The Road From Severe Anxiety to Inner Peace

journey from anxiety to peace

By Lindsay Mack, D.C.

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Long before my first visit to the emergency room, I realized my unrelenting, fearful thoughts were not common place. When I noticed them worsening, I sought help. I was prescribed anti-anxiety medications – a lot of them – none of which I dedicated myself to. In about 3 months, I saw five different allopathic doctors who all gave me a prescription slip; each for a different pharmaceutical drug.

Being a tree hugger, I recycled them.

I saw a physician’s assistant last. She listened to my symptoms for approximately five to eight minutes, left the room and came back with another recyclable. I told her I wasn’t interested in taking drugs. I didn’t like them. She looked at me, eyes narrowed, and said “YOU came to see ME”. A raised voice was too much. In my insecure, panicky state, I responded “Yes, I know, but isn’t there something else I can do?”

“Try journaling”. I was stoked. I had received some kind of natural advice! I hadn’t tried journaling.

I had spent a lot of time alone searching for answers. One night I had spent at least two hours sifting through Mosby’s medical dictionary. In this time I was sure I was suffering from at least one of the two following diagnoses, although very inopportune for my age range: pulmonary embolism or heart attack. At the very moment I had decided I had a pulmonary embolism, I felt so faint I almost fell to the ground, my heart beat soared, my arms and legs felt chilly, and my head felt foggy. I asked a room-mate to take me to the emergency room.

“You know you’re pretty young for a P.E., right?” said the nurse hanging wires over me like a Christmas tree.

Shortly after, the doc came back with my results: “Everything’s fine”.

No, everything is NOT fine.

Severe Anxiety

Five months after, and five days before I was scheduled to move to be educated in the only place where the Mississippi River runs east to west, my father asked, “Lindsay, are you going to be able to go?”

A legitimate question. My life had become a daily circus show of breathless, heart-beating-out-of-my-body anxiety attacks, crying, insomnia and fear of everything.

I was afraid to eat out of a can for fear of botulism, afraid to bump into anything for fear of a blood clot, afraid of cuts because of tetanus, afraid there were toxins/inorganic material in every meal, afraid I was inhaling a poison when I smelled something funny. I knew my thoughts were irrational, but I couldn’t overcome them. The physical stress on my body had become so severe that my sense of equilibrium was deteriorating. I found myself falling and bumping into walls, even if I was intent on avoiding them. My body began to show signs of allergies and reactions when I had never known myself to be allergic to anything in my life.

“I’ve got to go”. I couldn’t stay and continue living my life there, where my once hippie/health-nut parents had begun to wonder if Zoloft was the only way out.

I took off for chiropractic school and found a chiropractor/naturopath who, fortunately, was located ten minutes away. He performed the tests and exams he prefers and found that I was severely depleted in various minerals necessary for stress regulation, while my body had additional stress from an overload of toxins it couldn’t manage. My adrenal fatigue was through the roof and I was caught in a vicious cycle of panic attacks that my body couldn’t regulate because it lacked the raw materials – spiralling me into more anxiety.

The Road to Inner Peace

My road to health began with the faith I had in myself to achieve true health. I continued with my chiropractic care and began thinking differently about the way I was eating. I quit fast food and drinking diet pop entirely. (I had forsaken my natural, organic, whole lifestyle for Diet Cokes, cheap food, and a serious lack of exercise.) I began supplementing my diet with vitamins and minerals to balance my system and repair the damage.

First, gluten free. Then I began eating almost all organic. I paid attention to the preservatives and additional chemicals in my food and environment. I switched my cleaning products to those based with natural enzymes and essential oils – and nothing artificial. Eventually, I began to make my own. I went grain-free for a while. I limited my sweets to honey and fruits. I even journaled my thoughts occasionally. Each time that I was ready, I took another step to improve my health in an Earth-wise, completely natural way.

As I finished each semester and the months passed, my body became more and more balanced physically, mentally and emotionally, which led to changes on a deeper level – maybe – spiritually. I had always felt a strong divine connection as a child, but during my crisis with anxiety, I doubted everything and wondered about God. He hadn’t been the savior I thought he’d be. I had spent a lot of my nights wondering about his existence and frequently considered that I may have been sick enough to die in my sleep (which was routine behavior for me at that time).

I became more compassionate. I became more in tune with my own energy and the energy in my environment. I examined the expectations I had placed on people and the world. Simply put, I re-evaluated what really mattered and what didn’t. Then, certain books and people would float my way that verified what I was experiencing. I thoroughly enjoyed them – because for once, things made sense. No more doubts.

I didn’t realize until recently that my journey from complete and utter devastation to a state of understanding and peace was so profound. When I told my story, it didn’t just interest people, it fascinated them. How does one regain a “normal” life after experiencing hard-core, almost 24-hour panic attacks for six months; or what my psychiatrist deemed a severe level general anxiety disorder. You’re reading my mini-autobiography; the beginning of the unfolding of my true self. A full year passed before I considered myself completely healed; a different person. However, I still continue to grow and understand deeper every day, moving forward always at my own pace, learning my own lessons and enjoying life.

Was it the mercury fillings my dentist took out improperly that sent me straight to the emergency room in a panic attack two days later?

