Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Having a hard time after multiple life events.

I am having difficulty in life right now. The past 6 months have been a tough time. I own a business and I lost my top employee, my mother passed away, my wife and I moved in to our first home, and we had an ectopic pregnancy (our first pregnancy) in which my wife almost died and had to have emergency surgery, we also lost the baby. On top of everything my wife’s job has been very demanding with her working a lot of overtime and I have been scrambling to keep my business afloat with new employees.

Lately I have felt lost with life. I have a hard time enjoying the things I used to enjoy. I like to exercise and be around friends but it’s not the same. I force myself to still do these things but its more fake than real that I am not enjoying myself. I am also failing with my business. I have a laundry list of things I want to do with the business to make it a success but I have a hard time finding the motivation. The business itself isn’t failing, but I find myself doing the minimum to keep it going. I usually thrive when challenged and love attacking problems with the business but again its just doesn’t have the usual luster. Because my business makes me happy, it is compounding my problems by not running it the way I like.

In the past few months I have had a continual stiff neck. This has been driving me crazy. I am on the computer most of the day and it gets worse the more I work. But if I don’t work I stress out which also causes tension in my neck... I have been to a chiropractor, physical therapist, and a sports masseuse. All helped a bit, but overall the neck pain always comes back. I stopped seeking help as I wasn’t seeing any lasting results. I am pretty sure the root problem is stress/tension, and that is what I need to work on.

I have also gained weight. With my stress getting out of control my diet has been poor. I have also been drinking more beer at night. I am 5’11” and 205 lbs. I should be closer to 180. This also has burdened me. I would usually go on a diet and start working out, but I have been hitting a wall trying to do this. When I first start a new routine, my tension shoots through the roof and it is very debilitating.

In the past I have suffered from anxiety attacks. I have pretty much conquered them. When I start to feel anxious I don’t let it get out of control, I may feel icky for a while but no full blown attacks. My big problem now is tension/stress. A few weeks ago I started having a racing heartbeat when I would go to bed. It would keep me up all night. It was terrible, I started to dread going to bed because it only happened then. I went to the doc and he thought it was stress. He gave me some xanax and told me to try taking one before bed.

The first night I took it I slept better than I had in months. I had an ah-hah moment. I really think every health problem I have been having is related to the stress/tension I have. The xanax for a short time released that and it was amazing. The next day I woke up and got to work. I kicked but catching up at the office and then went home and started finishing a yard project I have been stalling on. It all felt great. The next night I did not take a pill and didn’t sleep as well and slowly after a few days my tension and stress was back.

I hate taking pills, and I do not see them as a long term healthy solution for my stress. When I used to have anxiety attacks I went to therapy. There we mostly practiced relaxation techniques. One day I remember well, we practiced a kind of guided meditation. When I went home that day I felt great, it gave my body that same release as the xanax. I need that again!

The release has presented yet another wall. I have been unable to find it. I have tried exercise, relaxing, going on vacation, eating healthy, yardwork, playing games, etc. Nothing has gotten me there.

My usual personality is to kick butt. If there is a problem, I hit it head on and overcome it. But now I am off my game. My usual tools for tackling these life problems aren’t working and I feel lost. I want my health back, I want to succeed with my business, I want to have fun with my family and friends. It’s all right there for the taking, I just lack the motivation and I’m not getting the usual boost I would get from doing these things.

My mom and dad both had/have mental health problems that they used drugs to help them cope with. They both had/have poor health and depend on substances to get through life's problems. I know their same blood flows through my body and I won’t allow myself to have poor health and rely on drugs to fix my problems.

So I ask for help from you. Have you hit a life wall? How did you overcome it? I feel like everybody has different ways of overcoming these situations and I’d love to hear them. I want to put a plan together and move forward with it. Like I have said I like to overcome challenges, but this time I have run out of ideas. I want to be healthy for life, physically and mentally, and I hope very much I can achieve this. Tension and stress is what is tying me down right now and I need to conquer it.
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replied July 17th, 2013
Moderator & Greeter
I'm so sorry for your stress. Recently I had multiple serious life issues. Physically my tension collects at my right shoulder/neck, so I feel your pain. It is definitely stress related. A healer versed in TCM (acupuncture) explained to me why the stress gathered there, so it makes sense. I want to encourage you to keep going, and don't be too hard on yourself if you are not functioning at an optimal level. Have some compassion on yourself! Don't add to your own stress by beating yourself up for not being perfect. One day at a time is a good motto. I would definitely watch the drinking - you don't want to add to your stress by adding an even bigger problem. Going to a good counselor can help you with some good strategies. Keep talking to your doctor about the meds - I can understand not wanted to rely on the meds as a long term solution, but the meds can help you get through a particularly rough time. Be open with your doctor about your concerns. Definitely keep browsing the forums for some good ideas and responses. There is hope - "this too shall pass" - Good luck!
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