1986 – Going ready for graduate school. Twenty-six. Life is good. Going to my cousins wedding and getting on off ramp after 4.5 hour drive. Then my life changed forever. Like a time bomb, overcome with incredible adrenaline and nausea I drove to the nearest park to gather myself. That weekend in July Tucson Arizona, the feeling of abnormality never stopped although it would get worse at times

1986-1987. I found that the feeling would diminish when I concentrated my mind on technical matter – geophysics, math. Good for studying. Otherwise put on a good facade.

1987.  I found that the feeling would diminish when I cared someone who I opened up to, and fell in love with the women and grade school daughter. My soon to be wife convinced me to see a university counselor. Past all the psych tests. Soon found my self on imipramine 100 mg a day for diagnosis – panic disorder.

1988 – I am now married with a new baby boy and a Master’s degree specializing in earthquakes and tectonics and working in paleomagnetism lab. I feel normal. I was warned that medication may be a life long necessity.

1988-2018 – My marriage lasted 7 years. My wife moved away when her daughter turned 18 and I was left to raise two small boys.  We all moved as career opportunities arose. My daughter chose staying in a small town in love with her first boyfriend and still married. Lessons:

  • 1998 – I was told that my “breakout” symptoms would require that I experiment with Clonazepam. Still take it with no dosage increase.
  • 1998-2005. Two relationships end after three years apiece. Something about me being addicted. I still feel normal and people perceive a good person, albeit hyper during the daytime. Good for making my boys active and keeping me active. Nightime – a few beers, play some music, play with kids, sleep,
  • 2005-2018. I’ve left out many details. I’m a pretty successful well paid scientist and moth my boys grew into very intelligent and emotionally balanced men in relationships and marriage.
  • 2018 – I write this story to highlight that I’ve been on medication for 30 years and have been able to be successful with caveat below. Upsides – I’m very active and in excellent shape being 59. Downside. I’m single. I throw my passion into recording music and sharing with my hispanic (Mexican heritage) family who sometimes don’t get jazz fusion. Success takes many shapes and forms, and at the end of the day, I thank God for giving me what I have. Then have a few beers….
  • I guess my motto should be if you give me mud I’ll make adobe. I’ve left out a lot of detail – struggles.

My “blog” may not be regularly updated website or web page, but I’ve been wanting to share my story for Amy younger folks. Although one might, and even my self, have seen their affliction as a cross to bear, a lot of people have it much worse off. Keep hoping. Time for a New Mexico bike ride (displaced Californian).

 

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