I was officially, professionally diagnosed as anxious. This was both a relief and a cause for more anxiety – now on top of everything else, I was anxious about what was going to happen to me, whether I was ever going to get better, what people were saying about me… endless thoughts racing through my exhausted brain faster than Usain Bolt. August passed by in a blur of one long mid level anxiety attack. Yes, you’re right dear reader, I did have my anti anxiety tablets. But no, I wasn’t taking them. I can’t explain why… most likely I was still in denial. If you have any better theories, please chip in, because I’m stumped!
Scattered amongst the mid level anxiety were sporadic days where it spiked. Looking back, there was a pattern but at the time they were unpredictable, and hit me like a ton of bricks. I now know that they were more likely to hit if I was out somewhere unfamiliar or on my own, or if I was planning on being out and about. This made socialising very difficult, so as a response I stayed in and didn’t make any plans. So much for summer! I went to my best friends birthday night out, and stayed less than 20 minutes as while in the taxi there (I couldn’t face the ten minute train journey), I was hit by the biggest anxiety attack yet. Feeling sick, dry mouth, hot and shivery at the same time, physically shaking, all topped off with a paralysing inability to even speak. Even moving felt like a Herculean task. Even though these are all classic anxiety symptoms, I didn’t recognise that’s what was happening. At my sisters birthday meal, same story. I had to sell my hotly anticipated festival tickets as just the thought of it brought on all the above. The situation wasn’t helped in the slightest by my crippling guilt at letting people down. Just even more anxiety piled on top of the anxiety that was already, and constantly, there.
Things had got even worse. I was pretty much house bound, wasn’t showering, my room was a tip, I wasn’t responding to calls or texts, staying awake until almost dawn, and most worryingly, not really eating a great deal. I’m a girl that likes her food. I mean really likes her food. I’m also one of those super annoying people that can eat what I want and never worry about calories. Great genes. (My whole family are skinny minnies) The upshot of these great genes is that I don’t have an awful lot of weight to lose. But, I just wasn’t hungry. And when I did eat, I felt sick. Even water was too much some days. I nibbled on biscuits and peanut butter sandwiches, and sipped from an ever present water bottle. The worst day consisted of an orange ice lolly and half a cheese spread sandwich. And I didn’t even manage that until 7pm. I spent the day too weak to lift my head from the cushion, and burst into tears when mum brought back an ice cream instead of an ice lolly from the shop. She promptly called my sister, who rushed round to be greeted by more tears and hyperventilation. She somehow talked me down from my resolute belief that I was going to be hospitalised, and sat patiently while I ate my ice lolly one tiny morsel at a time. I realised that my not eating (because of lack of appetite) was making me feel worse. Over the next few days, my appetite slowly got a little better. The whole leaving the house deal was still a problem though. A walk to a nearby retail park with my sister ended with me thinking I was having a heart attack.
It was time to try the pills.