We tell ourselves, this is our life and we can’t change the future. Being poor is all I’ve ever known, how would I know how to be anything else. When I was younger, I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player, I trained hard (everyday). I played little league, was on a traveling team and even played in High School. After the eleventh grade, I quit Baseball, and started hanging out with the wrong crowds. The type of people, that just road around all the time, and sitting playing video games. I lost interest in, the only way I thought I was gonna become rich.
After High school, I worked every job known to man. I worked in factories, lumber mills and even a laundry mat, I developed Panic disorder later in life, to the point of not being able to leave my bedroom. I used to step outside, finding myself breaking out in cold sweats and (the can’t breath) moments, trying to get back indoors. I used to take 11 different medications for my Panic, still the medications never helped much.
I was focused so much on the fear of being alone. Or some impending dangers I faced, if I left my home. At that time, I had to move back in with my mom, being an adult having to move in with my mother because of the extreme fear I faced in just living, was depressing. I loved my (sweet) mother, would’ve done anything for her. She was my rock in life, and after her death she still walks by my side (every day). Having Panic disorder, to the point of having to draw a disability check for the disease, was overwhelming. When I went to the disability doctor, I told them I didn’t want the check, I wanted to work (while tears were rolling down my face). I knew in my mind I couldn’t leave my home, without having extreme fear.
There’s no way I could hold a job. The fear you have, is almost otherworldly. I would try driving down the road in my truck, just getting to the next driveway and hurrying back inside. I got the point of taking my blood-pressure everyday (30 times a day). I was so worried about dying and know one being there to help me. At nighttime, I would sleep with a light on because my fear of the dark. Darkness sent a doomed feeling over my whole body. I remember when the lights went out one night, in a terrible storm. I couldn’t see in front of my face. I got up from my bed, falling to the floor, yelling help. Sweating from head to toe. Heart pounding from my chest, I couldn’t catch my breath. Mom came running in the room with a flashlight. I calmed back down after that.
Having a panic Attack is like your dying. Unless you have ever had one, I promise you have no Idea, It’s the worst feeling in the world. I have hot spots I can’t go, like Walmart or lowes, even big supermarkets. I have had really bad panic attacks in those place, not ever going back again. I haven’t been in Walmart in 17 years. I have been battling this disease for a lifetime, it seems now. I know people will say, don’t let the triggers keep you from going there, you will never heal. Those people that say that, haven’t had panic like I have in those places.
I was confined in my home for a little over a year from Panic disorder with Agoraphobia. I started off slow. I would go to the garage and walk back. Next day I’d go to the mailbox, then back. Going a little further (every day). I was training the thought process, to say it was OK to go further and further. I started being able to get in the truck and go into town, by myself. Yes, I still had panic attacks. I’d pull over, and count times tables or the alphabet backwards. Anything that got my mind off panic worked pretty well.
Katie Grace was the name of a pie-bald weenie dog, mom saved and had to bottle-feed her from here mom dying at her birth. She was the prettiest black and white (long haired) fur baby I ever saw. As she grew, my step-dad was getting worse with his COPD. So my mom gave her to him, for support. We believe he live an extra 6 months because of that sweet little dog. After his death, my mom moved away and sold the house.
I had moved into a small older house down the road. I was still in extreme panic mode, being able to cope a little better with time, but still on the edge all the time. I’d call mom at 3 in the morning having a panic attack, she would always calm me down. She was the panic button. About a week after she moved way, she came over with Katie, giving her to me. That’s when the bond first came to being.
Katie grace is the reason I’m alive today. I think she knew, when I was having an episode. She would always jump in my lap and calm me down. I never went anywhere without her. She was what I needed to heal. She used to spin in circles and bark to go out to use the bathroom, she loved attention to. I sometimes think in life, animals are a god-sent. Me struggling with fear of living, with people all around me, not believing me. This little dog, bringing my mind from the pits of living hell, to a heavenly feeling. She knew when I was feeling down, or fixing to have a panic attack. She was always there to calm me down.
