I wrote a blog on my struggle with anxiety and thought it might be good to share…
I went for a nap at 4 in the day. That’s the norm after a night on the trot in Ibiza followed by too much sun the following day. Usually I’d nod off almost immediately but that afternoon I couldn’t. I was tossing and turning and I could hear my friend dozing in the bed beside me. I was so frustrated, I started to feel dizzy, the room was spinning. Panic set in. Nothing felt right. Turns out I had a bad case of sunstroke, I went to the doctor the following day just so he would confirm that it was sunstroke and not cancer, yes cancer or a brain tumour, that was my overactive mind rearing it’s ugly head. He gave me some nurofen and within a day or two I was feeling better. Unfortunately, those few days were filled with the most unbearable anxiety you can imagine. I was making myself think it wasn’t sunstroke and that I was actually really ill, I couldn’t focus on anything other than the constant tightness I that took over my chest.
I came home from that holiday and got back to work. From the day I returned for the 6 months that followed, my whole life was turned upside down. My whole soul, heart, all I knew about myself was indisputably tangled up in a web of this unfamiliar and unwelcome feeling of despair. It was a task to leave my house, to go shopping for a new dress with friends, to go for a meal, even planning a trip would bring with it sheer panic and total fear. My life came to a standstill and I spent more time trying to control my heart rate in secret than actually living and enjoying the wonderful things around me.
I visited the doctor and my desperation was evident from the tears that streamed down my tired face that morning. I started anti depressants and was told to give them 6-8 weeks before they’d even start making a difference. The days passed and I didn’t really feel like much was changing. I still couldn’t do any simple daily task without completely breaking down inside. Keeping it all a secret was the worst, sitting at my desk in work pretending I was fine was hell, forcing that smile and trying to be bubbly when really I was struggling to breathe. There was times when I was convinced I was choking on my own tongue, it was terrifying.