I’ve decided recently to feature some guests here on my blog to showcase some other people’s troubles with mental health. Firstly, we have Kayla Maria who talks about her journey with anxiety and accepting that she had a problem that needed help. Please check out her blog by clicking here for more.
Not everyone’s experience with mental illness is the same. Sharing personal stories about your own life and struggles and how you grew to manage them can often give people a better understanding about who you are as a person and how living with such a powerful invisible illness can change you as a person.
I wasn’t always just a girl behind a computer screen. I had a life. I loved working, I loved dancing and I loved the fact I had my own independence. My life was great besides these dark clouds that I carried around with me. Every now and then I found these clouds would fill up, and just when I thought things were beginning to be good, without any warning I would be covered in a down pore of emotions and fear again. Over time this began taking a huge toll on my body. I started to lose so much weight, I became a prisoner in my own body and knew I had to admit to defeat before things started to get out of my own control.
I tried for many months to just brush of these symptoms and try to deal with it the best way I could. I started to go to counselling. I even seen many doctors and tried many types of exposure therapies to help with the fear but with me doing all this too fast I grew a list of behavioural patterns. Anyone who suffers with any form of mental health problem knows that these patterns are very hard to grow out of and overcome. It got so bad that one night I even ended up in the ER. My body physically couldn’t take any more and I just went into shock – I was shacking, crying, and didn’t know what was happening to me. I just wasn’t myself.
After a good nine hours I was sent home with some diazepam and within half hour of taking my first form of medication, I was completely knocked out. My body had become that over-worked that it just shut down.
Since then I have been diagnosed with Severe Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I have spent the last six years trying to fight for my life and independence back. Everyday is a struggle to get out of bed or even to get motivated.
Accepting help and knowing that there is a problem is the first step to recovery; you have to want it for yourself. You have to be willing to fight for what might feel like is a never-ending battle. Living with anxiety and panic disorder is hard and extremely draining on you and the people around you, so if there is anything I have learnt from life with anxiety and my journey to help and recovery is…
- Don’t fight the bad days, Your going to have them. Allow yourself this chance to think hard about what could have caused this way of thinking, and be the first to know that the way your feeling is okay and your anxiety can not physically hurt you.
- Do things at your own pace, You will recover from this when your ready; it may take weeks, months or years, but just know that you should never compare your beginning to someone else middle.
- Ask for help. No matter how much I tell myself its okay to do so I always have this little voice telling me to deal with this alone. Truth is you won’t deal with it; how your feeling will just continue to build up inside until your body or brain can not handle it any more. Know that there is always someone who loves and supports you, lean on them and don’t fight this alone.
- Be happy – I can not stress this enough. Stop focussing on all the negativity and material things; know that there are hundreds of us here on the net going through the same thing and that if we lean on one another there is hope 🙂
I wouldn’t wish anxiety or panic disorder on anyone. It’s a life controlling illness and I’m so lucky to still have my partner of nine years by my side. Even though I have been out of work for five years I have spent every single day fighting; trying new things: changing medication, trying relaxation techniques etc.
My partner eventually had to quit his job four years ago because it got to the stage were it was too draining on him. He was trying to care for someone with a 24 hour illness and work at the same time. Its not a easy job for a 24 year old male who is trying to live his own life also. I really take my hat off to him for being as amazing as he has been.
Living on little money and trying to live life is hard and upsetting at times but were healthy and happy so for me thats all that matters. I do wish that people wouldn’t be so quick to judge us or anyone with a mental illness; we may not be independent or be crazy fun party people but I know that I have a huge heart and I will help anyone I can before I help myself, even if it means giving up the little bit I do have in life to put a smile on other peoples faces.