She had been with me for around 3 years, when my mom went into surgery for a clot in her leg, from diabetes. From the doctors reading the stress test wrong, after surgery she had a massive heart attack, being placed on life support. My mom was a fighter, she was able to come off life support, had open-heart surgery, making it through that, just to die 5 days later from a stent being placed in the back of her heart. When I got the news of my best friend dying, Katie was there with me to comfort me. I knew when my mom died, my life was over. I had no one else to call at 3 in the morning, or anyone to help me through the panic.
Katie Grace never left my side during this terrible moment. The day of moms funeral, everyone knew my condition. In the crowd of 400 plus at the funeral. I rose that day from my despair, I walked moms casket through the crowd and placed her in the ground. With panic so bad, yet knowing I’d never see mom again, I had to, because then It didn’t matter if I died, I could be with mom ( my best friend). That was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I forced myself to rise above the fear of life, to be there for mom, like she had been there for me my whole life.
Months after the funeral was the worst, the fear and despair was deathly. That little dog never left my side, she would follow me everywhere. She knew that at any moment I could leave and go be with mom. About 7 months after moms death, life was getting a little better.
This is the moment my life changed forever, crying out to god, Saying please I beg you help me. I told him, I don’t blame you for my real dad dying when I was 8 years old, I don’t blame you for my step-dad dying when I was 16 or my other stepdad dying recently and I don’t blame you for mom dying. Please help me. That night I went to sleep and I dreamed I was laying in a field of flowers, with mom there. She was telling me how happy she was, that I had a long life ahead of me and She was watching over me. When I called out to her, she heard me.
She told me all my aunts and uncles were there. She was very proud of me. I woke in a cold sweat over my body. I got up, the first thing I said was OK god you can have it all. Within the first 3 months after that, I was in college at post university getting my bachelor degree in business administration. I had just finished my 4th book on Amazon. I felt like I was going to finally make it, in life.
Then the worst hit again. It was on a Friday morning, I woke to let Katie out to go use the bathroom, I saw here stumble. I grabbed her up, knowing what was happening. You see, Katie has had seizures here whole life, she took meds for them. The vet told me and mom when she was younger, that’s how she would die one day.
I grabbed her up, knowing what was happening. I held her close in my arms, she was showing labored breathing. I kept telling her it was ok(with tears rolling now), her bubba loved her and I would be ok. I told her she could go be with here mom and dad now.Then, not 2 minutes later My little baby girl was gone. I just sat there in disbelieve. In shock, holding my angel, that helped me rise above the panic and fear in life. I loved that little dog, more than most people. She knew her bubba loved her. I was there for her, like she had been there for me. I made a coffin with her name burned into the front. With her stuffed animal frog and her favorite treats. After the little funeral with a few friends that knew her, yes I had a dog funeral. She deserved it. Even though Katie meant the world to me, I didn’t feel any fear, or worry. I knew she lived this life for a purpose and god decided I was ready to make it on my own. I started this website not long after Katie’s death. I needed to make a stand in something I believe in. The toxic foods on our store shelves nationwide.
I truly believe I’ll beat this panic. I’ve come a long way with the fear. I can drive anywhere now, Yet I still haven’t went near any big open stores or driven at night. I’ll get there one day. My mom and Katie were my life-lines in life. Now a higher power looks after me. I believe people meet people for a reason in life, we all live our lives for a purpose. What that purpose is, is what defines us as human beings. Anyone with panic disorder can beat the disease or at least control it. If anyone on this site needs help, just ask. I have been through everything with this disease. If I can help,I will.
The memories of the people and pets, that have moved on. Will always be in your hearts. The memories can never leave. Yes, it hurts, sometimes it’s an out of this world kind of hurt. You will make it through, just believe in yourself and know your loved ones and your pets are still looking out for you.
I know this isn’t about toxic foods. I just wanted to share with you my struggle with Panic Disorder. Maybe that one person out there, that might want to give up or feels like they are alone. I promise you it will get better, You are not alone.