There is Hope

Past Tense
May 3, 2016

“Don’t worry Marcia, I don’t ever fall asleep in cars,”

I said after traveling from Maine to Michigan for the first time. Exhausted from waking up at 3 am in Fryeburg, and sore from jamming my legs into the seat in front of me on the plane, I fell asleep next to Marcia in the back seat of the SUV.

1*Bi5EbTWLZ_TS-m7ukTgrCwMy boyfriend’s parents had travelled 2.5 hours to pick us up in Detroit for our visit home over Christmas. I greeted them by letting my head fall into my jacket-pillow and snoring (adorably, I’m sure) for the first two hours of our visit.

Falling asleep hasn’t always been easy for me. I have struggled with anxiety for most of my adult life. My brain preferred to stay awake at night thinking of every horrible thing that could happen to the people I love, stressing about my actions that day, etc. At the worst of times I felt like I was falling backwards through the sky, hopelessly spiraling to the ground, without any resources to pull me out of the free-fall.

I tried seeing a counselor. I tried talking to my doctor. I tried medication.

After a year on medication I finally decided that the side effects of waking up drenched in sweat during the night was not worth the benefits. Withdrawals from stopping the medication gave me headaches and dizziness. I never wanted to take meds again after that experience, but meds were all my doctor was offering me. I started to accept that I would always just have to deal with my anxiety.

Then I met a chiropractor. Not just any chiropractor, but one specializing in balancing brain function. I had been adjusted by chiropractors before, but this time was different. I was finally able to understand the complete picture of my anxiety. He explained how my brain was performing in a state of “fight or flight,” all the time. While this probably helped me be a hyperaware rafting guide in the summer days, I wasn’t able to turn it off in moments when I should have been in a relaxed state, like trying to fall asleep.

As a science teacher, I really need to understand the “why” of things, and he explained in-depth how my brainwave patterns differed from someone without anxiety issues, and how his adjustment techniques would help my brain learn to produce the right brainwaves when I needed them.

I’m finally at a point where my anxiety is under control. I can even surrender to sleeping inside a moving vehicle (instead of exercising my fright-induced, backseat driving antics). Getting adjusted and following other healthy advice from my chiropractor has transformed my life. I am thriving instead of just surviving each day.

If you, or someone you love, have had experiences like mine I highly suggest checking out his website.

There is hope!

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