Im sure you’ve heard people speak about anxiety, but have you really listened?
I know its hard to understand if you’ve (luckily) never suffered from it. I wouldn’t understand it either if I wasn’t one of those who it attacks constantly. Until recently that it, but I’ll get to that further into this post.
It consumes you. It sucks every bit of energy out of you. You can have all the help in the world standing next to you, but when that attack hits, it’s you who has to get yourself out of it.
You struggle to breathe. You feel delirious. Everything closes in.
You may have an anxiety attack where you’re hyperventilating. You can have one where you’re sat in silence. I’ve had both.
You can come round quickly from it, or you can have the intense panic attack hangover.
Let’s start from the beginning, well from where I remember anyway.
I’ve always been know as the class clown, the annoying one, the one who goes over the top. I’d panic at many things, but hide it with a huge personality and excessive talking. I’d always appeared that confident kid, the one with no care.
Growing up, I thought I needed the attention. I guess it was my way of hiding my insecurities. I had many of those, and to this day I still do.
Into my teens I found school hard, like so many others do. I felt I needed to fit in, but of course I never did. I’m the girl who people would laugh and joke with, but that’s as far as it would go, I felt. Apart from the few friends I had (I still speak to now, I just never felt like I fitted into anyones circle).
By the time I was 18 I just took this as, well this is me. Maybe I am this odd ball, with the biggest personality. The one who has to stand out but wishes the world would swallow her whole. I had no idea what anxiety was, you see.
I would go out drinking with friends and 7/10 times I’d be in the backroom having panic attack. The doormen were great about it, they were really lovely, but always put it down to alcohol. But I knew that wasn’t it. Why was I even panicking? I was having a great time! The problem was, that great time was just a front. Ugh I wish I knew back then!
By the time I was 19, I met my now Husband, Malik. Anyone who has met him, knows he is such a gentleman and as patient as they come, well you have to be being married to me haha.
Looking back, it’s so embarrassing him turning up and Id be having a panic attack outside my flat. *Face palm*. The thing is, he didn’t batter an eyelid, that’s when you know you’ve met the right person I’m sure. they see you at your worst yet stay with you through all the hard times you go through.
Back then though, I didn’t know exactly what a panic attack was. you see, it’s only recently (maybe 2 years?) that I actually realised I suffer with anxiety. That this big clown I am around people is a front, that I now understand it. Getting others to understand though, that’s a whole different ball game. The word ‘anxiety’ is thrown around pretty easily. Pretty much like ‘OCD’ too. It’s passed about in conversations even when people actually don’t suffer with it.
I was in hospital not too long ago with more heart problems. I was showing many signs of a heart attack. I have a heart murmur anyway so I knew I had to (reluctantly) get to a&e to be checked out. I had all the normal tests. Bloods, ECG etc. I was spoken to by an amazing specialist in cardiology. I can never fault them, they’re always so great with me, APPLAUSE FOR OUR NHS!
After all the tests and so fourth, the Dr came in and spoke with me. She asked if I was stressed? I replied no, nothing more so than normal being a Mum to three boys. She then said she believes it my anxiety. Id been having silent anxiety attacks which I didn’t even know of and they had shown signs of a heart attack. You see, anxiety is that serious that it can come across that bad. So many people get taken to hospital with heart attack symptoms when it is their anxiety. She felt bad saying to me and didn’t want me to think she was just playing my anxiety down. We had a talk about it and I appreciated that I wasn’t being spoken to like I was wasting anyones time and it was good that I came in.
After this, I knew I needed to make a change. I needed to find something to help myself.
During yet another anxiety attack (they were pretty often, almost daily around august-November) I decided to look up hypnotism for this. I wanted to see if someone could help me. Thankfully I spoke to a few people and I was close to booking someone in the next week, I just needed to get the confidence and no panic about someone coming around my home to speak about it. That alone sounds ridiculous as I have clients almost daily coming here, but that’s different, photography is a focus.
My Husband often came downstairs when he woke (night worker) and would find me in a silent anxiety attack on the sofa hiding under a blanket. He knew. His words were usually ‘Are you feeling blah? Shall we watch a movie?’. And so we would, in silence with a hug, him now I was having an anxiety attack hangover (trust me, these are real and usually the worst part of an attack).
On the way back from walking my sons to school one day, an advert in the chemist caught my eye. Calling Marny back on his scooter, I decided to listen to my head and pop into the chemist. Speaking to the lady at the till, she wasn’t 100% sure on it as she was new to it too. She has a daughter that is quite anxious too, especially around her exam time. I said I would love to try it, that I had to try something as I was getting drained daily by the constant attacks. My soul just couldn’t keep going and it wasn’t fair on my children, Mummy feeling so drawn all the time.
Once I purchased, she asked me to give feedback when I felt like it was working or not working. No doubt I would!
So, home I went with this little bottle of miracle oil. Surely a pippet of oil couldn’t help that much?
Sat at my desk with this bottle, I googled over and over to make sure I was about to take the right amount in the best way. ‘half a pippet under the tongue and leave it there for 1-2 minutes’. Easy enough. It wasn’t even that bad. I mean, it tasted like mown grass smells but only for a couple of minutes. Within 30-40 minutes I felt a smooth surge of calm all over. I can’t even put into words the exact feeling, it wasn’t a crazy surge. It was so calming. I felt ok. That doesn’t sound like much but I am telling you, I had not felt ‘ok’ in the longest time.
My good friend Lauren rang me about an hour after I took it and said I sounds quite different. I wasn’t manic. I wasn’t darting about. I was sat still and focused without really trying. It was working! That tiny little bit of oil seemed to sort my chemical imbalance and I felt OK! I can now sleep within minutes instead of it somethings taking hours. All the envy of seeing my husband fall asleep within seconds was now gone, because I can now too!
Every morning I do the same. It’s now my morning routine. November 20th I believe it was when I started this, and I haven’t felt a moment of anxiety since. Do you know how freeing that is? No flapping my hands uncontrollably, no tapping my feet insanely.
I’ve even recently been out with friends without a single anxious feeling. I was in the moment. I was in every single moment. I laughed so much without worry. My real friends who know the anxious mess I usually am but love me for it anyway. I have finally found my circle. My girls, you know who you are and I’m so grateful to you for not just chucking me out like many others have.
I highly recommend trying this. Not from a medical background, but from someone who has experienced high anxiety her entire life and is now in the light. I’m now no longer that class clown. I’m anxiety free Aimee-Jo, and I feel OK!
Thankyou for taking the time to read my mumbling. I really hope this helps you know you’re not alone, My crazy self now speaks out about it alot, probably more than I should but hey, that’s me! I’ll still always be the chatterbox 😉
Oh and some of my friends have started it too, and it’s also changed their lives. I LOVE THAT!
I personally used Celtic Wind CBD oil which is available online and in Lloyds Pharmacy stores.
I’m also calmer now in my studio sessions (still that big personality don’t worry) but now not hiding behind a mask.
Photography is such a huge focus in my life and will always continue to be, even with Anxious Annie comes around again.
Please listen to friends who you think/know are suffering. We just need to be listened to without judgement. It means alot.