We were saying, or better, the doctors were saying that everything was going fine with my body, that all my symptoms were caused by my anxiety and that, once I realized that I had nothing to be scared of, everything would get back to normal.
Well, they weren’t right. Or at least, they weren’t completely right.
I wasn’t ill, nothing was going wrong in my body, that was true and I had plenty of medical evidences to confirm it. But not only the symptoms still persisted, they even kept slowly worsening. I wasn’t able to sleep properly and my sleep hours kept reducing night after night. I kept having intestinal problems, even after reducing my everyday diet to gluten-free unseasoned pasta, grilled chicken breasts and boiled carrots. My heart was still running too fast, ranging from 100 to 130 beats per minute. Plus, new symptoms started surfacing: lack of appetite, cough, runny nose, nervous tics, dizziness and few more.
I kept searching for a biological explanation of what was going on. First I thought I was suffering from hyperthyroidism, then I switched to some cardiac malfunction, then I convinced myself I was coeliac. Basically I kept focusing on some possible illness that could explain my symptoms, being proved wrong every single time by medical examinations.
In the meanwhile I dropped every activity that wasn’t absolutely necessary. I stopped seeing friends and going out at night, I stopped collaborating to the organization of the short film contest my friends were working at, I even stopped enjoying movies at home in my evenings. The only activities I didn’t drop were those I considered absolutely necessary and anyway I started doing them unwillingly and with an unmotivated rush. I gradually started suffering at the idea of going to work and started suffering from vertigo almost every morning either at home while getting ready or at the office.
At my desk I literally counted the minutes that I had to wait before going home again and whenever I could, I kept Googling all of my symptoms and reading tons of online diagnosis. At home I couldn’t wait for bedtime to come, even though very often my bed time turned out to be a continuous tossing and turning and coughing and cursing and looking at the watch. Basically I couldn’t wait for time to pass, but for no reason at all.
Little by little every single activity of my life started being a source of fear. I became scared of going to work, of being part of a meeting, of receiving a phone call or an email, I was scared of meeting people while walking, of having lunch, of going to the toilet, of getting ready to go to bed.
All the possible negative consequences of those activities kept floating in my head: what if I feel dizzy while I’m walking, what if my colleagues or neighbors realize that I haven’t been sleeping for days, what if I eat something that gives me intestinal problems again, what if I can’t sleep tonight… And of course, all the possible negative consequences that scared me, almost invariably, winded up to happen.
If you’ve stumbled upon this page and reached the bottom of it, you’ve just made me happy, but if you really wish to make me thrilled and proud, please feel free to leave a comment here below. I’d love to read your feedback, suggestions, opinions of any kind (and I’d love to reply to them too). Come on, just scroll down a little bit… 🙂