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Thursday, January 12, 2012

My life and anxiety.

Hi there, A friend I don't often chat to made me realize that it might be useful and of interest to write about my experience with anxiety, apologies if I whittle on a bit on in this post But I found it hard to write and and its not something you can shorten all though I have tried my best to do so!
AS you've read in previous posts I've suffered with anxiety and panic attacks, Here I will give you a bit of insight into my experiences.

When I was younger I was always sensitive child- very deep and thinking about things that a lot of  girls my age  didn't really think about as they were busy with barbies I would be worrying about becoming ill and dying, I had reoccurring thoughts of fear.
No one was aware I was like this, life was busy at home and not always happy, I was seen as the drama queen so thought that no one would understand, maybe they would think I was ill If i told them my worries so i just kept it to myself, This didn't help ,I was very lonely!
Which tends to rub of on the way I am as a mother today, I'm very aware of my children and their emotional state and really see life and situations through their eyes.
I guess i became use to fear and although I hated it I just thought it was me, but as I grew it seemed as though I'd already endured enough and had been scared for a life time.

I met my husband Andrew at secondary school at the age of 16 -I was a normal teenage girl in that sense and would get that  lovely bubbly nervous feeling every time I saw him or heard his name!

Andrew and I grew together and were very strong through lots of troublesome times, The tragic and sad death of his mother at a young age being one of them, It soon became very evident that nothing would separate Andrew and I ,which turned out to be a god send for me, as who would have known That I would need his support more than ever.

Shortly after the birth of our first baby son Bailey when I had just turned 22 was when I experienced my first panic attack.
I was extremely tired as all new mummies are- I didn't recognize this sensation as tiredness it felt alien. I began worrying that there was something physically wrong with me but told no one.

I was happy with my baby boy after all to be a mummy was all I'd ever wanted to be but I didn't feel good!
It was while I was on a shopping trip with bailey in a local town when I first experienced a panic attack, but at the time I thought this is it I'm dying, the ground went from below my feet, i couldn't see, breath, i felt numb and absolutely consumed in fear.
The worst part was being alone with my baby but feeling like I needed someone to look after me.

Things got worse from that moment on, I really believed I was terminally Ill the thoughts of dying became vivid , scary and almost constant, they took over my mind!
I eventually received help form my GP at the point when after 5 whole nights without shutting my eyes through fear that I would not wake left me no choice as on top of everything else I was now suffering with exhaustion. I didn't want to go the doctor I'd spent my life avoiding them but I so desperately wanted help now. Mediction wasn't something I'd wanted as I couldn't even take headache tablets but in the state i found myself in I had no other option.
The GP described the fear I was experiencing to being face to face with a tiger.
So I received the medication I needed and also along with cognitive therapy  made a slow recovery but it was hard and I still had a baby to look after, Andrews work suffered no longer was he going to pursue  his career as a hotel conference manager and now became self employed as i now had become emotionally unreliable . But through  all of this our relationship remained strong.
Life carried on an even keel , we went on to have two more lovely baby boys, Elliot and Alfie. On and off I was well but in my head I suffered constantly a lifetime of habitual thinking carried on, I had become use to thinking I was dying.
Medication on and off choosing times when i thought I'd be OK but It only took a particularly  stressful time and my thoughts would escalate and panic attacks would set in.
My life was ruled by fear, I didn't watch tv in case I saw something about an illness and this would then set me symptom checking likewise I didn't read anything, other habitual things like I couldn't wear white knickers (don't ask). My life was ruled by things I couldn't do. My life was fear!
I became very clever unless I was actually having a panic attack to hide it, people only saw Shelley the confident, smiley girl " The drama queen" BUt every day I looked at myself in the mirror checking if I looked "normal " but most days i saw the reflection of someone who was dying, I'd become hypovigilant- over focusing on my body meant I now felt every change even though they were normal changes of the body to me they would set the alarm bells off and kept in a constant anxious state of Fight or flight, ready for action, adrenalised .My hear t pounded ten to the dozen all the time it was so draining.

A couple of times things peaked and anxiety and panic became constant going from one attack into the next so I would stop leaving the house everything was a threat to me, I felt trapped.

During  this time I tried to protect the boys for there was nothing more important to be to bring the children up unscathed and happy, This was easy until they became of an age when I knew It couldn't not be noticed, how we dealt with this was just honesty, and talking and lots of explaining.

Willoughby was born September 2009 for most of his life I've struggled quite profoundly not leaving the house much at all, The children have been amazing and its this that have made me realize what incredibly , outstanding, sensitive and caring boys we've brought up.
I'd decided enough was enough, I was not going to live like this anymore, I wanted to run and play with my children.

back on the medication but I knew this was not going to fix it and I wanted fixing!

This where I found Gill and her NPR process I found her on facebook she was like finding an angel! what she has taught me has given me something I've never had before which is to be absent of fear, I'm not scared anymore!

Its been long and hard but no way as long and hard as living with anxiety but its taken every bit of courage I have and termination i didn't even know I had, I'm still on journey but enjoying every step of it now.

And now I can do this ...

 And this ....

And lots of this.



  1. Ah Shelley that was amazing reading this and to tell the truth brought back memories of myself and how bloody paranoid i was of being ill or getting ill through growing up! .. i used to weigh myself constantly to see if i had lost weight which would mean then to me i was "ill" if i had!.. i have got alot better as time has gone on but still worry way too much about bad things happening and like you came to except that it was me and carried on. I dont feel like it has taken over or anything though and most things just get put to the back of my mind and i shut it out and i am happier now than ever and have my kids and Dean to thank for that!. Im so happy to hear you are feeling alot better now and long may it last xx

    1. Oh mich, this gave me goosebumps reading your comment, to think we grew yp as best friends and. Never knew thesethings about each other, i did the oppisite i have never weighed myself just incase id lost weight and. Thought i was ill, thankyou for being honest and. Reading my blog it means alot xxxx