Hello, My name is Amyrose and I'm 18 years old. I live in Essex, England.
I just had a sudden urge to write down my story, to let everything out as a few moments ago I was trying to explain to my friend what my anxiety is like, but it's just so hard to explain.
I first got anxiety when I was 11 years old. When I was around 9/10 years old, my brother got diagnosed with a Brain tumour and all through-out I coped fine until I was 11, I suddenly didn't want to be away from my family as I was scared about them getting hurt or if I got hurt etc.
I would not leave the house and no one could get me into school as I refused, at first it was confusing for everybody to understand what was wrong with me, I didn't even understand until my mum took me to see a counsellor, I refused to talk and being a typical young girl, I sulked and sat in her office with a pout and my arms folded but the more times I went, I gave in and everything came out gradually and things started to click in place. I was finally diagnosed with Anxiety and depression at 11 years of age. I was out of school for most of the year until around year 9 and half way through year 10, I loved school until something, to this day, i do not know what, happend and triggered my anxiety again so my mum took me out of school and taught me at home, my coursework was sent to me from the school and I would go in to see teachers with my mum after school hours to catch up. The only time I went in was for my GCSE's which were a struggle, but I passed most of them considering.
In 2007 things gradually became alot better for me and I got back to 'normal' (what exactly is normal these days?!)
Life was going great, I enjoyed going out with friends and going to concerts, up london etc; to see my favourite band, McFly.
I got into music college, loved the place and the friends i met there. Until I had my first gig I had to perform with a band I was in.. This is where it gets confusing.
I felt fine all day, obviously I was nervous about the gig as I hadn't performed infront of so many people before.. All was fine, got to the venue and was OK until I suddenly came over all dizzy, I told my friend i felt as though I was going to faint, which made me scared as I had fainted for the first time the week before when i took our my lip piercing for the first time, so it made me feel abit panicy as i did not want to faint again, so i sat down on the floor with a few friends and drank some water and my friend told me to eat some cereal bar she had in her bag just incase i had low sugar or something. Then things carried on getting worse when people started doing sound checks, which was pretty loud which made me even more dizzy and I also suffer from tinutus(ringing in the ears) which did not help at all....!
I got my friend to call up my mum to come to the venue early as I really did not feel good, so my mum got there in 15 minutes and sat with me and bought me up to the toilets to splash my face etc; which made me feel at ease as of course i had the security of my mum! Then it was our turn to do sound check, which I really did not want to do but i made myself do it anyway and I was fine from what I remember anyway and after sound check I went outside until it was our time to go on stage, I really did not want to perform anymore because of the dizzyness.
I was on stage, playing through our set list while through the first song things kept going slow motion, then fastening up again.. then slow, fast, etc etc. My hearing was also distorted and my eyesight was blurred but I pushed myself on and carried on playing, even though i thought i was playing out of time, but I wasn't. Through the second song, things were still the same and once the song finished, I ran off stage and put my guitar down and called for my mum, so she came up and I was in hysterical tears, begging her to take me home, friends came up and was telling me to go back on and saying that I could do it and people were filming me and i was begging my mum to get them to go away and just to take me home and saying how much i did not want to go back on and that i couldnt physically do it.
Anyway, that was in march 2008 and from then, every day was a living hell. I couldn't walk by myself because I was dizzy, i constantly felt like I was going to pass out and I was just emotionally drained.. I just lay on the sofa all day sleeping so I didnt have to go through it all. I didn't like to fall asleep at night as i feared i wouldn't wake up again and I got a thought into my head that I too had a brain tumour like my brother had.. So i had to sleep in my mums room as i could not fall to sleep on my own and i kept waking up in shear panic and in sweats in the night. My mum took me to the doctors to get checked out to put my mind at ease.
I got put on valium just to calm me down and i started to feel a tiny bit better.. So i wanted to go back into college to finish off some coursework.My mum and dad dropped me off and I was feeling ok until started feeling dizzy, so i sat outside and called my parents to pick me up again, while in the car i felt sick and I started to get a tingling feeling in my hands and lips.. which frightened me but i did not say anything as i wanted to wait to see if it passed, but it didn't, it spread to my eyelids and my legs, feet and arms and basically felt like electric/static shocks all through me and my mum asked if i was Okay and i started to cry and panic even more and told her what was wrong so my dad got in the back of the car with me and cuddled me. My mum put on a McFly CD to try calm me down and she opened all the windows in the car so I could get air as I felt breathless. It felt hard to move my fingers and toes as my nerves were shaking so bad with tingles/pins and needles.
