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My Story, Of Living Through Hell, Fighting an Anxiety Disorder, and Finding God

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12/27/2012 11:59 PM
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My Story, Of Living Through Hell, Fighting an Anxiety Disorder, and Finding God
My name is Sam. When I was young, my parents got divorced, it was really tough on a six year old. The way I started coping with pain, which I didn't even understand at the time was pain, was by eating. I didn't even know what drugs were, I knew that I loved candy, he-man, and the teenage mutant ninja turtles. The way I felt better was by saving the world in my imagination, and consuming sugar anyway I could get ahold of it.

Eventually by the time I was nine I was obese. I didn't understand there was anything wrong with me, except I began to eventually get called fat, that's when I started taking notice of my physical form. For a child to grasp such a concept, let alone associate that concept with behavior was simply not possible. When middle school came around I was beginning to go through puberty, and I got even fatter, and the children reached a new height in cruelty. The only saving grace was that despite my obesity, my height gave me the leverage of a bully. In my heart, I wasn't that person, and the bullying I dealt out to defend myself; became by high school, only the defense of the weak.

Still, everytime I saw someone weak being pushed around, a rage and hated arose inside of me like a stranger; a dark passenger on my life. There was plenty of fighting in my highschool years, but I thankgod to this day that it was done for the right reasons, as wrong as it was. It was around this time, at about seventeen that I started smoking pot, I never smoked alot, probably once or twice a week. I had a wonderful knack for forging signatures, and almost every friday my best friend and I would take our Sam forged notes to the receptionist. Then we would proceed to get high and go to the cinemas. Those are hands down the best memories I have of high school. I moved out at seventeen, after having had an altercation with my drunk stepfather. He just attacked me one night, knocked a glass of milk out of my hand, then back handed me. I drove him back across the kitchen and pinned him to the ground with my mothers' help. The violence ended there, but he stayed up all night shouting fatfuck at me through the walls. The next day I left, and moved in with my sister who had just gotten her first apartment. I stayed there trying to get myself together for a bit, but eventually had to go back home. I never received an apology, but my stepfather had left me a new stereo system in my room. He himself was a product of abuse, which although explains his behavior, certainly doesnt excuse it.

Not long after having moved back, although peace stayed, I never felt at home again and left. Found a really cheap apartment with my childhood friend John. It was there that I began smoking cigarettes and drinking alot, I gotta tell you it was wonderful. My stress and pain that I didn't even know how to recognize as such, vanished, it was controlled. I smoked a pack a day, and in short order, I mean short the pounds just rolled away. Soon not only was I skinny, but I came to find that I had a really attractive face as well. My nickname, although jokingly, was Sam the model. Which was a far-cry from my highschool name of Spam. I met girls, and although I never to this day asked one out, was persued quite regularly. I kissed a girl for the first time, I fell in love, I started college. Life was good.

Throughout college I waitied tables, made pretty good tips, got lots of dates. The only thing was that I smoked like a chimney, and although pot wasn't a very focal point of my life, I still usually did it after a few drinks or when I was bored. As college came to a close in 2006, I had started having problems controlling the stress. The cigarettes weren't enough, I was smoking a pack and a half a day. When I was twenty five things reached a tipping point, the stress was such that when I tried to go out drinking I started getting sick. After a couple drinks I'd find myself vomitting and having to go home. I went to a psychiatrist for a few months, I told him I thought I had social anxiety disorder, he never diagnosed me with anything, or at least didn't tell me he had, and i never asked. and I just quit going. He had put me on prozac and it was just awful, I threw it away and forgot about it. ( I was a psych major at the UofO, irony) this eventually led into my becoming a full blown pothead, although the replacement strategy wasn't conscious, it happened all the same. I still had to chainsmoke at work to maintain, but as soon as I got off work I was loading bowls and playing call of duty. The reason I was becoming physically ill from drinking, was an indirect effect of the anxiety.

When I lost all of the weight that I had at 19, which was 64 pounds in three months. The only way that I even knew I had lost weight was by what people told me. I guess objectively I looked in the mirror, and saw my ribcage, and knew on some level, but I only saw fat Sam. To this day I have really no ability to tell how I look except through the reactions of those around me.

The cross-over to being a pothead caused my appetite to increase drastically, and my sugar cravings came back. I didn't get really fat but I gained weight, no longer Sam the model. This wsan't evident right away, but soon girls stopped persuing me, I wasn't getting girlfriends, my selfesteem crumbled. Soon my anger and self loathing turned to bitterness, I got pissed and quit my job. Then found another job that was infinitely worse, such that I could only dream of the paradise I had once known. My college degree was in my hands though, and just as I began to venture forth in 2008 to try and reclaim life the stockmarket broke. Shortly after vainly searching for a job in my field, the bills started showing up for student loan repayment. This was not possible, I made a plan and payed them the minimum of 300 dollars a month that they requested. Soon I couldn't pay, I jsut stopped. It was then that my father who is an alcoholic tried to kill himself, my sister and I rushed over to our childhood town of Florence Oregon to try and save him. I took him back with me to my tiny studio apartment, the girl I was seeing at the time left me after seeing me living there with him. I don't know if it just weirded her out or what. I had a nervous breakdown, and my dad decided to move back to Florence, to live with a friend of his.

