbing, and for the first time in a long time, they were tears of joy.

Read on here: Hypnosis – First Visit

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