Let me tell you about the LOWEST point of my life.
It was a beautiful sunny morning in the gym in the spring of 2006...
And I thought I was having a heart attack.
Ol' CB in 2005, 3 months before my anxiety attacks...
I turned to Richard, my client, who was a five-foot-six, 310 pound, 56-year-old stressed out lawyer, and asked him to take me to the hospital.
He looked at me like I had two heads, but he didn't know I was going through one of the biggest struggles of my life. The struggles were my fault. I had brought them upon myself by living a hypocritical lifestyle.
During the week I was training clients to lose weight, eat better, and improve their health. I would wake up at 4:30 AM to work on my online business before heading downtown to meet my first client at 6:00 AM. After a few hours of training, I'd return to my apartment and spend the rest of the day creating workouts, writing emails and shooting exercise videos for my fitness website.
That was the right way to live, but then on Saturday nights I messed up. I stayed out late chasing girls and drinking too much alcohol, leaving me tired and stressed on Monday morning.
Burning the candle at both ends caught up with me. I wasn't a 21-year-old anymore, but I made the mistake of living like I was.
On New Year's Day of 2006, I experienced my first incident. That holiday season had been particularly busy with Christmas parties and early morning gym sessions resulting in missed sleep. For whatever reason, my body responded with what appeared to be an anxiety attack. For twelve hours my heart rate was elevated, my breathing was labored, and I felt terrible.
An anxiety attack, for those of you that have never had one, is a terrible experience. You feel as though you have no control of your life. I woke up in the middle of each night thinking I was having a heart attack. But I worked through that episode with sleep, a yoga session, and a week of perfectly pure living.
My feelings of invincibility returned after a few weeks and I began to slip back into my bad habits. Each night I would stay up until 11 PM and wake up at 4:30 AM to keep working on my business.
One sunny Monday morning in March I woke up anxious after a rather strange and disturbing dream. Within minutes I could feel the onset of another attack, yet there was nothing I could do about it, and it wouldn't go away. Day after day I dealt with the symptoms: a tight chest, tingles in my head and arms, and short, shallow breaths.
It went on for six weeks straight, 24 hours a day. It was a living nightmare. I tried everything, from Qi Gong to meditation to yoga in order to get rid of the symptoms, but nothing worked.
I even went and bought a dog, a lil' chocolate lab puppy that I named Bally, in hopes that petting the dog would help calm me down. Of course, if you've ever owned a puppy, especially a lab, you know that they cause even more stress and anxiety, and for the few weeks the lil' stinker only made things worse!
There were good days, where the symptoms felt like background noise and there were bad days, where it took all of my power not to go to the hospital. But eventually, as I mentioned earlier, I lost that battle too…
So back to the day that I asked my client to take me to the hospital...I walked into the emergency room at St. Michael's hospital in Toronto and said those fateful words:
"I think I'm having a heart attack."
The nurse on duty took me very seriously and brought me to the back immediately.
After a few hours of examination, and a chest x-ray that showed nothing was wrong with me, I was sent home wearing a heart-rate monitor.
I sat down at my computer and began searching the Internet (again) for the solution to my problems. That's when I stumbled across an eBook called Panic Away. Within an hour of downloading the book, I was cured by five simple words in Chapter Two. Literally cured. It was almost as though I had been shaken and told to snap out of it.
There was nothing wrong with me. The doctors proved it. The heart rate monitor data would later confirm it. I knew what to do, what changes to make and that I needed to stop living like an immature fool. The worst day of my life became one of the best things to ever happen to me because it forced me to grow up and transform my future.
That was when I grew up, perhaps a lot later than I should have, but better late than never. And that was when I started writing my best-selling book.
We all suffer from anxiety, but I hope you never experience the same intensity of symptoms that I dealt with. If you do, please see your doctor and make the changes in your life that they recommend.
Despite a handful of setbacks following that low point in my life, it's now been years since I've felt even a twinge of panic. My stress levels are low, my life is filled with better people, and more importantly my external devotion to my 10 Million Transformation Mission keeps me focused on what really matters.
However, no matter what you are going through, I'll leave you with this advice.
You must look at what could be, not what you are. You can change. Things can be different. It's up to you. So much can be accomplished with a long-term vision and resilience to short-term setbacks.
Let me show you how to build your vision and control your life
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS - Change only comes when the consequences of staying the same are too painful.
If you want to change then dig deep and bring your pain to the surface.
Find the Meaningful Incentive that will motivate you to fix your behavior, make better decisions, and implement the right actions.
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