Is it really a story? Is having anxiety and panic attacks an actual story of my life? No of course not. Actually, the title of this post is actually bothering me and so much so that it’s causing me anxiety. Yep, that’s my life with anxiety.
In March 2016 I began having panic attacks, which at first I thought were asthma related. In reality, after months of experiencing them and a number of doctors appointments it was determined that in fact, I have anxiety and panic disorder.
So, how did it start? Well Matt and I were walking quite a high cliff to visit a monument and whilst up there I felt like I couldn’t breath, my throat felt like it was closing and I couldn’t stop shaking. I went home, took my inhaler and didn’t feel any relief at all but managed to calm myself down. Turns out, asthma related my ass. It was a god awful, tormenting, dreadful panic/anxiety attack.
I used to have them daily and it became a normal part of my life. Each day I would wake up and wait for the panic attack or multiple panic attacks to happen. However, now I tend to get them maybe 1-3 times a month which has definitely improved to what I was used too. Sometimes, even less.
I tried for so long to cope with them myself and tried so hard to not go on medication. However, after months (a full summer..) I was barely going out, hardly speaking to people, I would spend most of my days in bed reading or watching films. I relied on Matt to feel safe and it just wasn’t a life I wanted. So, I headed to the doctors to be put on anti-depressents to help my issues (spoiler: they didn’t lol obviously).
I didn’t stay on the medication longer than a month a half because it simply didn’t help. The panic attacks continued, my feelings of anxiousness carried on. Things did change though, I changed. I wanted better for myself, I didn’t want the life I had been having so I fought it. I battled my way through the sadness and ever since and I probably will always continue to battle my panic attacks.
As you know, I’m currently spending my summer working in America. However, since I’m writing this before I leave (I have two weeks before I fly out) I can tell you, that my anxiety is through the roof. I’m barely eating (not like me, I love pasta and cake), I either sleep for 12+ hours of my day or I don’t sleep at all and I’m so overwhelmed with emotions that I can’t control them. I can’t count how many panic attack’s I have had. Change trigger’s my anxiety and I know it does for a lot of people, it is so ridiculous that I can’t experience change in a happy and exciting way. However, this is norm for me. It’s my life and I won’t say to anybody that I wish I was different because I am this way for a reason. It’s so hard to deal with things right now but I know in the long run, I’ll be thankful to myself for giving myself a push and the opportunity to live life the way I have always wanted to.
They aren’t fun, I without fail always need help to get myself out of them. I really struggle to cooperate since I’m unaware of many things when I have them. The difference between then and now? I know what I want for myself and although I love knowing how safe I am with Matt. I know that I’m going to be okay regardless of the situation and I can’t hide from everything because I won’t ever become anybody or achieve anything.
Instead of fearing them.. I embrace them. Anxiety is not who I am. Panic attacks are not who I am. I’m more than my mental health.
With love, Beth x