I eventually quit the crappy job I had, and my sister knowing my situation offered a room with her and her husband. In dire straights and at the lowest point of my life, my mom and stepdad offered me a job at their denturist practice, processing dentures. I made ammends with my stepfather, and was able to drag myself in every morning. The day in day out stress toll had lightened enough that I finally quit smoking cigarettes, something that i'd been trying and failing at over the last five years. The success came at a price, I had to smoke more pot and i developed serious stomach issues. If it wasn't diharrea, it was constant indigestion. Prilosec OTC became my best friend, along with bottles of antacids. I started seeing a new doctor, a medical doctor, who prescribed me Paxil. It was okay at first, but it just turned me into a zombie, my stress went away but at the cost of my personality. One day not too long after that, I showed up to work one morning, and my stepdad says "didn;t you get my text message" i say "no" he says " your mom and me are getting a divorce, the reason is, well theres alot of reasons" I said "im gonna go get some coffee i guess". I called my mom and found out the "reasons" was that he was having an affair and decided to leave her. That was needless to say my last day at work.

The silver lining was that I was able to receive unemployment, without which I would be homeless at this moment. I got rid of my car, and started biking everywhere to try and deal with stress. I thought my stomach problems might be because of my diet, i switched to vegan. Nothing worked, the stress was awful, the indigestion worse. I still couldn't lose weight either, cause everytime I got high, which was constantly i craved pizza and junkfood.

about two weeks ago things hit a head. Unemployment ran out, and i couldn't even hold a conversation without my hands sweating profusely. I decided, or had my hand forced, to quit smoking pot. This was the first time in nearly fifteen years that i was sober. Four days into my quitting our dog suddenly died in his sleep. Three days after that, I started getting stabbing pains in my side. I layed up all night thinking I was going to die. The next morning my sister drove me to the hospitol. I stayed there for three whole days, they wouldn't let me leave because my symptoms were so bad. I, as did they, believed that my gallbladder was malfunctioning, or had stones. It was a living nightmare, the most terrifying experience of my life. It was then that I asked god to come into my life. Nothing happened immediately, they ran test after test, my lactate levels were through the roof. They kept saying to me "well, what we can tell you is that we know you're not faking" i didn't know what to think of that statement, i just thought, huh, that's a funny thing to say. One doctor, an internalist, came to talk to me. he said " our final option to figure out what's wrong with you is a colonoscopy, do you think we should do one?" I just stared at him, and didn't really know what to say. " I said, I don't know" I knew that not doing one if they thought there was something wrong could end in my death, so i said " well the bridge program said they would pay for it" he just stared at me and said okay. I realize now that he was accusing me of lying about being sick, which apparently is a condition known as hypochondria. Thankfully the other doctors and nurses weren't treating me like a criminal at the most terrifying moment of my life. On a side note the colonoscopy was the worst thing ever, not the actual procedure for which I had been knocked unconscious, but the night beforeheand they made me drink this gasoline tank sized container of baking-soda flavored diaharea inducer; flavored with my choice of cherry, lemon-lime, orange, or pineapple. The nurse encouraged me on lemon-lime, i can't even fathom how horrid the others might have been. The last thing the doctor told me before my release from their care, is that i needed to go see my regular doctor, and he recommended one final test for illness, which was for Porphyrria. I got home and layed up all night with my side aching, before being taken by my mom to the doctor the next day I wikipedia'd Porphyrria, which unbeknownst to me is where the myths of vampirism and werewolves originates, and ends often in violent seizures leading to death. With that thought in mind I sat in the waiting room holding my side. I truly believed that I was headed to my end, I prayed to god again to save me. The doctor took one look at me, and then at the fist-thick stack of papers symbolising every test they put me through at the hospitol. He then said I know what this is. Which having just before thought i was going to die from vampirism, was really a good moment for me. He gave me muscle relaxers and vallium, and sent me on my way to return after the weekend. The pain ended right away. My anxiety was so strong, and so real, it manifested physically.

without anymore psychological crutches to hobble me on through semi-functioning, my stomach muscles seized up. That was the root of all my indigestion and diaharea. As a young man I had started sucking in my gut, on a very unconscious level, it may have been conscious at first, but it stopped being so at some point. Those abdominal muscles were where every bit of tension went, it was cutting my circulation off, it was causing me to process food all wrong, too much tension on the intestines. I should have known since my only relief was the habit of taking hot baths, this helped pushed all of the trapped lactate out of my muscles, let them relax.

Although to someone who hasn't dealt with a problem like this, it might sound horrifying to you, such a psychological condition. But to me after having stared death in the face and stilled myself for the end. to find out that my problem was so superficial, was a true miracle. God had answered my prayers. I now live a sober healthy lifestyle, all I have to do is breathing exercises and pushing my stomach out, to fight the internal self-hating feelings that make me contract them subconsciously. The only cure is to learn to love and accept who I am, that was gods message.

The reason I felt compelled to type this, and listen to trolls tearing me apart, is that earlier today my bestfriend Brian who I used to forge notes for and skip school with; called me to ask for directions. He told me that he was going to meet his friend Destiny to talk to her about starting to go to church, all day before hand I had been sitting around terrified about how to go find one by myself and start going, the task for me seemed impossible, and Brian has never said the word god, or church before to me in my entire life. and he's my bestfriend.

I probably won't check back on this thread, I just needed to write this, I hope it can help someone. I hope too that if you're reading this, that god finds you also.
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