It seems like nowadays I am just standing still but the world around me is moving so fast. I feel like nothing is happening. I feel like I am right where I was six months ago. I feel like nothing has changed; however, deep down inside of me I know a lot has changed.
I know I am not standing still. I know I am moving forward. I know the little changes and the little mindsets that I have set for myself are doing things and improving the quality of my life. However, I do not see the results as quickly as I had hoped I would.
Many things have happened over the past several months. Unfortunately, I am not yet ready to openly discuss them. However, situations have occurred and are occurring. But this feeling of being stuck is what is causing me despair and anxiety.
Since last October, after my trip to Malaysia and Phuket, I developed anxiety attacks. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening to me or how to deal with them. Over the past nine months the attacks have increased in frequency and intensity.
I have always been the type of person to control my emotions and handle my depression and like my depression I thought I was handling these attacks (that is, once I figured out what they were). But a month or so ago, I was in crisis. I had one of the worst anxiety attacks and moments of weakness I have ever endured. No matter what I tried, nothing helped; I wrote, I did breathing exercises, I took a cool shower, I ate a light meal and drank tons of water, I even meditated and prayed.
Nothing worked and it so happened that at my weakest moment, I remembered a girlfriend had dealt with anxiety and panic attacks in the past. I messaged her and thankfully she responded quickly. After I explained to her how I was feeling and what I was going through, she identified my so-called weakness as anxiety attacks and stayed on the phone with me until I calmed down. She advised me to speak to my physician and get help as soon as possible and I did just that.
I called my physician’s office first thing the next morning and explained to him what I had been going through and the events of the night before. He too diagnosed my behaviour and symptoms as anxiety attacks and prescribed anti-anxiety pills to help ease the emotions and symptoms and antidepressants for ongoing use, along with a follow-up psychiatric assessment as soon as the lockdown was over.
It has been about four weeks since all of this took place and I am still waiting for the psychiatric assessment. In the meantime, I have been taking the medication prescribed to me. I personally didn’t take notice to my mood, feelings or behaviour changing over the past four weeks.
My daughter, on the other hand, did. She noticed a huge difference in my mood, in the tone of my voice and in my behaviour. I remember, we were sitting in the balcony listening to music while she blew bubbles. She suddenly stopped and turned to me and stated, “Mom, you seem happier nowadays!”
I couldn’t believe it. My seven-year old immediately picked up on the changes I myself hadn’t taken notice to. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was feeling happier, less stressed, angry or upset lately. I noticed I was getting out of bed more often and even taking her for daily walks and making plans for fun activities. Five months of misery and depression had finally started to fade away.
I am so grateful for that girlfriend, who stayed with me during my crisis and quickly identified my issues. I am so grateful for that physician who asked all the right questions and didn’t rush me off the phone or dismissed my symptoms. I am so grateful that medications like these exist to help people immediately deal with their crisis’s.
I know, I am not completely cured and still have a lot of psychological issues that need to be dealt with. In due time, I will seek the help I need from a psychiatrist. However, for the moment, I have to say Alhamdullilah for getting the urgent help I needed during my time of need.
I normally don’t give advise, however, if you or a loved one is feeling anxious, uneasy, depressed, suicidal or are in crisis, please seek help from loved ones and professionals; from a first hand experience, I promise you, it will be worth it. Please don’t let the stigma about mental health stop you from getting the help you need. Life is too precious to let our demons take over us and win.