Hey Coach, I am a past client of yours. I was having anxiety and panic attacks when I saw you for the first time, but that was more than twenty years ago, so you probably don’t remember me.
I was working for AT&T, great job with good pay, but at the time I saw you for counseling, anxiety attacks were coming on full-force, and the panic attacks were endangering my job. I thought I was losing my mind. You saw me for four or five sessions and then surprised the hell out me when you said, that after discussing me with my PCP, and getting to know my personality, that I was bored, and needed to consider creating a business of my own. You explained to me that although I was successful, that my personality needed to be challenged and that all that unused mental energy was creating symptoms.
So, with your backing and support, I left AT&T, and started my own tele-communications business. I am now married with two teens. I just sold that business for three million and live in Florida. I still act as a consultant for that business as part of the deal, but only go there a couple days a week. I would feel anxiety once in while, but no full-blown panic attacks.
So, the issue is, I am now in my motor-home driving from Florida to Las Vegas where I am going to pick up my wife and kids, and I am starting to have symptoms again. I am at a rest stop and there is a Camp Grounds just down the road which I plan to park tonight and get some rest and plan to start off fresh in the morning. I get regular medical check-ups, and although I sometimes get headaches and feel some anxiety here and there, it all passes. About a month before I left on this trip I had a complete physical, including Cat Scan and full blood work up. My doctor gave me some Xanax to be used as needed for anxiety, but gave me a clean bill of health otherwise. Well, I have to admit I have put a lot of weight on, which is causing me and my doctor concern. I know I need to take the weight off and get into an exercise routine. As I am writing this to you, I realize I do not feel good about myself because I have let myself go.
But this feels different. I keep thinking I am having a stroke ! I was alone in my motor-home, on the highway, I began having visual symptoms where I got blurry-eyed, like a mist or spots in my eyes. I had thoughts that I was losing my vision. Felt very out of control !
I would like to ask a favor of you ! Could I call you, or better yet, Face Time you to chat tonight ?
Sure, depending on what time zone you are in, you can call me anytime between four and ten ET tonight. You obviously have my e-mail info, and my phone number is listed on the home page of my web-site at RuledByFear.com.
I do remember you well, and you were a very exciting client to work with. It pleased me to see you doing so well. In the mean-time, can you contact your PCP and possibly arrange to tele-conference with her too ? I will pull up your notes from my electronic records and be prepared for your call.
Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/Retired
Great talking to you !
To summarize our chat on the phone tonight, and discussing your anxiety issues and adding what your doctor discussed on your tele-conference with you late this afternoon, you plan on stopping into the hospital in the area in the morning and see the Neurologist she made arrangements with to check you out. Your PCP feels that with all the testing and evaluation she did just before you left on your trip, that it is more about anxiety, as I suspected. She is sending her test data to the Neurologist so he will look over her results and see if he agrees.
K, our discussion on Face-Time leads me to the point that you are indeed experiencing anxiety symptoms. Just because you sold your business, and in fact because you sold that business, you have more free time to think and feel about what’s next in your life. You are not one to rest on what has been done. Your sense of worth and value comes from what you are doing NOW. You have too much time and mental energy to squander. That creates conflict for you, a sense of not feeling in control.
Then there is your weight gain. That will definitely create a sense of urgency because you are not taking care of yourself. Control Issues Again.
I would suggest taking the Xanax as your doctor recommended and then focusing on what you can do with your life now. What options do you have to use your creativity and business skills ?
We can work on an exercise and diet plan to help you feel more in-control.
We also discussed a few significant marital issues that are creating significant conflict for you. Conflicts cannot be avoided, as they fester and also create a sense of not being in control . You especially cannot avoid. So we will talk more in the days to come, but for now, go to see the Neurologist your PCP set-up for you tomorrow. Then, unless he or she finds something else, proceed with your trip, using the meds provided at the very low level your PCP recommended, and then focus on what you want to do next in your life. Your mind is not meant to be in neutral gear. Start working on plans as you are driving….keep that energy and mind of yours focused !
Feel free to call me with updates as you travel.
Gene Benedetto, Psychologist/Retired
The Neurologist my PCP set me up with did some quick testing and said all was OK. So I hit the rode and am doing fine. He called it an anxiety reaction. Relief ! I will call you from the road.
You said I could call, but I am doing fine. I will wait until I get home and set up a few on-line sessions. I am making up plans for what I will do when I get back home. Maybe set up another business..but I am excited, not anxious. No more eye symptoms. This energy is crazy stuff.
Thank you !