Was it my lack of self-confidence and anguish over others’ opinions of me?

Was it my dedication to zero calorie soft drinks?

Was it even more? Probably, but I can’t say for sure.

What I am sure of is that when I began to balance my body how nature intended, I began to open my mind. My life came together in ways I never imagined possible. I realized that human beings are miracles – and can perform them, too. It’s only a matter of its acknowledgement.

I learned how to overcome resentment and fear, and how to teach others to do the same. The respect I had for my body allowed me to respect who I was. Individually and together, we are very powerful. Who we are, how we feel, and what we want to express are important. As wonderful, unique beings, honoring every facet of ourselves is significant and meaningful.

May you continue to be empowered on your journey,

Lindsay Mack, D.C.

Previous articles by Dr. Mack:

About the author:

Lindsay Mack

Lindsay Mack, D.C. has a deep passion for both natural healing and personal development. A graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, the world’s first chiropractic college, her aim is to help educate others about the human body’s ability to heal and self-regulate, and to inspire others to realize their potential.

Before beginning chiropractic school, a severe anxiety disorder caused her to search for answers about her life. She began studying the philosophies of health, happiness, and success, and as a result, naturally healed herself of her anxiety disorder. These experiences lead her to fulfil her purpose through a combination of chiropractic and mentoring. She currently works with clients to help change limiting belief systems – in any area of life – into those that are empowering and beneficial to health and well-being.

For more information, or to arrange a complimentary 15-minute consultation with Dr. Mack, please visit : newfoundationsmentoring.com


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  • Christine

    I dont think your initial diagnosis was correct. Severe anxiety is a much more difficult to manage. One should always keep in mind that it is a chronic disease, people might feel better for a while but most cases relapse; there is an alteration of the brain chemestry(determined genetically, so it cant be really cured) which will give a certain reactivity; any stress factor can lead to reccuring anxiety episodes.
    Severe anxiety can, and it has, lead to suicide. Medication will help stabilize the pacient with a severe episode, after that there are non-pharmaceutical options like psychotherapy, meditation, depending on each case.

    • Barbara

      We each of course have a Genetic Profile, but that doesn’t determine ‘an absolute outcome’ in that because this or that disease or condition is ‘in my family’ therefore I’m going to get it & there’s no hope of my not .
      We research & study all about it, then make sure we live a very healthy lifestyle, avoiding all the risk-factors, which would be more likely to lead us to the same outcome as our predecessors.
      We would eat all the kinds of foods that are known to keep the brain functioning at maximum health, and the same for all other conditions.
      We don’t need to take chemical drugs for Mental Health, if we listen to, and get to know how our own body is working, and how it responds to certain ‘fuel’
      The Brain also needs taking care of, and not overloading it with toxic, chemical-laden rubbish-foods.
      The same with heart conditions & diabetes. If we ignore the signs & leave it for years & years, trying to function at half it’s capacity, yes, we will run into trouble.
      At the very first sign of anxiety, a complete about-turn with the diet, and go get very expert diagnosis & advice from a Qualified Nutritionist (Naturopath)
      Nutritional Supplements also that are known to support thr entire Central Nervous System, along with the vital, Omega 3’s…..And no brain altering rubbish, like alcohol & cigarettes.

  • kala

    you have a wonderful story, and i commend you for changing everything this is something i have yet to do, I still have parts of me attatched to this world. I know this, and I still waiver back and forth with the health side even tho i know sooo much about it.

    I always ask myself am i worse for knowing and not changing ?
    Or is it better that someone doesn’t know so doesn’t know to change?

  • Nicole

    You are the first person that has been in my shoes that I am aware of. I literally thought I was crazy fora year, thank you gfor sharing your story. I also found relief in nutrition although I used a whole food supplement but it worked wonders

  • When I read your story I see some of my story in it, including the diet soft drinks and fast food during my undergraduate years of schooling.

    Panic and anxiety attacks. No one understands them unless they experience them. Rushing to the ER because your heart is pounding and you are sure you are having a heart attack and will die if not seen by a doctor.

    Those symptoms are all indicative of COMT and MAO gene mutations. Have you done a 23andme.com genetic DNA profile? I am willing to bet that you have homozygous gene mutations for those.

    The way I started to deal with mine is basically giving up. Adrenal fatigue was hitting me hard, my thyroid issues were getting worse (but still undiagnosed).

    I never slept because my anxiety wouldn’t allow me to. I was so exhausted, overworked, and I couldn’t handle the fear anymore. I just gave up. I just said to myself “I don’t care what happens, if I die, I die. I have done my best in this world and I can’t do any more. If it is my time, I will face it”. So that fear turned into faith. Allowing things to happen as they happen, out of my control.

    So that is how I was able to overcome the severe anxiety, and panic attacks. I am still working on adrenal fatigue but have been seeing drastic improvements so I am excited. Years now without an unexplained panic attack (I did start to have some anxiety again when I moved to a third world country- — I would wake up in the middle of the night in a foreign place, not knowing the language, and freak out). Now I am better, but still am not 100% comfortable here. But that is a normal cause of anxiety, not an unexplained cause.

    Good job for your journey, but I still recommend looking at your genetic DNA profile. 🙂