I try to be as upbeat as possible on this blog, but I also want to be completely honest with you all – I’ve been having a tough time over the last few days and it’s made me realise that it’s not just been for the last few days, it’s been going on for the last few months without me realising or acknowledging it.
I was at work on Wednesday afternoon and started to have a panic attack when I went back to my desk – completely out of the blue and without warning I started getting hot/clammy, feeling sick, dizzy, hypersensitive to the noises around me, trembling all over and feeling like I was about to pass out. I called the doctors whilst I sat at my desk, knowing that I couldn’t control this with the stuff I’d learnt through the countless cognitive behavioural therapy sessions I’d attended and booked an emergency appointment for that afternoon. I then called my Auntie Magi who’s been my personal taxi (bless her) for the last few months and asked if she could come and get me earlier than usual as I wasn’t feeling right. I closed off everything, logged out and went to wait in our cool temperature reception to be collected.
I think I knew what it was as I’ve had a couple of panic attacks over the last year, but just as I felt like I was getting back to being “Gaby” again (no joke, I actually said this to my boss a few days before) the anxiety of life crept up on me before biting me in the arse… again. I wanted to get checked in case there was something else going on; it’s been a shit old year for me health wise, so I’ve turned into a bit of a hypochondriac and wanted some help and reassurance.Auntie Magi picked me up and carted me back to her house until Aaron could come to pick me up and take me to the doctors for my appointment – she knew I wasn’t right as soon as I walked out of work and jumped out of the car to help me get in, she also refused to allow me to walk up the two flights of concrete stairs to my flat in this state, so to her house it was. All that kept going through my head was how hilariously ironic it was that I’d been taking an e-learning module at work that morning about managing stress and then this shit happens LOL!
Turns out I’m not that great at dealing with shit and talking about it – I don’t do it consciously and definitely tell myself that I’m alright, do the same when other people ask, but in reality I’m really not okay. Wednesday just proved that to me (especially that managing stress module – that shit was damn accurate 😂) and I knew I needed to start sorting my shit out.
So I started to be completely honest with myself – I walked into the surgery with Aaron by my side and told the doctor in a nutshell (well, in as short a way as I possibly could) what had been happening in my life and that I needed help. I said I knew CBT wasn’t going to help this; too much had happened in the last year with my health that simply exposing myself to life wasn’t working. I’d gone back to work on a phased return, had been trying to get back to normality, I was adamant anti-depressants weren’t the answer to this and I needed to try something else. Aaron calmly sat beside me and nodded in agreement that this wasn’t getting any better (god he’s a bloody diamond – so lucky I’m marrying that handsome bastard 😉💍) and he’d like me to get help so I can walk down the aisle properly on our wedding day.
So the next step was to be referred to the local wellbeing team for further treatment – in our area this is normally done by self-referral, but the doctor said it would probably be better coming from them. So he prescribed me some diazepam, booked me in to see my usual GP on Tuesday morning and sent me on my way, confirming he’d be sending them a referral.
I got home and messaged my boss to say what had happened and that I’d try to come in the next day. Deep down I knew I was being my usual stubborn self and that I should really take the time they had said I should take if I needed, but having spent so much time out of work on not being “normal” I just wanted to try. I finally ended up crying when I walked into the kitchen and saw Aaron cooking (HE WAS PREPARING A PROPER MEAL – NOT JUST SHOVE IN THE OVEN DINNER!) spaghetti bolegnaise. He came into the living room after he’d heard me sniffling away and gave me the hug that I definitely needed.
When I woke up Thursday morning, I knew I couldn’t do it to myself. I spent the entire day laying on the sofa watching endless episodes of Gossip Girl, waiting for Aaron to get home, barely looking at my phone so as not to get wrapped up in my green-eyed monster ways. I’ve come to realise that my health (mental and physical) is more important than anything and I need to sort it out so I can move on to live my normal life again.
I may come across as this bubbly, outgoing and extremely happy person (and that’s still part of who I am), but I’m also an anxious, worrying mess at times, which I’ve found a lot of people have been shocked by. I know there are so many posts online about mental health and the stigma attached to it (STILL!). But I think it’s important to continue in sharing our stories (even just snip bits like I have today – this would be a book if I wrote the whole damn thing lol) so that if someone doesn’t understand what they’re going through, they can read it and get the help they need.
I might be a bit absent in comparison to usual on social media for a little bit (I’ll try to get something together as this is my happy place), but just know I’m trying to sort out number one.