My Anxiety Nightmare

Today,  my anxiety nightmare came true: I had a panic attack in front of my staff.

I experienced my first massive panic attack when I was a young teenager. I was convinced I was having a heart attack, but I didn’t tell my mum because my grandfather had just passed away from one. I felt embarrassed and dramatic, so I decided to keep it hidden to avoid drawing attention to myself. My abuse history opened a padlocked door that’s now permanently propped open, and I never know when the next panic attack will strike.

Many people would describe me as someone who never stops smiling, always makes people laugh, has the ability to instantly light up the room and just seems to effortlessly go through life - the 'Happy-go-lucky' type of girl. In my work space I am very capable and independent and don't ask for much help.

They have no idea I have practiced that smile for so long that I do not even need to think about faking it. That the reason I make people laugh is not just to be funny but because I do not want people to feel the same thing I feel. That I light up the room because I fake happiness so nobody will constantly ask me what is wrong. That nothing I do is effortless and I appear to be very independent because I don't want people to think I have failed. 

No one knows I live with a monster in my head.

But I know.

It starts with a sense of panic. The panic means the monster is slowly working its way up into my chest. Once it is there, the monster grips my chest so tight that it feels like I am suffocating as the air is squeezed out of my lungs. This feeling gets stronger and stronger until I feel like I am drowning.

I scream for help
But no one hears me.

This happened today.
In front of my whole office. 
Whilst I was the only manager on site. (Insert face palm here)

Sometimes the monster is provoked, but other times the monster springs out of nowhere. Either way, there is no stopping it.
The monster is invisible so it may not seem real but..

It most certainly is.

It is not something made up, it is not a plea for attention and it is not an excuse to avoid responsibilities to make life more convenient.

My anxiety is real.

Sometimes It’s hard to make other people realise how real anxiety is.
Today i got, “Well there’s nothing to worry about…” or “Just stop worrying about it and you’ll be fine…” or “Why would you even worry about something like that? It’s so insignificant.”

I know.

I know some of the things that trigger my anxiety are minuscule and can sound ridiculous.
I know that, but I can’t help it.
I cannot stress this enough: I cannot explain why I am anxious or why this or that makes me anxious.

Sometimes it is for no reason. Sometimes there is no reason for my anxiety.

Now, I do not expect people who do not have anxiety to understand, but please be patient with me and do not look at me like I am “crazy.” I already feel like I am crazy and I have little patience with myself half the time. I am also super embarrassed about the whole thing as who really wants to see a grown woman crying and hyper ventilating .

So, On behalf of myself and many others with anxiety: Please realise my monster is not some imaginary friend. It is real.

 Shani
  I have been a member of ChristianBlog.Com for 9 years, 27 days.

  I have published 92 blogs and 266 comments.

 I currently live in: Australia.
K Reynolds+

No, it is not an imaginary friend. It is an enemy that you face, not just once but repeatedly. This does not mean you are weak. It means you have not been conquered and you are in fact... a dangerous opponent. That sort of puts a different spin on it doesn't it.

I do not fight the type of anxiety you fight. I only have caught glimpses of it lurking in the shadows off-stage in the form of cancer recurrence and other such things. Yours however, jumps up on center stage at any given moment. There is a difference!

The center stage...

With that in mind the only thing I know to say is anxiety is attempting to upstage God for center stage is His rightful place. It is not our place nor is it anxiety's place. Center stage belongs to Jesus Christ alone!

I'm standing with you, Shani and I know there are others standing here with you as well. Anxiety does not have you... God does!

The first part of this video clip deals with cancer but watch it to the very end and you will see, it is not just about cancer.

Les B+

I know exactly what you speak of and the reality of constant anxiety absent any external reason. Also, the reality of others not living with it though providing comfort/compassion but never fully understanding. Can only cry out to the Lord for you and I. Often the anxiety 'blocks hearing' any answer in heart as a raging monster.

You remain in thought and prayer Shani.

Charis Williams

Thank you for sharing your story. I used to deal with anxiety as well, so I understand. What helped me was meditating on Philippians 4:8-9 which says (I'm paraphrasing) "Finally brethren, whatever is true, noble, just, pure, whatever is of good report, whatever things are lovely, if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things and the God of peace will be with you". When negative/anxious feelings come, think about what's true, praiseworthy and of good report in your life. Think about how God loves you and has never forsaken the righteous, how he's kept you for 26 years! That's amazing! I'll keep you in prayer :)

joyce+

Aye.
Nasty wee upstart is anxiety .

John Knox+

I am sending you your support angels

wmj

Beth+

What strength it took to write this. You are amazing.
So much love to you, Lovely :heart: :bearhug: