My anxiety attacks started when I just turned 18 years old. Before that, I was a bit of wild child, I was outgoing, I had no care in the world, independant, literally care free. I didn't realise how careless I was and that it wasn't wise to be so careful when a friend and I went on a girls holiday, just the two of us to Spain. The holiday, overall good, however, I recalled being left on my own twice and although I was drunk, I remember experiencing the first symptoms of anxiety.
I felt I was going crazy and had to maintain my sanity and the thought of being alone and not knowing where my friend was literally made me feel so frightened that I never wanted to be alone again to AVOID that feeling of anxiety. On returning to the UK, my anxiety levels went back to 'normal' however, within 4 weeks, I literally couldn't go to the shop by myself. There was no explanation, in my head, at the time for it. I became emotional and tearful. I couldn't be in the house by myself, I couldn't travel to college, my mother couldn't go anywhere because it was her who was my safeguard. That fear of a panic attack, of the symptoms of anxiety haunted me constantly. Even when I was with others, I just searched the internet constantly trying to find a cure.
I went to my GP twice who to be honest I didnt find too helpful but the help is there, mine came from my family. But I was in denial about having a 'mental illness'. My mother recalled being around my age when she experienced severe anxiety and wanted to be alone however, an event triggered her, which is when I reflected on the holiday.
Still, I was still agoraphobic. Although somehow, I kept my high spirits, at night I would cry and cry. I missed my old self terribly and everyday was just the same old. Somehow, I managed to get a friend who lived locally to get me to college most days although my attendance was really bad. By august, my dream of moving away to go to University seemed like a joke. I passed all my A Levels, and managed to do really well. I became adamant that I would move to University and that I would not let panic attacks rule my life.
I gave myself 4weeks. It started off small, I would jog around the park, I read inspirational notes and kept busy. Although I was still scared inside, I realised myself that it is ME and only me that can get me through this. I needed to make the unfamiliar familiar again. I had to stop thinking that the shop was a task, and being alone is a trigger for a panic attack. However, the hardest part, was familiarising myself with the panic attack. Usually, the rapid heartbeat was send me into a panicking state and i would want my mother straight away no matter where I was. I walked and I walked until it started. The fear washed over me, I went hot, my legs started feeling like jelly, my mouth was bone dry, I wanted to escape. Self talk......This is a panic attack and a panic attack only. I breathed in through my nose, out through my mouth. I RESISTED that urge to just run, because that fed the attack.
It wasn't pleasant. It's not something you want to go home and reward yourself for. The even more harder part, is doing it again. But I NEEDED to do it. I was 18 years old, I suffered for almost 9 months. I'm not going to say I did it. Anxiety is still a huge part of my life. But I'm not afraid of it like I was. I can travel alone, be in the house alone but one of the best things I learned, was anxity does NOT go away.
There is no cure. But you CAN deal with it and you can teach yourself not to be scared of it. & once you do that, you'll realise you can do anything. I moved to London and it's been just over a year now since my anxiety attacks started, I feel I could tackle anything now. You CAN do it. I promise you. I was one of those people that strongly believed I could not do it. That I was different and my anxiety was going to ruin my life until I killed myself. But NO, YOU can change everything. YOU have the strength. I would love you be able to use my experiences to help another. Thank you for reading.
Last edited by moderator2; 03-03-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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