Okay. It’s been a while.
I’m currently trying to fight the inclination I have to write a post about maintaining a blog, and staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page as there are literally thousands of posts on that. So lets just be a little more honest.
In September, I started University which coincidently (or not) is also around the same time I realised that I needed to speak to someone. That something wasn’t quite right.
I guess I had been feeling like this for a while but for once I really cared about where I was in my life and I didn’t want to mess it up.
Choosing to phone my doctor and arrange an appointment is seriously one of the proudest moments of my life. I couldn’t believe what I had just done. For as long as I can remember I have been scared of using the phone. Not like, “OMG the phone is going to kill me” but like, “I can’t hold a conversation with someone” type of scared.
Going to the appointment was also a major achievement for me as it was the first time I went to my GP without my mum. I don’t go to the doctor’s often. I think the last time I went was for hay fever when I was about 15 and I dragged my mum in with me to tell her I needed an inhaler. I’ve luckily not been sick enough to need to go to the doctor for anything too major and when it comes to colds and flu and whatnot I just purchase the medication that I think I need.
It’s probably down to the fact that I feel a bit stupid talking to a doctor and trying to explain how I feel that puts me off talking to them. The conversations we have with our doctors are pretty weird. How do you face them if you saw them in the supermarket? Like “Hey, how are you?” “Hey, I’m good. How’s the diarrhoea coming along?” It’s weird in a supermarket but in their little office it’s totally normal? I do not understand but that’s probably for another blog post.
When I was called for my appointment 15 minutes late I had already thought of getting the hell out of there about 100 times. But suddenly there she was calling my name and saying “hi, Pauline” in a soft little voice. Could she tell I was terrified?
I followed her into the little office and sat in a chair that was a lot lower than hers just to add to how intimidated I felt. She smiled and opened up my pretty empty file of hay fever treatments on her computer.
I decided at that moment that I didn’t like going to the doctor by myself. This would be the part where my mum could make small talk about the weather and ease the situation. The doctor put in a little line about being sorry for taking me late as it was really busy to which I replied it was fine and stared at the floor.
She turned to me and in a lovely little soft voice said, “So, what can I do for you today?” I had rehearsed how to word what was wrong and how I was feeling a million times but I still felt like I wasn’t making much sense. I decided just to open with a pretty blunt statement and we’d take it from there.
“Erm, I’m basically here because I think I might be having panic attacks.”
I felt like adding on a “Fix me, please” for good measure but refrained from doing so and went on to explain pretty much everything that I had done or felt since I was 13.
I’ll probably go into that a bit more in a different post but for now: the doctor.
She said “right” a lot as she nodded and made little “oh that’s a shame” faces. I was pretty shaken when she started referring to what was happening to me as “panic attacks.” That really shouldn’t have scared me as much as it did because I knew that was what they were and I was expecting her to say that was what they were. But, I still couldn’t believe that I had panic attacks. I have panic attacks.
I was given a prescription for some little pink pills to stop the attacks from getting to the stage that they do as well as an app to download on mindfulness and sent on my way.
When I got outside I just started crying. I couldn’t really pinpoint why I was crying but I also couldn’t stop crying. Maybe it was the feeling that I should have done this six years ago or maybe I was just emotional because I had just been the most open about myself that I ever had in my life. What I had just told the doctor was things that no one knew.
I thought that I would feel so much better for getting it all out, and I do to an extent, but I must have been expecting the feelings to simply go away and they didn’t. I was relieved but also slightly disappointed.
Some pills and an app are not a cure for the thoughts in your head.
There is really no cure for how you think but I don’t really want one. I don’t want to be numb to fear as that is terrifying in itself. I just wanted someone to talk to and to finally accept and deal with what was happening.
It was not a cure I wanted. It was the ability to cope.
Since then, I disclosed to my University that I suffer from panic attacks and meet with their councillor when I feel that I need to. I’ve had my medication increased too, as my mum is currently in hospital and the panic attacks were happening way too often.
I suppose I’m writing this as I have never felt less enthusiastic in my life. It is 4 days to Christmas and I feel like it may as well be 4 months.
Trying to stay afloat is all I have been doing these past few months and I’m worried that I might just slip at some point and go under.
I read on some list of top bloggers that there is a beauty blogger (I forget her name) who started writing her blog to help with the stress of her degree. I like that idea and I hope that this can become a coping mechanism and an escape when I need it.
Although I feel like I have just went through the hardest point in my little life so far, I’m getting through it. I will get through it. If this is the hardest then it’s only up from here.
If that’s not something to be enthusiastic about then I don’t know what is!