My dad told my mum to pull over on the side of the road and once we had stopped i screamed "call an ambulance!" (it really is not like me to ask for an ambulance as i hate hospitals/doctors!) and my mum asked what was happening to me and i felt like I couldn't talk so she got me out of the car and layed me on the sidewalk and knelt and cuddled me as i clung onto her as i felt like i was having some sort of fit or dieing, I could not breathe, my eye sight was distorted, my ears were buzzing, my chest felt tight, my mouth was dry, I was pale, my hands/legs/face/arms/shoulders were shaking and tingling, I couldnt really talk properly because of the feeling in my lips and tongue, I was sweating and even my eyeballs were shaking so my dad called an ambulance and they were there within 2 minutes. They gave me abit of oxygen as my mum and dad explained what had happend and they said about an anxiety attack and so i sat in the back of the ambulance while they took my blood pressure and monitored etc and said they couldn't really do anything and we could only wait until it passed which took over an hour for me. I started to calm down once I knew i was in professional hands and that if anything would happen to me i was safe and being looked after straight away and the paramedics spoke to me and took my mind of things until they thought i was ok to go home.
So mum and dad took me home and all day I still had tingling sensations through-out my body and i felt so, so tired as when i got home i straight away fell to sleep and slept all day and night as the attack completely drained me physically, mentally and emotionally.
Through-out the year, most days I came over with funny turns with dizzyness and tingling sensations but it has never been as bad as the time that i just explained, I would not want to go through that again, at all as it really is not nice.
I got really down and cried most of the time saying I wanted to be the way I was in 2007 and I wanted my life back as I was nearly 18 and girls my age should be out having fun and loving life where as I was the total opposite. It felt as though i was in a black hole and could not get out.
My mum took me counselling again as i asked her to because i needed help with my thoughts and feelings. My counsellor basically told me everything that I felt, It was like she was reading a book about me.. but she wasn't. she was just reading a book about anxiety, it was so strange but in a strange sort of way it was comforting too, to hear that it was 'normal' to have symptoms like i always got and that I wasn't alone with how i felt and what I was going through. I knew i wasn't alone anyway as i had my family and friends, and my mum suffers from anxiety too, so she knows how i feel/felt.
So now i have learnt to control it.
I told my counsellor, for me it was like having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, constantly battling with my thoughts, the devil of course was the anxiety and the angel was my real self trying to knock away the devil so i could be 'well' again. Whenever I got negative thoughts, I simply pushed them away and distracted myself by reading something or concentrating on something which would soon take my mind of the thoughts.
If i ever came over anxious with dizzyness or something else, I would take time out, sit down and breathe normally, deep breathes if i needed them and even a paperbag(which does wonders!)
When i had the ambulance called, they told me I was basically doing the wrong thing by taking deep breathes in the car and opening all windows like my mum and dad did. They told me that too much oxygen can cause the tingling or dizzyness and if you ever feel as though your going to have an anxiety attack that you should just mantain your normal breathing and not concentrate on how you are breathing as hard as it may be. so that is what I do and i soon feel alot better.
My previous attacks whenever I had one last year(2008) would last over an hour but now they last just over 10 minutes or not even a minute, depending on the level of my anxiety.
I am on daily pills which just stop most of the physical symptons i still get sometimes without having a panic attack, it just sometimes is still there and I am gradually, slowly but surely getting my life back. I am my old self and as my mum says "I have my Amy back"
I am really proud of myself and how far I have come, yes, i still get anxious and negative thoughts as everybody does, and yes i get them more and worse then most people do around me because i suffer with anxiety, but its just taking it how it comes and i take small steps. I'm making slow changes in my life, I'm not there just yet, I still need to iget my confidence and independence back and I am losing weight too, which will probably help with that and is one step and goal to getting happy again, one step at a time.
I am sorry if most of this does not make sense, it's so difficult to explain everything as i too find it confusing and i've also been through it! It's a tricky one.
But If you suffer from anxiety or think you do and you're not sure yet, I can promise you this. You are not at all alone and you are safe. You may feel as though something bad is going to happen to you or that something bad IS happening to you, it isn't. They are only feelings and they will pass. I learnt you cannot pass out from anxiety attacks which is what i feared and that put me at ease too, as you only faint when blood pressure is low, but when your in anxiety mode, your blood pressure is high which actually prevents you from passing out. Even if you did, it would not be such a bad thing because as soon as you come around your body/feelings will be restored almost back to normal, which is another thing the paramedics told me.
If you feel alone, you are not and there are always people around for you to talk to, family, friends, doctors, counsellors, anybody you are comfortable to talking with. I have my down days but I know things will get better in time.
You'll be ok, you are
I am only 18 years old and I think i've already had my fair share of crap in life.. and probably plenty more to come, but take each day as it comes, think about today, not tomorrow, only think of tomorrow when it is here and then deal with it. Think about now, this second, not the next.