A long way to go

by Ashley
(Canada )

At a very young age I was aware my silly fears that were irrational were becoming so much more. There was a long time period in my past where abuse and such were in play. My mother knew this too, and she did everything she could to keep my fear at bay. I wasn't even aware the term anxiety existed at the young age I began feeling it, but I know how it felt all too well. Little things like hearing a plane go overhead or walking past a group of men at the doors to a restaurant would set me into hysterics. I will never forget my first anxiety attack. In my basement with my Nanny and Poppy. My mouth went try and my eyes teared up and my heart became that of a racehorse. Unaware of what this was I thought I was going to die. My Nanny a very experienced nurse immediately knew what to do and coached me through breathing. That technique saved me multiple times. Sadly this was only the beginning. I began to feel the panic every day. I was always shaking or twitching or closing my eyes to keep my dizzyness and nausea at bay. I'm no stranger to throwing up from anxiety. Nor slightly fainting. I not only had anxiety but depression as well. My anxiety would trigger my depression making me hate myself and my life. Around 2012 I suddenly began seeing a clearer light. My anxiousness went away almost for good and rarely did I feel any sort of panic. This kept up for three and some years. Then in December of 2015 it came back with a vengeance. I would have hour to two hour long attacks that would make me numb all over. My limbs would go cold and shake, my heart would race and I would feel the need to pass out or vomit. I was diagnosed with PTSD and that only worsened my situation to a nightmare. These episodes became the regular and I got put on medication for my attacks. At first it worked, and then the anxiety worked around them. I became distraught and found functioning as a human difficult. I began to get questions, and never know the answers. I felt lost in a bubble, and no one could touch me. The world was suddenly surreal and a dream and I questioned my existence. It's like I was having a hallucinogen trip but I wasn't. The 3D aspect of our world was suddenly super noticeable. I began believing I was a full blown psychopath. That nothing could save me. Suicide seemed the only way out and I truly did contemplate it for a long time. I would turn to alcohol and pot to feel better until I realized they only worsened my anxiety. The panic caused me to be a hypochondriac and any symptoms of anxiety I got my head told me were serious illness symptoms. My head would often tingle or feel heavy and droopy. This scared me the most. I finally got set up to see a psychotherapist and I am now waiting for my first appointment.
Mental illness is real and it will affect many of us. We can be strong though, and we will not be confined to our minds.
Those who feel the same things I do just know your not alone. My biggest fear of all was that no one else felt what I did. But non of us are not alone. We can all beat anxiety.

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