After starting up my new blog and writing my first post, I decided to make it public through my personal Facebook page as I wanted to get the word out. The responses I got were so positive and self assuring. I know I have made it so far, a year ago from now I wouldn’t have dreamt of telling most of my family and friends, so making it public is a HUGE step for me. To any other victim of mental health, not just anxiety, never keep things to yourself, there are always people around you wanting to help.
My experience with anxiety started back in 2014, at this point it was so minor that it barely affected me. I remember my first ever trip to the doctor, thinking there must be something wrong, my heart kept racing, I struggled to breath, I never slept anymore. The words ‘I think your suffering from Anxiety Disorder’ confused me, I had no idea what it was, so I didn’t really stomach it. The Dr prescribed me with beta blockers, I was never a fan of taking any form of prescription tablets (at the time), so I took them for a couple of days and gave up. For a couple of months I just forgot about it, rendered it as a minor blip and carried on with my usual life in our new flat, working often and socialising on the weekends.
I moved into my new flat with my partner in January 2015, it was something we were both really excited about, and we couldn’t wait for the freedom we would have. The place was quite small, but it was homely, and money was no problem at the time as we were both working in relatively well paid jobs. We had started a new chapter and we were both excited about it, and we were in a very happy relationship. I had forgotten about everything else… until the first panic attack hit me. The first one, in my opinion is the worst, most people experience a panic attack at least once in their life when they’re stressed out, or anxious about something. For me, the first attack was the start of many, and in that 10 minutes of panic I learnt the basis of all that was yet to come.
I was working at the time, as a Duty Manager, a job that I was quite happy with. It was the best job for me at the time, because I had understanding colleagues, in particular my Deputy Manager who, at the time was the only friend who could relate to what I was experiencing. Looking back now, I did have it great there.
After working there for over a year, I decided to leave, I believed that if I started afresh in a new job, all of this would go away. But despite my hopes I was wrong, and in May 2015 I started a new job as a PR Apprentice at a Marketing Agency, it was such a great opportunity that I failed to take advantage of. The panic attacks had started even more so, partly to do with the fact it was sitting down in silence for long hours a day, something I’ve always been happy with doing, but anxiety feeds off of a quiet, peaceful mind.. that’s when the thoughts start rushing in. I had countless days off, making excuse after excuse when really it all came down to the same problem, but I couldn’t tell anyone, because they would look at me and think I was mad. That’s what I thought anyway. Leaving three months later, I started another new position that quickly came to and end, and I became unemployed for a couple of months, but I felt comfortable with that, I thought I could turn my life around in that time.
Still to this day I still find it hard to determine exactly why this started happening. Advise from relatives and friends concluded a multitude of answers, the stress of living in a new flat, losing my Nan at such a young age and never truly grieving, being in the wrong job, and many more. It could have been any of those reasons, but after being referred to a professional psychiatrist, I was fed up with being told why it started, all I wanted to know was what would make it end, and it never really helped me personally. But just because it didn’t work for me, does not mean it won’t help someone else. I just felt completely and utterly past the point of being ‘helped’.
Anxiety Disorder was my worst enemy, undoubtedly the hardest obstacle in my life by a long shot, but so many people have had, or still experience it, I found comfort in that thought, I wasn’t the only one, something I thought for so long. Someone once said to me along the way ‘It’s all in your mind’ and that stuck with me, because that’s exactly what it is, that’s what a mental health disorder is, it’s all in the mind, the reality is you are your own enemy.
That concludes my second post, ever. I hope to carry on writing often especially with the support I have had off of everyone who has seen it. I have also started up a twitter and instagram page alongside, just to branch out a bit more.