I've had so many questions about this topic since my last post. It is something I knew so little about, until it happened to me. At the start, I guess I still knew nothing about it as its hard to tell what's really going on.
Anxiety to me, meant living in constant fear. I was unable to take any medication for fear I would have a reaction. I couldn't read the possible symptoms listed on a medication as I would assume that I have every single one. If a friend told me about someone they knew had been diagnosed with a certain condition, I would become sure I had that too. I had to be careful what I read, because even an article about anything medical would result in me being certain that I also had that particular condition.
Life became unbearable, going from one moment to the next with thoughts captivating my mind to the point that I had completely lost control. There were so many times that I had to call on people to help because of my constant state of panic. I thought that I wouldn't ever step foot on a plane again because I was certain it would result in a crash and even having my hair coloured would take me days to get over, as I was sure it would result in a chemical reaction. Endless visits to the GP didn't help, and I was too afraid to take the medication anyway. I often mapped out a diagram of my body, listing each area and the conditions I thought I had.
Seven years on and I can finally say that I have learnt to manage my fears. I wouldn't say it has completely gone but I am far from that dark place where it was a daily battle. I will occasionally have mild thoughts that could lead to panic but I manage to reassure myself that I am ok before it gets too far.
I am now travelling with my five boys, which seems so far from where I was, we didn't go abroad for over 10 years. I seem able to do so many things that I never thought I would be able to do. Looking back, I seem to have come so far even though there are many things that I still struggle with. I push myself a little more each day, everybody's journey is different and anxiety affects people in so many ways. For me, it helps to be busy, it helps to be outdoors and I have learnt to reassure myself.
I wanted to put this post out there as I receive so many messages about this topic. I hope sharing this is helpful to those who may be struggling in the way I did. Knowing that it doesn't have to be forever, it isn't your fault, you are not selfish and it is OK to ask for help, and keep asking till you find that person that finally understands.