I havnt written a blog update on life for a while. I think this is because so many amazing and exciting things have been happening that the anxiety and panic attacks have had less air time.
Many of you know that since January, I have been published widely across the media and am now writing as a career. Ive been nominated for a blog award, given my first radio interview, am writing chapters for a potential book and achieved my dream of being featured in Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Elle as well as being a writer for Metro, Happiful Magazine and the Jewish News where my life story was published. And working with charities such as Mind, No Panic, SANE and STOP Suicide and the amazing team at AND Digital.
This is all exciting and wonderful and I feel very blessed that people are accepting of me and my story. I feel lucky to have a new career and to be achieving my dreams.
But what most of you may not see or know is I still suffer with social anxiety.
I was invited to record a mental health podcast but couldnt travel there because it felt too overwhelming to step into this new big media environment. I was due to give a talk but couldnt attend due to anxiety about standing up there on my own being vulnerable. Luckily we had planned for this scenario and they were so kind and used my blog testimony anyway.
However I hate letting anyone down. For me panic attacks happen as a response to stress. I get triggered in new work situations and when I havnt met the person before. Everything feels overwhelming and all I want to do is hide from the fear.
Ive been in therapy for 6 months…psychodynamic …talking therapy and its been helpful. Im still learning to find coping mechanisms as my response to the feared situation is often to cancel or postpone it and shut down.
Im learning how to navigate my new world whilst having a panic disorder. I will get negative thoughts and fears, tight chest, racing heart. And then have to stop the feared trigger.
I know I am not the only one feeling like this and many of you also have anxiety disorders. Please know that you aren’t alone.
Seek support from your doctor and try different methods. I find meditation to be helpful to me alongside exposure therapy and talking therapy. It will be trial and error for you as it is for me.
Im not sure if i should have anxiety medication for emergencies as I already take so much medication. But it could be that I need them in order to function and progress further. Im on anti depressants and mood stabilisers already which help me.
I feel lucky to be able to work and write and blog. I just hope that I can learn to cope better in face to face work situations too. Thanks to all who voted for this blog on Facebook and I hope it will give you an insight.