Every day since my first panic attack I face the same dread of having the next one. Will it be in public?, will it start to affect my working life?, will it ever stop?, can i really get the energy together to face the day. In addition to this I spend my life over worrying and over thinking about the most insignificant things. I find myself judging everything I do and panicking that it’s not good enough.
I have always been a worrier spending weeks worrying about whether I have done my job well enough even though I have given 100% to the job. I suppose that I am a people pleaser and even at school I remember not being happy unless I made my parents and teachers proud. As the years have gone on though, the worrying and over thinking has increased and I spend each day mentally judging myself on whether I meet people’s expectations. The funny thing is I don’t like to be praised for a job well done, I get embarrassed and feel like a goody two shoes. I can’t seem to find a happy medium.
I had my first public panic attack several months ago after bumping in to a recent past ex. I stood in the bank five minutes afterwards hardly able to breath and yet felt so embarrassed about the attack I kept my head down and didn’t look up until I got to my car. Up until then my attacks had only happened in my home when I had finished my working day and started to have time to think and wind down.
The next day I awoke with a dread of leaving the house in case it happened again. I needed to go out and even had to ask my sister to come with me as I was so afraid of it happening again. Over the following weeks I dreaded socialising and the thought of being out of my comfort zones filled me with utter panic. Even after reading pages of how to deal with panic attacks when the attack came, I just couldn’t deal with it. On one occasion I called my sister from a bus stop and asked her to calm me down over the phone as I was so scared.
My close friend asked me to revisit the doctors and talking about it helped. I have since refered myself for counselling so I feel better knowing that soon I will be able to talk about how I am feeling with someone that understands. Although my friends and family have been extremely supportive, they can’t understand why I can’t snap out of it. They don’t understand what I feel in my head every single day that I wake up.
Hopefully in a few months I will have the skills to deal with this but feel a bit better knowing that I am not the only one in this situation, so many people suffer with this yet we hide it through embarrassment. I have written this to start to spread awareness of depression and anxiety and hope that it helps at least one person to understand.