I have always thought of myself as the strong one! The one that can cope with everything and hold it all together for not just me but for everyone. I don’t talk about my feelings, I don’t let my guard down and I never let anyone know if I’m feeling down. I just get on with it and I’m fine.. Well recently I have been struggling to keep myself together.
Maybe this started in January. I quit my charity work with a plan to focus on me and the girls! I ran a charity that raised money for the unit that looked after Daisy when she was really ill. I set it up when Daisy was discharged from the hospital and it has literally been my life for the past three years. I held fundraisers, put on events and many other things… for the past three years I have sold Reindeer Food and Snowman Soup it was the big money maker for the charity, but this year (Dec 16) I found my sales drop.. I then learnt that a few friends had stolen my ideas and had began selling them for their own gain. It was a low blow and was the final straw which pushed me to step back and take a break.. anyway I think this could have caused the downfall I have now come to see.
In January I lashed out at my very best friend. Looking back now, she did not deserve the rant she received! Cutting a long story short I took a few minor things to heart and I told her I was done with her. We fell out.
Fast forward a few months.. At the time I didn’t really see my behaviour as odd but now I realise it wasn’t normal! I had become to over think things. I developed fears of things that I had never feared before. I took Daisy to get her ears pierced, I signed the paper work and then just as the lady was getting her things ready I had to walk out! I couldn’t cope! I felt as though i couldn’t breathe. Another time i went for my eyes testing and fainted! Who faints getting their eyes tested! I had a few other experiences like these that really didn’t make sense to me as i had never felt that way before.
Going shopping was becoming scary. I began to think that something bad was going to happen. It wasn’t helped by the police presence after the terror attacks and literally everytime i went shopping or out to a big public space i would plan my exit. I wouldn’t go into stores that didn’t have an easy get away. Going out for meals i had to sit with the door in my sight and eat as fast as possible so I could leave as soon as possible.
The main change in my behaviour occurred when my parents took Daisy away for the week, Lily was supposed to go but had changed her mind. As Lily deceided to stay home my sister opted to go in her place. this was the first time in a very long time that i was home alone and soley responsible for Lily. The week began fine, but as the week went on i started to feel really strange. I cant describe it any other way other than strange. Lily had been invited to her friends birthday party and was sleeping over at her house. I dropped her off at the party and walked over to the shops which were close to where we live. i was looking at suitcases and i had this rush of panic. I had to get out. I felt as though i could faint at any moment and i just had to leave. I ran! As i reached the door my mum rang, which i think helped to calm me down. I went home and had an emotional few hours flicking threw pictures of Daisy when she was ill. At around ten i took myself to bed. I was so restless and couldn’t get to sleep. After an hour of tossing and turning i received a phone call from the parent that had Lily asking me to come and collect her. I had instant panic! Walking at this time to her house wasn’t ideal but i was seriously terrified. I collected lily and when we were home we got into bed. This is when i had my first panic attack, my arms were shaking, my legs were shaking and i was uncontrollably crying. At the time i did not know what was happening and thought i was having some kind of seizure. Lily was so good! But i could see she was scared. I rang the only person i knew would be up. My friend that i had fallen out with in January. she was amazing! She told me to go come round to her house with Lily and she rang the medical helpline for some advice. I was given a drs appointment for the morning. I thanked her and hugged her before me and Lily left to go home. I had stopped shaking and the panic feeling wasn’t as strong. Lily snuggled up to me and went to sleep. I laid awake watching the television to try distract myself, at some point i must have fallen asleep.
The next day Lily went to her dads and i went to my doctors appointment. A friend came with me just incase i had a repeat of last night. I went in to see the doctor and well he wasn’t the best. He thought i was drunk! He told me i possibly had a shake problem in my arm. I left feeling as though i had just wasted my time.
Fast forward a few months and these episodes were happening on a weekly basis sometimes twice a week!
Then came our holiday.. I love flying but for the first time in the twenty six years of my life I found I had to get drunk to enable myself to get on the plane.. I’m not a drinker! I love flying! The thought of terbulance would get me so excited! Not this time! I hated it! Even sat in the isle seat!! Whilst away I had roughly five panic attacks and I fainted once! Yes actually fainted! I spent three full days and four nights inside the apartment. This is not me! I wanted to go to see the volcano but I couldn’t bring myself to be in a place I had no control.. I wanted to go on a boat to see the dolphins but I couldn’t bring myself to do so! The days we ventured out were to the pool which was a minutes walk away and to the beach that was a five minute walk away! I went knowing I could get up and go home at any point.. and I drank! I found my way to cope whilst away was to drink!
When we returned from our holiday I realised something wasn’t right! This was not me! I felt nervous all the time! I was scared all the time! I was worrying about things that didn’t matter! I was starting to create problems that didn’t exist! I felt faint when talking to people! I became a sweaty person when around others or worrying! I couldn’t concentrate! I couldn’t sleep! I was terrified of going to sleep and not waking up! I couldn’t breathe! It wasn’t me!
So I booked in to see my doctor! Monday 10th July.. I was so nervous but I knew I had to do this as I was never going to get away from these feelings and well I couldn’t cope anymore. She was amazing! Completely understanding! Really helpful and I felt a weight realise from my shoulders as soon as we started talking. She advised me about talking therapy and prescribed me a low dose of medication. She told me I was experiencing anxiety and I wasn’t crazy!
Leaving the appointment i felt so much better.. it was the first time in a long time that I walked home without my headphones in!
That night I started my medication..