My Story of Anxiety

My Story of Anxiety
For those of you who are my Facebook friends, you may have seen multiple posts about me being at the doctors, feeling sick and taking multiple types of antibiotics. I’ve kind of been in a bad place this semester.
Since July I haven’t quite felt like myself. I’ve experienced multiple scenarios that I have never been put in before. For example, while we were out at Emerald last July I experienced my first ever anxiety attack. It was short, but the after-effects seemed long term. Basically I found it very hard to breathe, my heart was racing and beating so hard and this made me panic even more; at the time I thought it could have been a heart attack. I cried and all I wanted in those few minutes were my parents to be beside me, which they were, and to be in the comfort of my own home, which was 800km’s away and a 9 hour drive away. After the attack and for the rest of the holiday it felt like I had a huge lump in my throat, like I swallowed something and it was stuck in the middle of my throat. I just kept trying to take deep, deep breaths but I couldn’t. It was constricting. I found eating made it feel better but I would just feel the same after I was finished my food. It didn’t help that we were spending 5 hours driving out into the outback, into Longreach the next day. This lump in my throat feeling continued for about 2 weeks, even after I got home. The drive to Longreach was hard, I found myself holding tight onto my pillow the whole ride because another aftereffect of the attack was a painful chest. My heart still hurt, and now I was getting pains on my left and right side of my chest, pair this with the lump in my throat and I honestly felt like I needed to go to the hospital.
When we got to Longreach, I headed to the hospital with my Mum. I had an ECG (heart scan) and the doctor felt my chest, stomach and asked me multiple questions. He said my ECG found nothing wrong with my heart and that it was all just from the anxiety attack. He sat me down and spoke to me about how to deal with these attacks. I was convinced that this would be my only ever anxiety attack because I had never gotten one in my life. I travel so much, especially in cars with my family and in my whole 17 years of life I have never gotten anxiety from going to a particular place. Longreach is literally in the middle of nowhere. It’s about 600km from the next big town, Emerald, and the drive there is just one big road with roadkill on the side of the road, dead outback. It’s extraordinary, but scary how deserted it is. I think I got panicked and started to miss home, panicked because it is in the middle of nowhere and if something went wrong it would be harder than usual to get help.
When we returned home, I eventually got better and better. Even to this day, I still have regular chest pains, abdomen pains and random pains throughout my legs, arms and back. I’ve seen a doctor multiple times and he can’t see what’s wrong. I’ve decided that if I still have these pains within a month, I’m demanding a full body CT scan.
So yeah, I thought these attacks were over, but two weeks ago I was at Roma Street station on my way home from uni and it was a cold, cloudy, miserable day. I was waiting for the train, and there were “bogans” everywhere on this particular day. I got on the train and there we go, Racquel has another anxiety attack. I was alone, on the train, having an attack. Luckily I had the back seat to myself and because no one was there to help me I had to help myself. I closed my eyes, wrapped my legs up to my chest, and breathed as deep as I could. I put in my headphones with some relaxing music and healed myself. By the time I got home, I was calm, relieved but very hungry. My attacks are usually about the littlest things; this one at Roma Street was because I was dreading the hour train ride home, because it was raining and because the appearance of the people at the station scared me. Silly.  I’ll go parasailing above shark infested waters and I’m happy as, but an hour train ride, or a town in the middle of nowhere even though it has a hospital scares me.
Currently, I haven’t suffered anymore anxiety attacks, but I’m slowly learning how to deal with them. I refuse to let these attacks stop me from doing things. I want to live my life travelling and trying different experiences and I will deal with these attacks along the way. I want to cure myself and I want to have a long fulfilling life without these attacks. I have had another health issue though; a 14 day headache. Yesterday I underwent 2 blood tests and a CT scan, today I get the results.

Racquel Hardie
Racquel Hardie

A twenty-something Aussie woman passionate about travel and documenting everything.

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