So, this is my first of many posts to come. I decided to create this blog for several reasons. My main reason, however, is to help others. There are so many of us out there who are coping with anxiety and depression, and it can be a lonely journey. I want you to know you are not alone.
I also want you to know that it can get better. It has taken me years to get where I am today, but the journey has been worth the payout.
Do I still have bad days? Of course I do. But my good days are finally starting to far outweigh the bad. If you’re struggling, need an outlet, or just to know that someone out there DOES UNDERSTAND, then I’m glad you’re here.
Because I do understand. I get it. You’re not just a label or a diagnosis. And while most people just can’t seem to understand what coping with anxiety and depression is like, I do.
I get it because I have lived most of my life just coping with anxiety and depression. I am finally doing more than that. I’m learning to control it, instead of allowing it to control me.
Is it easy?
Hell no it’s not. It’s work. Hard work. You have to first start with your self awareness. Know yourself, your triggers, and start becoming aware of when you’re falling into that trap.
Once you’re able to do that, then you can start learning how to control it. And then, instead of just coping with anxiety and depression, you can be managing your anxiety and depression.
Trust me, I know…it doesn’t seem possible. I bet you’ve been to dozens of counselors, psychiatrists, so many different doctors you’ve lost count. Or maybe you’re still new to it all, and you don’t know where to begin.
It did not happen for me overnight, but after years of different counselors, meds, research, etc…I have finally found some balance.
I finally found a counselor who fits my needs perfectly. She is teaching me how to practice mindful thinking, changing the way I label my feelings, and how meditation can help quiet my mind.
I’m going to go back in time and start from the beginning. I want to share with you how it started, and how I got to where I am now. I’ll also be sharing my good days and bad days with you.
Ok. So. *Deep breath* Here I go….
The Beginning –
It all started back before I even knew what the words anxiety and depression were. I was just 12 years old, in 7th grade, when I had my first “episode” of depression.
I honestly didn’t know what was wrong, I just knew I felt really sad and down. I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to talk to or be around my friends. I just wanted to lay in my bed and be left alone.
And that’s what I did, for a solid week. I refused to leave my bed. I went back to school the following week, and started to feel a little better. I seemed to be back to myself, and life went on.
Then, at 13, in 8th grade, I started having the same feelings, but this time they were a little harder to fight. I was also feeling other emotions. I was angry, I started to become more defiant, I stopped caring about my grades, or much of anything really.
My mom decided that I needed some help, and took me to see a psychiatrist. This particular psychiatrist prescribed me an anti-depressant called Paxil. Which led me down an entirely new – and even scarier – road.
I decided to give the Paxil a try. The very first evening I took it, I started to feel weird. I blew it off at first, and tried to ignore it. But then the weird feelings started to escalate quickly.
Anxiety attacks are real
I got up and told my mom that I didn’t feel right, that something was wrong. I started to hyperventilate, and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I had no idea what was happening, and neither did my mom.
She had me lay on the couch, and was trying to be calm while deciding on what to do. The hyperventilating became worse, and then my hands and feet started to tighten and draw up.
We were both terrified, and my mom called 911. When the ambulance crew arrived, they didn’t know what was going on either. I heard them say that my heart rate was at 144 beats per minute. They loaded me onto the stretcher, and put me in the ambulance.
I don’t remember all of the details, but I do remember hearing them say, “We’re losing her, we’re losing her!” before everything went completely black. My blood pressure had dropped so low, they couldn’t find it, and it caused me to pass out.
I remember finally opening my eyes again, and seeing the long bright light inside the ambulance above me. Then I remember being wheeled into the emergency room, where a doctor was already waiting for me.
He took one look at me, and knew exactly what was going on. He told my mom I was having a panic attack, and he was going to give me some Valium to help calm me down.
Almost as soon as I took the Valium, I started to feel better. My breathing and heart rate returned to normal, and my hands and feet slowly loosened up. I remember him telling my mom it was one of the worst panic attacks he’d ever seen.
And that began my journey of coping with anxiety and depression.
This is how it all began for me. How did it start for you? When did you first realize you were having anxiety or depression symptoms? Feel free to comment, or visit one of my forums if you’d like to share!
Now, I bet you’re all wondering, why would a 12 or 13 year old suddenly develop anxiety and depression? It’s different for each person, but I’ll share more on why in my next post.
See you there…