Why now?


Tonight a feeling returned. The feeling of Anxiety capturing my breath and turning it into pain. It rose from lungs and took over my throat. If I had tried to talk, it would have been difficult.

Throat constricted; my brain switched from normal to negative with a tick of a clock. I was overcome with fear.

Why? This type of acute attack of Anxiety hasn’t hit me for well over 6 months.

That’s not to say I haven’t experienced an Anxiety attack in the past half of a year. I most certainly have. But this intense, body-felt version rises from what seems like nowhere. Not nowhere because I can’t identify major triggers and stressors in my life. No, I can do that. Instead, It’s out of nowhere because the timing of the onset seems so random.

And that randomness accentuates the fear. When will it strike again?

I feel incapable, embarrassed, less than, damaged.



  1. Richard Lauhead 9 March 2017 at 7:10 am

    “I feel incapable, embarrassed, less than, damaged.”

    Michael, I hope you can separate those uncontrollable feelings from reality, because you are none of those things, except embarrassed at the moment, which is a feeling no one can control, and a feeling no should ever be ashamed of! You have helped many, many people and are a great asset for those with mental illnesses everywhere. I hope this feeling passes quickly for you.

    • Michael Dahl 9 March 2017 at 10:54 am

      Thank you, Richard. Today — thus far — is a better day. I am accomplishing a ton and feel much more in control of my emotions.

  2. Tom Sampson 9 March 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Michael, I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner. Not that I have an answer to “why now?”. My gut tells me that there is strength in numbers. We are in this together, and when a friend is in pain, we all suffer. Does that make sense? I’m glad you didn’t suffer in silence, but reached out and let us know what’s going on. I wonder how many others are being helped right now because of your example.

    • Michael Dahl 10 March 2017 at 9:19 am

      Thanks, Tom. And good point. However, sometimes I get embarrassed by my transparency. Glad others see it as I want it to be … being an example to reduce the suffering of others while helping me cope with life as well. The stigma for mental illness will only change if we force the issue and people feel free to talking about their struggles.


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