I am 22 years old and have always been the "anxious type", but never seemed to notice it myself. That was, until about a year ago. Geeze it feels like it was soo long ago. (Probably because I was in such a "funk" that I wasn't seeing, or thinking clear enough to have any memory of the last few months.) The first day it happened, I had a panic attack. Trying to figure out what was going on, in the midst of the attack was the worst thing I could have done. I drove myself "crazy" for about two hours. The feeling suddenly subsided. Like someone slapped me in the face and said "wake up, You're dreaming." I went to sleep thinking "eh, ok that was weird, I'll wake up tomorrow and I'll forget this ever happened." NOPE. I woke up out of dead sleep panicking about who knows what! I tried yet again to control myself, but it was as though the room was spinning and I had no control over my mind, nor my actions. I developed what I call a slight case of OCD. I watched myself walk out of my room into the bathroom and wash my hands. Walk back into my room sit down, stare at the wall, lie down, then repeat the first action of leaving my room and washing my hands. I thought I was "nuts." It was an "out of body experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I finally went to my mother who was doing her make up in the bathroom, I sat down on the seat of the toilet and started to cry. I held my chest and told her "mom, my heart is racing, I cannot breath, and I am scared."
My sister just so happens to be a Reiki master, so as she heard the commotion she came to and told me to lay on the couch. She began her treatment and I felt my heart slow down to normal pace, my body stopped it's trembling, and my mind felt as if it had just unwind ed from being tied into a giant knot. I sat up and started at the T.V. for about 3 hours.
My aunt came in and apparently called my name 3 or 4 times, and I did not respond until Bam! Back to reality I was. No idea how long I had been sitting there, no idea what the hell just happened. I just felt exhausted and as if I had been hit by a truck.
This was only about 10 am so I had ALL day to endure this feeling and I was NOT looking forward to it!
My mother and aunt took me outside and tried to talk to me. All I could think about was that I was "crazy" and that this was it, I'm going into a phyc ward.
The questions they asked made me so upset, I felt like my emotions were at the most extreme level.
The day went on, I continued to endure this. Drinking tea to "calm me" trying to sleep, only to panic more, because I thought I was dying, so to fall asleep, meant to sleep forever. Even trying to watch t.v. triggered a feeling of worry and fear. The word "crazy" was said and I'd panic, mentioning of a boyfriend would make me think about mine and here comes a swarm of thoughts about how my boyfriend is going to die, or he is going to leave me, or hate me because I can't control this feeling.
Three whole months go by, with day in, and day out, restlessness, fear, worry,panic, tears, anger, you name it, I felt it! I drove to my boyfriend's house at 2am because I couldn't handle being by myself;I didn't want to wake my mother and my sister's were already at their own homes sleeping. As I arrived at his house I saw him and burst into tears, jumped into his arms and said, "please don't leave me." My boyfriend laughed and said, "why the hell would I leave you woman?" I responded… "because I'm crazy."
"Crazy" Not the word you want to hear when you suffer from anxiety and or panic attacks. It triggers your mind into believing that that is your outcome. You will never be the "same you." this is the end of your happiness, because you are meant to live in a shell, under a rock, at the bottom of the ocean.
I had my last straw, I went to a walk in clinic, the day i woke up and couldn't control my anxiety enough to drive myself to work. My friend drove me to the clinic, I sat with the doctor for no more then two minutes, saying only one phrase, "I believe I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety." The doctor started scribbling away on his little prescription pad. Ripped it off, said "take these one time a day, report to your primary physician if you have any more issues." And there I was walking out of that office, pissed off! Not only did he not even listen to a word I had to say but right off the bat he prescribed me medication. If he allowed me to speak, he would have known that I choose not to take medications. I am not one for taking a pill to "cure" everything. I ripped up the paper and went on my day.
Another month went by and I seriously had had enough! Enough of the random mood swings (with which I clearly noticed, which made me panic more), the anger, the crying, the living a sheltered life. I wouldn't even go out with my friends. I pushed away a lot of people, and only talked to a hand full just because that's all I could handle. I thought about, NO not killing myself exactly, but the "idea" of what would it be like if i had died. would it be any better? No, I'd miss everyone, and honestly I knew everyone would miss me. I contemplated breaking up with my boyfriend because I figured he couldn't deal with my "bullshit" anymore. (Mind you I cried when I thought he would leave me; and he had already told me he would be by my side every step of the way through this struggle.)
I finally sought a therapist, physiologist that is. No meds remember? She opened up my mind and allowed me to pick at my own brain. She didn't tell ME how I was feeling, or WHY I was feeling the way I did, she made me figure that all on my own. Finding out the stem root of it all, I had a bit of a shitty life, and I blamed myself for everything. Put a lot of issues that weren't necessary, onto my shoulders. after a few sessions, a few new breathing exercises, exercising in general, realizing my body and my mind were telling me to "slow down, I need to make some changes in life." And a lot of support from my loved ones, I have over come my panic attacks and anxiety. I slapped that "bitch" back in the face, just as it had done to me for so many months.
Am I completely anxiety free? No. Am I continuing to work on that, and work on making the right choices in my life to better my heart,body, mind, and soul? Yes.

I am so thankful I could share, just a little bit(believe it or not) of my story! It really took a lot off my chest to even share with complete strangers!
I am looking into a career now in holistic health care. I truly believe these past few months were "meant to be" in a sense. I am meant to help people, hence why I am currently a certified nursing assistant… but I feel I can really help others defeat this ridiculous problem! I am so willing to learn more about anxiety issues, not only to continue to help myself, but also others; especially the holistic way!!! Because If I could conquer this with out meds, so can any body else!

Moral of the story, anxiety sucks, ask anyone who has had just an ounce of the feeling. It's a real problem in society. Hopefully one day I could find a perfect way to help everyone to not only over come anxiety and these issues that go hand in hand, but prevent them.
xoxo- Julia Lady Illiano

  1. coolbeans 10 years ago

    I am glad that you had such success in overcoming your anxiety. I am also glad that you decided to go into a career to help deal with this issue. I am doing the same thing (going to school to become a Licensed Professional Counselor). We need more people who really understand how it feels and can empathize with their clients. Take care of yourself and have a merry Christmas!

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  2. JuliaLady 10 years ago

    @ plep: The problem is, people who suffer from anxiety, and allow it to overcome their daily living, will then think that anxiety feeling is \”normal\”. It\'s not. People are not meant to live this way. It\'s a personal preference to overcome anxiety with medication, (as obviously I would not do so).
    Keep your head up, the worst thing to do is give up on the \”battle\” against anxiety, because to me, it\'s like giving up on yourself. You\'re better then anxiety, and with enough motivation you can live a worry free, more comfortable life.
    I would love to look into more support groups so to say for people like us. Anxiety has become an epidemic. People shouldn\'t have to do this on their own. I\'m just thankful for the people in my life, because without them, I don\'t believe I would be where I am.
    @Florida &Coolbeans: Thank you, I appreciate the comments. Things always get better. Stay well, Happy holidays.

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