Thursday, January 22, 2015


I remember the first time I had an anxiety attack....

I was 8 years old. I was taking gymnastics class and my Mom had just dropped me off at the class.  I walked in and I felt lightheaded.  I remember not wanting to go to the class that night and being upset, but my Mom wanted me to go and have fun, and enjoy myself.  Which is definitely understandable.  I remember walking in and feeling like my throat was going to close up.  I went up to the teacher and started to cry, when she asked me what was wrong I said I couldn't breathe and felt dizzy.  She took me over to the chairs at the side of the gym and rubbed my back and had someone call an ambulance.  I was hysterical at this point because I felt like I couldn't breathe, I felt like I was going to throw up and the room was spinning.  I remember the paramedics coming in and checking me over, telling me to calm down and breathe, then they wanted to put an oxygen mask on me to give me some extra oxygen.  I remember my Mom coming back and she was worried.  The paramedics said I needed to be checked out, my Mom said she would take me into the Emergency Room.  The one paramedic gave me a little lion stuffed animal.  The doctor that saw us at the Emergency Room said it was a panic attack.

Over the years I have had likely hundreds of panic/anxiety attacks.  They are never fun.  You believe you are dying, your throat feels like it is closing, you start to sweat, you get nausea, chest pains (sometimes).  The worst part is trying to get your mind to stop because more often than not when you are having an anxiety or panic attack it is likely because you are over thinking things.  The more symptoms that you have the more you start to over think things and convince yourself you are dying and then you set off a whole bunch of other fears/thoughts.  

I have struggled with anxiety now for 22 years of my life.  I have found things that do help me when I am having an anxiety attack, but sometimes even my techniques don't help.  My anxiety over the years has seemed to get worse rather than better.  I am now at the point where I don't leave my house very often.  I don't have any irrational fear of something happening to me if I go out, or that a disaster is going to happen. No I am scared of people making fun of me.  I am at the point right now where I leave my apartment for 3 things.  1.  To take my boyfriend to work or pick him up from work, 2. To go to doctors/specialist appointments, and 3. To go to my parent's house.  That is it.  I don't go into stores, I have horrible anxiety attacks when I have to go to a doctors appointment because I have to see strangers in the waiting room and they might make a comment on my weight.  I miss being able to go into stores.  I miss being able to shop.  But I am so afraid of hearing the comments people make that I sit in the car.  Even driving I don't look around at other cars really I keep my vision straight ahead, in the summer if I come up to a stop light I roll the windows up because people in cars that pull up beside me have made comments before about my weight.  So I roll up the windows and most of the time if I am in the car by myself I have music on loud enough so that I can't hear the comments if they are made if I do leave the windows down at all.

What kind of a life is this?  Honestly, even if I wanted to go into a store I know I wouldn't be able to walk very far in the store due to my weight.  Which upsets me.  My back is destroyed due to the herniated disc in my back, which of course is made worse by my weight crushing it.  

I am constantly scared of dying.  I am convinced each day that something is wrong with me.  For example today I have pain in my leg and my legs are swollen, to the point where if I push my finger into my calf it leaves an indentation.  Which is not good.  My legs however have been swollen since I had cellulitis over 6 years ago.  But I am constantly scared that I have a clot in my leg.  Then my left leg started going numb and tingly so I thought something was wrong with that.  It could be the fact that I have Diabetes now.  But with anxiety everything is amplified all the fears.

I just need to take a breath and breathe.  Do you ever suffer from horrible anxiety attacks?

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