So after my first experience of be hospitalised for my condition it took me a long time to get back onto my feet again and accept what had happened to me, years in fact. But eventually there came a time where I was at peace with myself and my condition. The struggle has been real and I have faced some very difficult times and situations due to my condition. The first hurdle that I had to face was coming to terms with the fact that people in my community thought I was “crazy” and the taboos attached to being hospitalised for having a mental condition. It put so much strain on my relationships that I lost many friendships in my early twenties and like the saying goes, it did really show me who my good friends are and for that I am forever grateful.
We all get faced with difficult situations in our lives but we can’t let them dictate who we are, only we can chose how we deserve to be treated and only we can chose how we perceive ourselves. This is what I’ve learned from having many set backs and struggles in my life. In no way do I see myself as a victim but maybe a mental and emotional warrior. My story is a sad story at times but it is also a story of inner strength, compassion, love and determination.
Being in public was and still is hard for me as I often become flooded with huge amounts of anxiety, and paranoia about what other people are thinking of me, I’d often suffer from social anxiety which in itself for me was a fear of being judged. After the third time of hospitalisation I began to have major panic attacks. I remember the first panic attack I ever had like it was yesterday. It was so vivid and so horrible and I had no idea what was happening to me.
I was out at a local bar with a couple of my friends when all of a sudden EVERYTHING became too overwhelming, the room seemed to become hotter, the music and background noise became louder and invasive, all the colours in the room seemed to be so overwhelming and bright that I couldn’t focus on anything. My breathing began to slow down as my throat seemed to tighten, I had random thoughts racing through my mind and my clothes began to feel so constrictive. I had to leave in that instant so I did, I told my friends I had to leave and I almost ran out of the place, getting to the car taking off my shoes, belt and anything that felt too constrictive on the way.
These kind of attacks happened at least once a month for about three and a half years until I learned to overcome these demons. My doctor thought I was having anxiety and prescribed but it wasn’t until years later when I overcame these panic attacks and learned the difference between panic attacks and anxiety did I realise I’d been having them for years straight. Each time they would get that bad to the point where I would pass out. On the up side I’d always wake u feeling ok but those moments before felt like absolute torture. Fortunately though with the help of low doses of medication and lots of personal work on myself I taught myself to overcome my panic attacks. I still do get mild forms of anxiety form time to time but luckily enough I no longer suffer from full blown panic attacks.
Anyone who has experienced these or still does I feel your pain. There was a time where I could even hear someone talk about anxiety of panic attacks without going into “panic mode”. There was no real rhyme or reason to my attacks as they would happen whether I was out in public or sometimes just in the company of close friends and family. My friends would often get frustrated at me as they didn’t undertaking what was happening and they would often just want me to be ok, as did I. But I would always have to leave the party or wherever I was to be on my own, lie down and eventually fall asleep. It was a very challenging time for me as I never knew when they would happen and it would often cause strain on my friendships and disrupt my life. I remember one New Years Eve I was out with my friends, had my hair done, make-up, new dress and everything but I was only out for about half an hour before I had to head home with a full blown panic attack under way. When this would happen I would want to talk to the people around me but that would be virtually impossible as my mind was racing that fast and my throat felt like it was closing over and I could not breathe properly, the attack would take completely over to the point where I’d have to leave no matter what.
Over the years though the panic attacks became less frequent and slowly turned into anxiety. Which I still get from time to time but nowhere near as badly as it was in those first few years. My point is no matter what anyone tells us, we are power beings our minds have very strong and power capabilities to over come anything, everything heals overtime, even our minds. At one stage my doctor had me believing that I would have panic attacks for the rest of my life, but that is definitely not the case. I haven’t experienced an attack for years and we can teach ourselves to overcome anything. It all starts with the choice and the belief that we can.
6 years ago there would be no way I could even write or talk about this kind of stuff, but look how far I’ve come, to anyone that is going through anything similar please do not give up, you are not alone, there are so many options out there to help us heal as long as we are open. Our minds are incredibly powerful objects and if we use that to our advantage we can overcome anything.
Please feel free to comment or ask any questions
Love and Light,
The Ghetto Mermaid xo