I’ve always had separation issues, I’m an only child and the thought of losing my parents to be left in the world with no one to care for me always upset me. However I didn’t have anxiety attacks as a child, I just hated leaving my Mum at the school gates, or going for sleepovers, things like that. It was in 2012 on the morning of the 27th July when my first anxiety attack occurred. I then had an anxiety attack every single morning, and some evenings for about 3 months. I was tired, drained and I looked worn out, at the time I didn’t see it, but looking back at photo’s I find myself wondering why no one told me I looked like a horror film extra…ok maybe slightly dramatic but I did look worn out.
I would wake up, feeling unwell, you know when you just don’t feel right? You can’t explain it, you just feel…unwell. Straight away things would snowball, I would begin to shake, violently, I couldn’t stop, like if you’re in a swimming pool and you just shiver, but at the same time I was sweating and rolling my sleeves up whilst having a cold flannel on my neck. I would feel sick, really sick and sometimes I would go to be sick because I felt like I was choking. I would become quite aggressive, not violent but, annoyed, like why is this happening? I’d begin to tap my hands against leg or just fidget with my hands because I would often get pins and needles. I’d be crying too. I didn’t and don’t suffer with depression, anorexia or bulimia and I never self harmed. However when going through an anxiety attack you find it hard to be positive about anything, it’s like all the happiness is sucked out of you…in fact I’m sure J.K. Rowling based her dementors on panic attacks. These symptoms, if you suffer from anxiety probably sound pretty familiar, know that you aren’t alone. It got to the stage where I had to go to work with my Mum on some days and then to my Nan’s for the day on others. I had a bag I took everywhere which my psychologist called my ‘safety bag’. It contained; A meditation book, an olbas stick, olbas oil, a bottle of water, my phone charger, anti-bacterial gel and some snacks.
On the 12th October I was going on a months long cruise to the Caribbean, I had a panic attack the morning we were leaving and I almost stayed at home however I knew I would be worse off I did so. I packed my bag, got dressed and focused on how a month away from a busy life and stress would change me for the better. I had maybe 3 panic attacks whilst away, then when I arrived home on the 5th November I had not a single panic attack, I got anxious, course I did, but my anxiety towards day to day life had vanished, I can’t tell you how good it felt.
On the 5th December 2012 I had my first appointment with my psychologist, I was really apprehensive and I was scared about what the psychologist would say and how I would feel. My first session however was amazing, I bonded with Shani straight away and finally I could speak to someone that would be able to help me and actually understand what I was going through. My parents were so supportive, again my Dad was googling for solutions. My Mum knew what to say and when to say it and I honestly couldn’t have got better support from them. My family didn’t really understand, but they still supported me, I was often around my cousins house to take my mind off things, or one of my cousins used to come to me. I told very few friends, it wasn’t something I was proud of, however those I did tell fully supported me and I’m grateful to everyone who offered suggestions, sent flowers and chocolates, kept me company and more. Thank you!
I still have panic attacks, it’s something I have learnt to deal with though, Shani gave me so many techniques to try, sometimes though, when I feel a panic attack coming, I get up and I busy myself, advice from my Mum, it really works.
If anyone has any questions about anxiety, please feel free to leave a comment below, if you don’t feel comfortable enough to do so you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love, Kensa x