A lot of people seem to be talking about anxiety these days and how it has affected their lives. These people are brave, and by sharing their stories they are breaking the stigma and normalizing it-helping so many!
I think I’ve always been a slightly anxious person but my real journey with anxiety began 7 years ago when my daughter was only one.
Officially I was diagnosed with acute panic disorder and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) it was a living hell.
My adrenaline was stuck on overdrive, meaning my whole life was a panic attack, I lost 8kgs in a week (no idea how this is even possible!) and I had to take sedatives before my attacks became acute and all my muscle seized turning me into a contorted stiff person (this is worse case scenario panic attacks, and happens just before you pass out. It is kind of like a seizure without shaking).
It’s amazing what your mind can do to your body. I had cramps, hot and cold flushes, my vision blurred (to the point I went to the optometrist thinking I was going blind) sometimes I felt like I was on fire-and of course the feeling of not being able to breath.
You would never guess if you met me that this is a demon I have been fighting. I am a happy, thriving person and I believe anxiety has made me a better person. I haven’t had an attack in 6 years and I rarely feel anxious these days, but when I do I know how to manage it.
Getting myself out of that hell wasn’t easy. I do take medication (and will continue to for the rest of my life) but anyone with anxiety knows medication isn’t a magical cure.
I literally did anything and everything to get better. I did therapy, cognitive therapy and group therapy. I cut out all caffeine and tried hypnosis. I read alot! I read about anxiety and the medical aspects of a panic attack, I read self-help books and books written by people living with anxiety. I even went to a breathing class.
None of this was as easy as it sounds. I had panic attacks along the way but I refused to stop. When the doctor told me to go for walks I did, but I clutched my medication and phone terrified I’d have an attack in public.
Slowly it got easier and I could breath again. I didn’t wake up having panic attacks and I learnt how to relax. It was an insane year that taught me so much and because of it i am a passionate advocate for self-care and putting yourself first (although I could still learn a thing or two about this-maybe it’s a mum thing haha!)
My journey and stories have helped people who have reached out during hard times, and I want to do that forever!
Anxiety fucking sucks! But you are never alone, and I’m always here x