Believe me, this is hard to write about – but I hope someone who reads this finds comfort in my ordeal.
You’re not alone, trust me.
For a while I thought I was getting better – there were no anxiety attacks for months and honestly? I thought (perhaps) I’d learned to control it.
On NEWS YEAR DAY, in front of my whole family, I had a huge panic attack but thought I was having a stroke (looking back on this, it’s slightly embarrassing because I caused quite a scene. But when you believe the very worst, you can’t snap yourself out of it).
I looked my Mum deadpan in the face and said “I feel weird.”
My arms stopped working, I couldn’t breathe, talk, move and I thought I was going to die.
And there was absolutely no reason for my sudden bout of panic.
Since then, I’ve had ECG’s, I’ve had blood tests, I’ve had my blood pressure checked, multiple blood sugar tests, and I’m healthy.
So… why can’t I believe it?
In all honesty I was suppressing it, ignoring the anxious feelings and putting them to the back of my mind, because in my mind that was the way to deal with it.
Pretend it wasn’t there and get on with the day.
The plan worked well.
There wasn’t any reason for me to believe that I wasn’t getting better, that I wasn’t getting through it because in my head, I was myself again.
The reality – I was probably making myself worse. Instead of going through it, I was jumping all the hurdles, I was pretending to be OK just to fight it another day, but I wasn’t fighting it, not really.
And now I need help.
Those words are scary.
In my mind anyway.
I’m a 20 year old female who needs help controlling her emotions, her mind, her very being because I can’t do it by myself.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not undermining ANYBODY, because at some point we all need help.
It’s just a strange concept for me, I can’t wrap my head around it.
I never thought my anxiety was bad enough to be debilitating.
That one word, that ONE word I’ve tried to avoid, but now I can’t because it’s true.
I can’t motivate myself.
Leaving the house is hard.
I constantly, incessantly have to check my heart beat.
There are no real reasons for my panic attacks, they just happen.
I constantly think I’m on the brink of death (anxiety for you, eh? Believing the worst even though it’s likely it’ll never happen).
Constantly googling my symptoms in hopes of a cure.
Cancer? I probably have it.
Diabetes? Yes yes yes, I tick all the boxes.
It debilitates you because you think your anxiety is you.
You at your very worst.
But it’s not.
It’s an illness that spreads throughout your mind and causes you to believe that you are not well, not yourself.
It’s a poison.
The NHS defines a panic attack as:
Panic attacks can be very frightening and intense, but they’re not dangerous. An attack won’t cause you any physical harm, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be admitted to hospital if you’ve had a panic attack.
And on some level… that’s reassuring. Except I still think the worst.
It’s been 4 weeks, and everything is still the same.
Doctors can’t wrap their heads around what’s wrong with me, (apart from Costochondritis but that’s a story for another day…) and I can’t stop panicking.
I can’t breathe most days, and getting out of bed is a chore because I know that I’m going to struggle through the day.
Anxiety IS debilitating, it takes hold of you, is that little devil on your shoulder whispering “yeah, but what if…?” and you believe it.
I’m currently in this horrendous circle of “I’m okay, fuck I’m not okay, shit I’m panicking.”
I’m drowning and I have no buoyancy to keep me up.
So now I’m waiting to see if I’m going to be accepted into Time to Talk (talking therapy), and CBT.
Monday is going to be hard, there are calls to be made, and people to see to help me.
There will be tears.
But I’m saving myself, and I have to remember that.
My mind is not weak, and I will not be defined by my anxiety.
The Vivacious Blonde. xo