Before I begin this post… I am not a doctor, I’m just someone that has suffered through anxiety, and thought that maybe if someone stumbled upon this post they might find it helpful, and take something from it. Again, this is just my experience, everyone has a different experience with anxiety and internalizes it differently, so I hope you get something from this.
The only way I can explain this, is by starting at the beginning. I remember the first anxiety attack clearly in my head. It was back in January, I was half-way through my senior year, and just that day I was completely overwhelmed. I was walking down the hall with my friends and I just started crying to my friends,and my chest got real tight. Looking back on it, this “attack” (the term I tend to use) was a baby one in comparison to the ones I would experience later on. My friends didn’t really know what to do, I’ve never really freaked out over school work before, and I didn’t know really what to do. So I went to work (where my mom also happens to work) and just started crying to her, she helped calm me down and I moved on. I thought that was just a freak incident, and didn’t expect for it to happen again. Except it did, a days later I was just sitting in Physics class working on my classwork, the room was dead silent, and all of a sudden the room felt incredibly small, I couldn’t sit still, my heart was beating fast, I couldn’t breath, and my hands were sweating, and I literally thought I was jumping out of my skin. Luckily enough the bell rang soon after, I was able to call my mom and she was able to pick me up from school, and I would go hang out at work with her. That happened a lot during the second half of the school year, where I would leave school because I would have such bad anxiety attacks that I couldn’t stay there.
The thing that makes an anxiety disorder different from just normal school anxiety, is that anxiety attacks will come at any time, and for no reason. There have been times when I have just been lying on my bed and i get one, and trying to calm down is the worst. I was trying to find a way to explain what having anxiety was like to a guy friend of mine (he races motocross) and the way I was able to describe it was, that period of time right before they say go. Your waiting, whole body tense, feeling likes something is about to happen, your mind is racing with thoughts, your heart is racing, and blood pumping… but no one ever says go. Thats the only way I could think to describe it to someone that doesn’t experience it. To someone that has gone through it before, understands what its like. Theres no feeling in the world like it. It kind of is always there with you, and you don’t know when it might show up (Like on your school trip to France, first time in a subway, french class, while trying to fall asleep…).
Most people will tell you the most important thing is not letting it control you. Fuck them. I hate hearing that. When I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack guess what it is controlling me. The most important thing is to learn your warning signs, and get to a comfort zone. Mine happens to be either in my bed or with my mother at work, most likely because I’m in familiar places. Some of my warning signs tend to be I can’t sit still, and my thoughts tend to start racing and I can’t focus on one thing. Sometimes I can pull myself out of one, other times I can’t.
DONT EVER FEEL BAD OR ASHAMED ABOUT YOUR ANXIETY!!!!!
That was one of the hardest things to come to terms with. I felt crazy, like I wasn’t normal, I was embarrassed to talk about, and even went through a slight depression when I didn’t understand what was going on with me. So don’t ever let yourself get down about because YOU ARE NOT ALONE! More people then you realize are suffering with this, you will get through this!
Loves and Kisses