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.