This is going to be a difficult blog post to share with you all. It has nothing to do with books but does tie into my blogging habits. If you don’t like triggering posts, I suggest that you skip reading this one.
At fourteen years old, I had a lot happening. I had started studying for my GCSEs, was taking part in fundraising projects with the Christian group that I was a part of, making new friends etc. It was all done and good until one day in November 2012, my life changed forever. I was sat in class doing an assessment, I had revised all of the topics thoroughly and wanted to do well. Then all of a sudden, my body started shaking like shivering type shaking. I started to see spots in front of my eyes, the palms of my hands become drenched in sweat, I started to lose sense of who and what were around me. I didn’t say anything because I was thinking that everyone goes through this at least once. It won’t happen to me again.
Three days later, I was sat on my bed at home reading a book when these experiences came back again. By now, thoughts of a bad virus were springing to mind.
As the weeks went by, these bursts happened more and more and each one was a lot worse than the previous one. On researching the internet for answers, I found something that was to change everything.
It was a panic attack, they were all panic attacks that I had been experiencing. But something didn’t click, sometimes, these attacks would come when I was in a really happy mood. Why did they suddenly appear out of nowhere? I’ll tell you why.
I wrote down a list of possible triggers that could have started off these panic attacks. In 2010, my best friend died, in 2011, a few really close family members died within weeks of each other, I was getting bullied, I have always struggled with various self-esteem issues, things weren’t all that comfortable outside of school. I didn’t seek any medical help about it. And to be honest, I think it is too late for me to do so, let me explain.
On average when I was fourteen-sixteen years of age in my final two years of high school, I had a panic attack every other day and sometimes, multiple times in a day. I was often absent from a number of lessons and when things came to a head that I might not even sit any of my GCSE exams, I chose to leave school early. I believe today now looking back on that, I potentially saved my grades from being an absolute disaster. I was near straight A as well in subjects like RE, History and English.
I left my school with 10 GCSEs, I’m currently re-sitting one at the moment, Maths (sighs), I do like Maths because it helps to take my mind off my anxiety for some bizarre reason, I credit my old Maths teacher for helping me since he really understood how serious my anxiety got later on in high school. Thanks to him.
Here are the symptoms that I get before/during a panic attack:
- Eyelids become droopy
- Skin on my arms turns a deathly white colour
- Increased heartbeat speed
- Spots in front of my eyes
- Lose awareness of surroundings
- Shaking body
- Teary eyes
- Sweaty hands
- Increased loud breathing
Here are the symptoms that I get after a panic attack:
- Emotionally unstable
- Lack of communication
- Loss of appetite
- Negative thoughts
- Needing to go to the toilet frequently
- Lazy slumps
When I feel anxious like this, I put a lot of things off doing because… I’m simply too frightened to do them. That includes homework for College, adding new blog posts to my blog, tidying my room and helping around the house and sometimes, using public transport.
I decided in the autumn of 2014 to get counselling to see if there was anything that could be done to help me but sadly after six months, none of their techniques that they suggested worked so I decided not to continue with it this year.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there is anything that can be done to stop my anxiety. So, I’ve had to manage it for my everyday life. And it has been an utter nightmare at times, I still get panic attacks, I got cyber bullied by some friends from the College I go too, had a bad break-up, suffered from hair loss. I just wished more people would be supportive about it, that’s all I ask for.
I’m not attention seeking, being accused of that hurts.
I’m very determined to leave my College because the experience I’ve had there has been at times terrible. The support from others with my anxiety hasn’t been good at all, I simply don’t fit in and haven’t got very far with my studies. It’s a real shame but people have just put me off from doing anything. I hate to disappoint people but I always let people down, that’s the truth.
But for right now, I would like to finish my course within the next few weeks and be out of there before you can say… marriedtobooks!
(Twitter is @marriedtobooks3)