So, a little about me… my name is Leah, I’m 23, wife to my gorgeous husband and mummy to my cheeky three year old boy, Thomas.
My anxiety all started about a year ago, if you would of asked me what anxiety was before last year…I would of said I’ve not got a clue! You can’t see it so surely it’s not real? How wrong I was.
My anxiety all began a few months prior to my wedding day, family and friends all said it was “normal” to have sleepless nights and constant worry. I’d never been married before so as far as I knew, maybe this was what every bride went through.
The constant feeling of worry soon turned into sweating hands and feet, pins and needles and the worst of all…chest pains.
It was a busy day in the office, but that wasn’t unusual. I can remember talking to a friend about what I was going to make for dinner, (I don’t want to bore you but normal conversation) when the pains started coming slowly at first then hard and sharp, consequently my breathing became faster it felt as if the air was sucked out of the room, I fell to the floor clutching my chest in what was the scariest pain imaginable.
I’d just experienced my first panic attack.
I was rushed to A&E, convinced I had had a heart attack, In the ambulance the paramedics hooked me up to the ECG machine, when we arrived to the hospital they carried all the tests imaginable. Hours later and now in no pain at all, the doctor discharged me and said have you had a panic attack before? I said no, never!
when I got home that evening, still a little embarrassed for causing such a fuss. I began to google my symptoms, that’s when the world of anxiety was opened up to me for the first time.
My mum begged me to go and see the doctor, and reluctantly I did. Once again he told me that everyone experiences different levels of anxiety at some point in there life. He too told me I wasn’t weird for feeling like this, and prescribed a very low dose of medication, specifically for treating depression and anxiety.
He told me that of course this wasn’t a long term fix, but I was elated that I could walk down the aisle and not have the shakes!
So June came last year, and I had the most amazing day off my life. I couldn’t of imagined a more perfect day, I remember thinking to myself, now this this is all over I’ll go back to my usual fun and outgoing self.
But the next day came, and the next, then weeks turned into months and I was changed forever. My husband is great, like really great…but doesn’t understand the daily battle in my own head.
With a broken leg, you can see the blood and the bone, the person screaming in agony! But with anxiety, it’s a hidden illness, I don’t scream and I don’t shout, but inside my head is a battlefield. How can you talk about something that even you don’t understand?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a wife, a mummy and work a busy full time job.
But it doesn’t stop me worrying about getting the bus to work in case there’s no room for the buggy. It doesn’t stop me from not being able to get into a lift because I’m so petrified that it will break and I’ll be stuck and have another panic attack.
Its the most logical and normal things that millions of people do every day and wouldn’t give it a second thought, but I do. I give it thousands of thoughts and sleepless nights.
Thats why Ive joined this help group, I’m not a big success story whose beaten anxiety and never looked back. I’m a work in progress, I live with this hidden illness every day. Smiling through the fear of the what if’s?
Id love to talk to people who feel they can’t explain the battle, maybe it’ll help find the words and way to move forward.