I grudgingly told my parents what was up and they booked me in at the local GP where I got my prescription refilled and insisted on a blood test to make sure there was no physical cause for my anxiety. Luckily, we were all able to make dad's book launch and I took a certain delight in watching him sweat-it-out on stage instead of me.
When I returned home I got the results of the blood test. Everything was normal and I was glad to discover that technically I'm not even an alcoholic. The doctor took great delight in noting that one of the things I was tested for was syphillis. I also found this hilarious, but was also secretly disappointed that I obviously don't elude a 'ladies man' machismo akin to the likes of Errol Flynn.
So I'm not taking any medication at the moment for the condition and hope to keep it that way. My strategy is to just try and cut down on coffee and don't drink as much. Maybe I'll even curtail my planned visit to the cinema to watch the reportedly brutal and vomit-inducing remake of Evil Dead.
Looking back, I find the whole thing puzzling. The incident makes me embarrassed. It feels like such a white middle-class problem, especially when I consider I'm not living in a stressful environment, there are no military drone planes flying overhead everyday and my physical health is probably better than most people my age.
Maybe that's the problem - I live in such a stress-free environment that when something truly stressful comes along I can't cope and the walls of Xanadu come crashing down. I think I might hire someone to poke me with a stick at random times during the day to keep me in a state of constant vigilance and a low level of anxiety; then when something truly stressful happens I'll be ready for it.
The best scenario would be for nothing stressful to happen to me for the rest of my life, but this seems unlikely. I have taken a few lessons away from the experience and have certainly become a little humbled. The best thing to keep in mind is that you can talk yourself out of these states and I am especially grateful to have understanding people around.
It feels good to be normal again - well at least what I consider normal. I think I'm ready to go back to my hammock now and strum my guitar for a while. Maybe I'll skip the Margarita...
Ok, maybe just one!