I try to keep the intimate details of my life private, but I also believe that by sharing the difficult parts of who you are, you can help others who suffer from similar problems, and also help educate those who have never experienced it.
I have a big problem with anxiety, panic attacks, and on occasion OCD in the form of scary thoughts that run rampant on repeat throughout my mind. I've had these problems since I was twelve years old, and they went unidentified until I personally discovered what was wrong with me, at age 22.
Some of the physical feelings that I feel when I am having a panic attack, include sweaty palms, racing thoughts, extreme faint feeling, hunger, shaking, and just feeling very lightheaded and 'tripped out' or like out of my body.
These physical sensations cause further distress, and make a normal person feel like they're going nuts! It is absolutely terrifying.
The worst part of it all is that while you're going through this terror, the sensible part of you is still there, and alert, and knows that everything you're feeling is not real, and is just a physical reaction. So the part of you that is feeling scared and physically ill, is in a constant battle with your rational side that thinks it's all silly and annoying.
I'm writing this because I recently read a brave young woman's post about her own struggle with depression and anxiety, and it inspired me to share my feelings as well. This is what I said to her, and I want you to read it too. I think it applies to people whether they're going through anxiety, a divorce, or lost a loved one... it's about finding the strength within yourself.
I've just read your essay about your anxiety and depression and how you've found a way to deal with that through tending a small garden.
I have severe anxiety, panic attacks, as well as OCD (thoughts). I struggle with a lot, and sometimes feel like I'm going crazy. I have trouble leaving the house alone... The other sensible part of me laughs at this, and thinks that it's just silly that I struggle with something so weird. The medication helps me deal with this, but I never really feel 'normal'.
The thing that keeps me going is my passion for art. I think it's a bit like you creating your garden. It needs you, just like my art needs me. We're creators giving life and sharing our creations with others, and bringing them joy. It's one of the best feelings in the world :)
Depression and anxiety will come and go throughout our lives. That's just what genetics has set out for us. I try to remember that, and know that none of the negative feelings I feel are actually real. They're just the result of some chemicals that are not balanced properly in my brain mixed with memories of bad experiences. I try to accept that, but also try to fight it, so that I can be the best that I can be (even if I'm not feeling any better for having tried, because the point is that I am always trying and never giving up, not ever). I am determined that as long as these problems are mine, and as long as they keep trying to bring me down, I will continue to battle them right back and kick their ass.
A quote that I find inspiring is this:
Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout 'Do your worst, for I will certainly do mine!'
Thank you for listening. :)