Yoga doesn't actually enter my life officially for another 10 years after moving to Alabama. Not until my mid 30’s.
But let’s rewind back to about 1996-ish, back in Louisiana to a giant piece of my story puzzle:
I’m home alone sitting in my living room watching the 6pm news. Not feeling stressed at all and not thinking about anything specifically when my heart starts racing. Like beating out of my chest. I started sweating and my breathing got shallow. What the hell was happening?
Was I having a heart attack, stroke, or about to have a seizure? I don't have a clue, but something is BAD BAD BAD WRONG and I truly feel like I’m going to die. I remember thinking maybe it was a congenital heart issue that had gone undetected. I called my mother-in-law and she took me to the emergency room. I had never even heard of a panic attack or anxiety disorder and I was confused and embarrassed.
This would be the start of an almost 3-year long battle with anxiety.
I could not drive over bridges, I was afraid to stay home alone during storms, I was terrified of any medical procedures, and lived in constant fear of the next anxiety attack. I knew that if I didn’t get a grip and find effective treatment or tools that this disorder would ruin my future and any potential I had to create that passion-filled life I had been dreaming about since childhood.
None of it made sense. I was living a great life and was unaware of the stress that was present. I was tough minded and had my shit together and I just couldn't wrap my head around it. Yes, there was the obvious stress of juggling a new full-time job, starting a new career (as a speech therapist in the school system), grad school at night after work, and planning a big southern wedding. But truthfully, it still did not seem like it should be enough stress to cause a disorder like that! To me, it was normal young adult transition from single college to professional family life stress and it just shouldn't be causing this weak ass anxiety mental stuff.
Looking back, I've often wondered if there also may have been some subconscious worry that I may not be on my right path. I really thought getting married, having children, and building a traditional family was my next obvious successful living step. But maybe my young heart knew that maybe it wasn't? Maybe I didn't have the skills yet or the wisdom to listen. Regardless, I do believe that great long relationship and short marriage was a huge wonderful part of my life though and the challenge of kicking anxiety's ass was an important part of my story!!!
Stress can be subconscious, stress management tools are critical, and even the most stable person can be blindsided by anxiety attacks!
TOO BAD I DIDN'T HAVE YOGA IN MY LIFE THEN!!!!!!