Seven years ago, with the help of WebMD, I diagnosed myself with a stomach illness. I became worried, withdrawn and felt really hopeless about life. But the thing is…while that last sentence is true, I didn’t have a stomach illness. That was just something my mind fabricated.
I was 24-years-old and something I cared about went away. It was sudden and unwavering. This could be anything depending on the person. A job, relationship, project, sport team, television show…it doesn’t matter. For me, it was my band. My point here is that a void had been created. A place where I invested myself, my time and my pride was no longer there. Simply put, I was lost. And within a month, I wasn’t myself as I began feeling things that I’ve never felt before.
- Heart palpitations.
- Limb numbness.
- Digestion issues.
- Weight loss. (I dropped 20 pounds in 4 weeks. This was very concerning.)
- Loss of appetite. (Clearly.)
- Loss of concentration.
- Inability to communicate. (Severe at times.)
- Loss of passion.
- Loss of energy.
- Unexplainable pains. (Mostly in my chest, ribs and stomach.)
I was a complete mess and I had no clue what was wrong with me. Because it was 2006, I called upon WebMD (which is an anxiety wonderland in itself). Unable to pin all of my symptoms to any one thing, I naturally steered toward the worst case. Which is how I diagnosed myself with this phantom stomach illness. After all, the weight loss and digestion issues were the most worrisome of my symptoms at the time. But again, there wasn’t anything wrong with my stomach. It was something different.