Sweaty palms, pounding heart, tightening in your throat. Oh no, it’s happening again. Your mind is racing with every dreadful possibility that could happen in this very moment, what do you do?
For those of us with Anxiety and or Panic attacks this is an everyday thing. To someone looking in from the outside it seems like we must be crazy. I mean why else would we be having a total melt down out of nowhere and for what seems to be no logical reason. They have NO idea what this illness is like.
Let me first start by telling you about my first ride on the anxiety train.
It’s a Saturday night and I’m out with my friends, we are having some drinks and I’m just being the carefree 25 year old that I was at the time. Of course we stay until closing which is 2am, we all say our goodbyes and I’m driven home by a SOBER friend who helps me into bed and off to dream land I go. All is right in the world, right? WRONG! Little did I know that night would in fact be the last night of my carefree, no worries in the world, miss independent state of mind. I had no idea of the horror that waited for me the moment I woke up.
So let’s rewind a little so I can tell you about my life before anxiety came in and turned it upside down. Then we will come back to that dreadful morning when it all changed.
I was always independent. I was free spirited and always up for an andventure. I never took life too serious and I just wanted to have fun, work, spend time with friends and have an amazing life. I had my own place at one time, I was doing great. I was what people call a “social butterfly”. I loved to meet new people and try new things. You would hardly ever catch me at home, I had to always be out doing something. Looking back, life was so simple then.
Ok, enough about what used to be. Now let’s get to the morning it all changed.
I woke up a little hung over like normal for me. Called my friends to make sure everyone was good from the night before, laughing about the Shennanigans that went on. BUT wait, something isn’t right. My friend is talking but all of a sudden I’m no longer hearing her, instead I’m listening to my heart pounding and my vision closing in. “STOP!” I scream to my friend on the other end of the phone, I tell her I’m about to pass out and to call “911”. In a panic she hangs up to call them while I’m left laying on the floor in the apartment, my legs are going numb at this moment, heart is beating out of my chest and it’s all I can do to keep focused enough to dial “911” with one finger as my hands are now cramped to the point where I cannot move them. When the operator picks up I’m crying and begging her to please send help, my speech is gone at this point, I can’t get a sentence out. I didn’t know what to do, was this it? Was I having a heart attack? I left the phone laying on the floor as I tried crawling to the front door because my legs were completely useless at this time. Thankfully my friend had successfully made the call and about 15 LONG minutes later I hear sirens outside. I literally drag my body out the door and the neighbor sees me, comes over to me and props my head up, I can’t speak to him. The EMT’s rush up the steps and immediately start evaluating me. My heart rate was 187BPM! No exaggeration. The EMT told me to “push down” like I had to go to the bathroom so that my heart rate would slow, that wasn’t helping. They carried me into the back of the ambulance where they started and IV and gave me oxygen. At this point I’m having muscle contractions and feeling so alone as the EMT’s seemed to just keep telling me to “calm down”. I kept thinking “I don’t want to die like this”. Once at the hospital the doctor came over to me and said “you had a panic attack”. I’m sorry, I had a what? This was nothing I had ever thought about, read about, I knew absolutely nothing about this. They did blood work and sent me on my way.
That night all I could think about was “when will this happen again”, it was the beginning to one of the worst illnesses I have come across.
I know some of you are probably thinking “really? The worst? At least it’s not cancer”, you are right, it’s not cancer and I’m completely thankful for that but I can tell you that this illness will sometimes make you wish you could just end it all.
Not long after that day I had my second attack, then my third and then multiple attacks a day. I couldn’t work, go to class, I couldn’t even leave my house. I would literally cry every day and beg god to please just make the pain and suffering stop. I was at my lowest point about 3-4 months after that. I was put on medication and diagnosed with Deptession, anxiety, panic and agoraphobia. I told my fiancé that I wanted to harm myself and I meant it. I couldn’t shut my mind off and I didn’t know what to do with all the thoughts.
I had seen doctor after doctor and all they did was prescribe me meds and send me on my way. It was a vicious cycle of panic attack then meds that would make me feel like a zombie, they would wear off and then another attack would come which meant another pill after that.
I started researching everything I could on anxiety and panic. It’s amazing how many people actually suffer from this and yet there’s still nothing to help us except medication and sometimes counseling. OR so I thought.
I started seeing a holistic doctor, she specialized in anxiety and she believes it comes from unbalanced chemicals in the body. She didn’t prescribe me any meds but she did recommend some supplements that might help and a book that she highly suggested I pick up. Let me tell you, one of the BEST decisions I’ve made.
I started the supplements and right away I noticed a difference. After about 3-4 weeks I was actually wanting to leave my room and my bed. I started reading the book she recommended every night before bed and even during some days when I felt an attack coming on. This didn’t completely cure my anxiety and panic but I can tell you that it did allow me to leave my home and venture back out into the world.
I wanted to write this blog to let people know they are not alone in this. That even tho some people don’t understand, there are so many that know exactly what you are going through. In my next blog I’ll go over some of the stuff my holistic doctor recommended. Until then I’ll be signing off to try to get some rest before work tomorrow… or should I say before work in 4 hours. And yes, I can finally go back to work!
Until next time, positive vibes!