It’s been quite a struggle since I had my breakdown in March 2013, and a long hard slog to get back to where I am now. But I can feel it returning. The palpitations are back, along with the anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, headaches and a desire to hide under the duvet and hide from the world. I’m still taking the meds, practicing the CBT techniques and yet feel part of myself trying to slip away again
This time though there is a difference. I’m not going to let it take me down again. Last time it was sudden, I wasn’t expecting it (although others may have been) and was somewhere I’d never been before, well out of my comfort zone and didn’t know how to handle it or what to do. I allowed the anxiety to control me and my actions – or should I say inactions. But I’m prepared now and going to fight them head on. I had some fantastic help from my GP, the mental health nurse at the surgery and the counsellor. And of course I have no idea where I’d be without my fantastic husband, youngest daughter and adopted brother. Others helped too of course and I think they know who they are.
I guess part of the ability to fight is knowing what to expect and that much of it is physical responses to hormones, I was warned that there would be setbacks and the amount of changes this year I shouldn’t be surprised.
Anxiety trigger 1. Giving up smoking on New year’s day. 3 weeks smoke free now, and while I’m quite pleased that I’ve had the willpower to keep at it and it will be making me healthier I still miss it and crave it.
Anxiety trigger 2. Going back to work. Ok so it’s only part time, a few hours a week but I’m doing it and compared to being unable to leave the house at all for months, then only able to go out with my husband or youngest daughter it is a HUGE achievement. The hours I’m doing are increasing gradually week by week and of course I’m all on my own at work, no hubby, daughter just me and everyone else at the company. Some I know as they’ve been there a while but there are a lot of new faces and strangers. Things have changed quite a bit. I do appreciate how lucky I am though; if Carlsberg made bosses they’d be my two. Not only did they keep my job for me but are allowing me to work whatever hours I want and not pressuring me at all. The first couple of weeks I was upstairs with them doing the accounts on a computer they’d set up there just for me. There’s only so much accounts you can do though so I’ve now ventured downstairs into the production area, talking to other members of staff when not accounting. Yes I am bloody proud of this accomplishment too.
Anxiety trigger 3. Losing the support of one of my crutches. Well not really losing the support as such, it just feels like it, their life has changed, they have their own issues and well there are some things that are reminding me of the reason for my breakdown in the first place.
So I shouldn’t be surprised really that the symptoms are coming back. I’m dealing with them though. I’m not letting them prevent me from doing things, I feel the attacks start and ride through them, breathe, use the inhalator, remind myself that the attacks have a time limit and if I can ride through it will go away. I am stronger than the anxiety and panics and I won’t let it pull me down again.