Every single being on earth has fears and anxiety, whether they admit it or not. My dogs have anxiety when they hear fireworks, or when they’re left alone to long. My dad had anxiety around needles; everyone fears something.
But how do you overcome your fears or ease your anxiety when literally anything can turn you into a giant ball of worry and anxiety.
I remember a lot of firsts; my first kiss, my first heart break, my first day of school & my first time experiencing an anxiety or panic attack.
I usually refer to them as panic attacks, but medically they refer to them as anxiety attacks. Mine are frequent, often lasting only a minute or two. They take my breath away, and not in the good way, and make my heart race; I get sweaty but cold, my ears buzz like they would after listening to very loud music while wearing headphones and I begin to loose focus until I’m basically blacking out. The first time I experienced a full blown panic attack was the scariest time in my life.
I was either 8 or 9, it was during the SARS outbreak and I became so ill that I couldn’t eat or drink anything without getting sick. My mom took me to a local walk in clinic, there I was surrounded with people just as sick as I, I don’t remember much after that except going into Shoppers Drug Mart to get cold and flu medicine. I guess I was still unsure, or maybe I was just scared in general, but I remember a terrible smell that sent me into my very first panic attack. I was standing with my mom while she was paying for the medicine and became extremely hot, then cold but sweaty. I remember telling my mom I was gonna go get some air and feeling like I was going to faint. My heart was racing and my stomach was in knots as my vision faded. It was the worst thing I had dealt with at that time.
Following that day anything and everything sent me into a panic attack.
I was always a “shy” kid, Still to this day I have a quiet soft voice, but once the anxiety took over I was completely broken. I worried about everything, I became self conscious and scared. I avoided conflict and kept my opinions to myself.
Anyone who’s dealt with anxiety will know depression usually shows its ugly face eventually.
My anxiety doubled the day my first love came out and my entire school knew somehow. Tripled the day my grandma died and It quadrupled the day my dad was diagnosed with ALS. Depression pushed its way into my life that year.
The longest ten years of my life was spent battling depression, the constant nagging and put downs coming from inside my own head drove me, many times, to harm myself. I’ve written so many sucide letters, I’ve been close to dying many times. It’s kinda ironic that my anxiety stopped me each time; that my constant worrying about what other people would think if I did kill myself was what made me put down the pills, the knife. I hid it so well that no one really knew how desperate I had become.
My breaking point was about a year ago.
In 2012 I backed out of one of my closest friends wedding because my anxiety, I felt as if everyone would be judging me. My depression made me gain weight I’m still trying to lose and I felt disgusting. I went to the doctors and he put me on a benzodiazepine, basically a pill that would calm me down. It worked, I guess, but I became so addicted and dependent on it I would have multiple panic attacks if I didn’t have them on me at a times. I became so unmotivated, I just got high and laid around all day. I had no motivation to go back to the doctors after the prescription ran out so I didn’t. Leaving the house, seeing people and living completely stopped a week later. My depression and anxiety hit me harder then a cement wall and I had no way out. It took me a lot to finally call my doctor again, I was so desperate for help that I was going to admit myself into the psych wing at the near by hospital. I was home alone for a weekend and so emotionally and physically lonely that i believed I had no reason to be alive. I searched and searched my entire house looking for a bottle of old anti depressants so I could take them all and be done with it. I searched everywhere and felt so defeated that I couldn’t find them. The one thing I wanted to do was die and I couldn’t even do that.
As I went to dial 911 I automatically dialed my doctors number, I tried to sound as calm as possible and when I got off the phone I broke down in tears.
That week was the longest week of my life, I tried so hard to keep it together. My entire body shook in the waiting room, I was so scared, so terrified of admitting how broken I was.
Due to my depression, irritability and anxious behavior I was classified high risk. High risk for what I wondered out loud in my doctors exam room. He explained that I scored so high in both the depression and anxiety tests that I had to be put on some sort of antidepressant or be admitted into the psych ward. I didn’t want either; the thought of needed a pill, being clinically depressed, made my world spin.
I walked out of the doctors with a prescription for Zoloft and Ativan.
It took a few weeks but Zoloft was my saving grace.
I still get anxious; unsure of myself or my life but I’m able to live. I’m able to talk and interact with people, I work and love life. I never thought I’d feel that way.
My life isn’t easy but I’m glad I’m still here. I’m grateful for my doctor, he was the first person, other then family, that cared about my well being. I’m blessed.
Anyone struggling with inner demons I want you to know it really does get better. I know reading that doesn’t help now, that you can’t picture your life getting better I was the same way. I know the pain and the anger you feel, angry that you can’t seem to find the strength to be happy. My love we have more strength than any “happy” person. We struggle to get out of bed everyday, our brains are lacking serotonin and yet we still fight the pain and that’s why, my dear, you are a warrior. Please don’t leave this life before you experience all it has to give. You are loved, needed and important.