On The Edge, But Not Of Glory
This is an unusual time for me to do a post. For starters I should be at work right now but I’m staying at home today due to something I feel the need to discuss.
For the past few months, I’ve been experiencing a lot of nervousness. At first I thought it was because I was starting a new job and everything about working and earning my own way was new to me so that was really to be expected. But as the weeks went by, that feeling of nervousness and being on edge didn’t subside. The bus ride to work would be sheer torture because the whole time I would feel so anxious. But the moment I sat down at my desk, the anxiety went away. More weeks went by and slowly the anxiety started to last longer. It would last up until lunch time and then go away again. That was June and now in September, I’ve had my first major anxiety attack.
As I was lying in bed last night, my heart rate started to increase and I could feel my bed shaking with every beat. I have no idea what triggers these waves of anxiety but I am determined to figure it out. Basically, after some deep breathing and sitting up in bed I managed to doze off only to wake up feeling physically ill. I struggled through the morning, ate a filling breakfast (big mistake when you’re feeling nauseated all the time) and walked down the hill to the bus stop. The bus ride into town is the worst part. I had to get off at the first stop in town because I couldn’t manage staying on the bus any longer. I went straight for the public toilets where I sat there with tears streaming down my face wondering how the hell I was going to make it through the day.
I made it to work 15 minutes late, turned on my computer and tried to get to work. “Tried” being the operative word. I just couldn’t function. My heart was pounding, the nausea was getting overwhelming, my body was shaking and I was feeling so hot that I had to hold my cold water bottle against my forehead to calm down. Fortunately, I work in the same office as my Dad and when he asked me how I was, no words were needed in order to see how I was. Needless to say, he sent me home.
I haven’t told my family about these issues that I’ve been having. I find it difficult to be honest with my family about these kinds of things because I feel as though I’m disappointing them. They have never had any kind of expectations of me so I don’t know why I do myself but I just have never been able to have deep down conversations with them.
Today I opened up to them.
As soon as I got home I called my Mum who lives 4 hours by car away from me. You see, my Mum has had mental issues as well. In 2007, she had to leave work due to depression and anxiety and I felt most comfortable talking to someone who actually understands what it’s like. As soon as she picked up the phone I burst into tears. I opened up about everything stemming from my anxiety to my eating disorder to when she left her ex-partner back in late 2007. I can honestly say that I have the best Mum in the world. She talked me through everything. She told me that she will be here for me in a flash if I needed her. She explained to me for the first time ever what her life has been like due to her anxiety and depression. She then started talking about something that I think we can all relate to. That, my friends, is control. Even though we suffer from the same mental illness, she handled it in a different way to me. Instead of gaining control of her life by engaging in eating disordered behaviours (for the most past) like me, she handled it a different way. But the moment she started talking about control and how there are just things in life that we can’t control and that we need to just accept it, I felt a connection to my Mother that I’ve never felt before. She gets it. She just gets it.
When I hung up the phone, I felt relieved and yet saddened to know that my own Mum has been through so much. I have a new found respect for her 🙂
I spent the day trying to take my mind off of everything. I watched Jersey Shore (no shame. Snooki got punched in the face), had a nap and went for a walk.
When my Dad got home, he had no idea what was going on with me at this point. He just thought that I had some kind of stomach flu. Now, my Dad isn’t your average Dad. He’s quite a softy. When my Mum left in 1995, he took over the role of both parents and did everything for me and my Brothers. It is safe to say that I am without a doubt a daddy’s girl. When I explained to him what I’ve been suffering through, he sat down beside me, grabbed my hand and held it tight. As he was telling me how sorry he felt for me he started to fight back tears in his eyes. I don’t mean to sound “up myself” or anything but I am his pride and joy and I know that. I’m his only daughter and we do everything together. To hear that your baby is battling an eating disorder and is currently struggling with anxiety attacks can be quite heart breaking.
We sat there in silence as he held my hand and looked at me. Then he said, “You know I am so proud of you. I will be there for you whenever you need.” Just being able to hear words like this from people who love you can make such a huge difference to your state of mind. I have been told that I must tell my parents whenever something is bothering me no matter how big or small it is. This is going to be hard for me because I have never really done that before but I think it’s the start of a new kind of relationship between me and my parentals, that’s for sure.
I’m going to discuss possible medication with my doctor this week. For an entire year they’ve tried to get me on anti-anxiety medication but I’ve flat our refused. Now, I’m desperate and am willing to try it just so that I can possibly get the anxiety under control somewhat.
I don’t have any answers for this or any clue as to why I am anxious in the first place. It is obvious to me now that this is the reason why I developed an eating disorder and not the other way around. Right now, covering up my issues by engaging into eating disordered behaviours is just creating even more problems on top of what I already have. Quite frankly, I can’t be bothered with that shit anymore. It’s time to tackle the real issue head on no matter how uncomfortable it may make me feel. The time is now.
Have you ever suffered from anxiety?
Do you have any tips to calm yourself down during an attack?