I have just decided to join today to let out some emotional stream that feels a little trapped inside right now. I want to start a blog recording my most anxious thoughts with you all. One, to bring some comfort to other people in the fact that they are not alone in how they are feeling, and two to allow myself to try and remember this fact.
So I've named my blog "hangoverhell" which is literally what I am in right now. Bascially all my anxiety really came to light about 2 years ago when I started university. After two weeks, I was hating it, missing home, felt stressed. I was in the back of my my new found friend's car, with a hangover. Speeding down a moterway, open window and having a cigarette. All of a sudden, a strange noise seemed to be vibrating and thumping in my ears. I instantly paniced. Thought, I AM ABOUT TO DIE. It was the first sensation of panic I had ever experienced however suffering from anxiety since about the age of 7. It terrified me, it just became worse, my whole body was tingleing and ibrating. It felt like I was fizzing out of exsistance. I had to ask the driver to find somewhere to pull over as I instantly felt very weird and embarrassed by how I was reacting. At the same time as feeling this intense panic, my logic also told me that the sound was only the air being trapped in the window of the car because of the fast speed afew minutes after.
I got out of the car and shook my legs and hands about and breathed deep. I felt so confused. From that moment on, having just experienced to complete fear of death, I was left obsessed with the fear and thoughts of having another one of these attacks. From then on, my anxiety became worse and worse as days went on. I was living in the anticipation of having another attack. My head would spin, I would feel dizzy, sick, I would tremble, and become tense, I couldn't socialise. All I wanted to do was stay in bed where I felt safe. My thoughts began to spirral out of control and I convinced myself that I was ether going mad, that I had bi-polar or schzophrenia. I was obsessed with the thought that my anxiety symptoms were a sign of there being something else physcially wrong with me. I went though countless diseases and illnesses trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I became afraid to use public transport in the fear of having another panic attack, especially getting into cars.
I continued to research about anxiety and soon built up an entire project of itself. I had folders, and books and dvds. Pages and pages of writing. I would sit and write for hours about how terrified I was feeling. I learnt everything there is to know about anxiety and it became a compulsion. Still to this day 2 years later, knowing all I know. I still sit and analyse how I'm feeling everyday. My number one fear being death, my core values and beliefs all tell me that one day I will die, and that that one day could be today, it could be right now.
It's like having ocd, I scan myself for symptoms and foreign feelings that I've never felt before, then I obsess over them, convince myself that something is wrong either mentally or physcially. I search symptoms of diseases online and find that I suddenly have all of the symptoms and that I MUST have that disease. It's like I'm searching for some kind of relief, in the fact that, if there actually was something wrong with me, it could be treated and cured and I would feel normal again all of this would go away. But then my logic reminds me that this is only anxiety, hypochondria and a learnt behavourial pattern that is going to be very hard to break.
So although I do suffer from anxiety everyday of my life, whether I feel it or whether I am just aware of the fact that it could come back again at any moment. It is very much worse after I have been drinking alcohol. Because of the patterns in the way that anxiety and panic disorder suffers think, because I had my first panic attack when I was hungover, and it felt completely out of my control like I had lost grip of my own thoughts and body. I feel that when I am hungover, I am out of control all over again, and any tiny small symptom that I have I will panic about. For example it is 8am, having got to sleep at about 4am, I am exhausted but now I can't sleep again because I have woken up with tingling and numb feet and hands which I am trying very hard to ignore but I am already running through what this feeling could be.
At the moment, I am also obsessing over something that happened a couple of weeks ago, I woke up from a strange "sleep paralysis" dream. I don't know if you have heard of it before, but it is basically when you're in a state of REM sleep, your mind wakes and becomes alert before your body turns itself on again, so you try to move and you physcially can't and literlaly feel paralysed. (you can tell i've already done my research into this one) But I am scared of it happening again, so today I know I won't be able to go back to sleep again.
I have considered stopping drinking alcohol but it's a way that I can relax a little and become more comfortable around people, become more talkative and not so introverted. I find it easier to talk to people and my confidence becomes higher, like everyone I guess. So I in a way sacrifice myself as the next day I know that I will be in a state of panic all day and all night but for those few hours of feeling "normal" again, I think it's worth it.
Along with my anxiety I also battle with severe depression. Fighting off thoughts of suicide and self harm on a weekly basis. I feel that if I have to live my life from now on everyday feeling scared and unsafe, I would rather not live. But then I try to remember the good things. It's just very difficult to remember what my life was like before all of this anxiety. It has changed the person I used to be. I used to be fearless and ambitious and outgoing. I would have fun in everything I did, be confident around anyone, do anything, say anything. I would laugh and not ever feel embarrassed. My confidence has completely gone. I know that one day I might be able to be that person again though. I have been through a course of cognitive therapy, dealing with a traumatic incident that happened when I was 14. This is what doctors and therapists thought might have been causing all of this new anxiety. During the couse I discussed a lot of my feelings, and I did get over an issue that had been in my mind several years. However it didn't change my obsession with my health. I know I need to go and seek help from another therapist to help get over my fear of being ill and death. But the waiting list here in the UK is over a year.
I have started to set up anxiety groups, and talk to people as I find it really helps to let out everything that I am thinking and feeling to another person who understands. So that is why I have come here. I will post about how I am feeling, and whether anyone reads it or not is unsubstantial as I feel better in myself for letting it out.
All I want is peace of mind.