My life seemed perfectly fine to me.  I was blissfully happy living on a farm, between the trees and wild life around and, out of the blue…yes that is right….out of the blue, I became rather nervous being around our livestock when we had them all in the stockyard for vaccinations.  You see, I am a free range pork producer and it is my job to feed the pigs every day, make sure they are okay and work around them.  I have never conducted vaccinations as I have a fear for needles, that is hubby’s job.  Anyhow, my nervousness got to the point where I would kneel down on the ground and cover my ears.  Piggies squeal terribly, for no reason as well.  The noise set me off and I got palpitations, sweaty and feeling like I am going to pass out.   I started getting panic attacks the evening before we are to move livestock to the stockyard for vaccinations.  I could not slow down my heart rate, I could not make the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach go away.  For the past 5 months, I have not been involved in moving the pigs to the stockyard or being near them when they required vaccinations.  I feel so stupid as I used to be involved with all of that until my anxiety set in.  The craziest thing is, I can happily spend hours each day doing work around the pigs, in their paddocks, feeding them etc and never, not once will I get anxious.  I have to confess, working with the livestock every day, you tend to bond with the animals somewhat.  I do talk to them.  All our breeding stock have names and will come running when called by name.  Some family members  have mentioned that I have become attached to the animals, so when they need to be vaccinated or moved to stockyard for loading, it is upsetting to me.  They could be right, I am not sure.  I do understand we are producers and the reason as to why our breeding stock have offspring.   We produce a premium product for the market.  Animals that were very well taken care on a holistic farm.  Anyway, my anxiety has now moved off of the farm.  Let me explain.  I got severe anxiety attacks 3 weeks ago when we had to travel interstate to attend our son’s RAAF graduation.  I did not just have one attack, I had 7 in the 4 days we were away.  I went tingly (similar) to pins and needles) from my face all the way down to my feet.  I was immensely nauseas and felt faint.  I had cold shivers and my mouth felt rather strange.  I had 2 attacks inside a restaurant and one in the auditorium where our son’s graduation ceremony took place. The others were in our Motel room.  I don’t get it, I honestly do not understand why this is happening to me.  I have never in my life experienced anything like this and now when I am 51yrs of age, I get this happening?  Okay, let’s move forward.  Once we returned home, I contacted my GP straight away and I went to see him about this.  He examined me and when he was listening to my heart, he asked me to take a couple of deep breaths, oh my, that was it!  Having an attack right there in front of my doctor.  Probably a good thing so he could witness it for himself.  He put me on prescribed medication for the anxiety and told me to take one tablet at night with food.  I never 100% listen to my doctor so I took only half a tablet that evening.  Now that was an experience I certainly do not want to have again.  I was drugged off my face for 2 days from half a tablet.  I could not get out of bed.  I wanted to vomit the entire time and it felt like my head was swinging around my body.  I have made the decision that I will not continue with the medication.

I am now researching as much as I possibly can to find alternative ways to stop me from getting anxious, stop me from having an anxiety attack.  Before my anxiety started, I never quite understood when someone told me they suffered from anxiety.  I had no idea what the fuss with anxiety was about.  I wish now it was something I paid more attention to, perhaps then it would have assisted me at present, finding myself feeling unwell, when I should be feeling great.  My doctor also said he thinks the reason for my anxiety is the fact that I am isolated here on the farm and I do not have enough human interaction outside of the farm.  Well, I have been here 7 years and 99% of the time, I am alone on the farm.  I only go into town every second week to purchase groceries.  My husband comes home from work every night, so he is here at night.  Before we purchased the farm, I was employed in a corporate field in a city.  I loved my job and I interacted with a great deal of people every single day.   I literally swapped my business suits for farm hat and steel cap boots.  Yes, the lifestyle change was huge but I loved it.  I loved being here in the bush, the tranquility.    So here I am, taking it one day at a time now.  Each day I do not feel anxious, gives me hope that I can beat this.

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