Anxiety Sucks.

Anxiety sucks, a lot.

I’m not a mental health professional, I’m just a girl who seriously struggled with anxiety and depression and through several different methods, found her way to a joyful life.

I used to have such severe panic attacks that I could barely leave the house. Every day was a struggle. I had a very deep belief that I was constantly in a state of imminent death. I went to the emergency room more times than I care to count.

I had this vision of my throat closing up in some sort of anaphylactic shock. I was terrified to eat. What if I had become allergic to whatever it was that I was about to put in my mouth? What if there was an ingredient in the food that I had never tried before, and it caused my throat to swell and leave me in a state of complete panic until death surely ensued.

I’ve never even been truly allergic to anything. I didn’t have a doctor prescribed EpiPen for some crazy peanut allergy. I had never experience someone else go through a similar scenario. I honestly don’t even know where this belief came from.

I can still remember my first panic attack like it’s happening right now. I was sitting in church with my mom and sister. The music was loud, the lights were glaring, and honestly, I didn’t want to be there from the start. I suddenly got a strong whiff of someone’s perfume. I then felt my heart rate start to rise. It was like inside of me there was a girl running a million miles an hour, itching to get out of her own skin. I could feel the pit of anxiety growing rapidly in my stomach. I started to sweat. I was looking all around for some sort of escape or some sign of reassurance.

I’d never felt like this before.

I started to get short of breath. I started to feel faint. My limbs were getting tingly and there was a tightness in my chest that I was sure was a heart attack. If health class had taught me anything it’s that if you ever have so much as a ping in your chest, you are certainly having a heart attack.

I tried to calm myself down to no avail. I had no other option; I was going to have to let this out or I was sure I would collapse on that church floor with no chance of survival.

I told my mom that I felt off. I felt like I was having an allergic reaction. We quickly got up and started heading towards home.

I can remember my sister doing her best to calm me down. Telling me to take deep breaths and counting them out for me. I can remember so clearly my mom saying we would be at the ER by home in about 30 minutes.

30 minutes? I didn’t even think I had 30 seconds left to live.

The panic took a strong hold of me and I gasped to say we needed to get to the ER immediately or I would certainly die. My lips were numb at this point and I assumed my tongue and throat were swelling to a point of no return.

I burst into the ER, still certain that death was imminent for me. The receptionist said, “Oh my gosh her face is red and her lips look swollen, she must be having an allergic reaction!”