I woke up one day and it was doomsday. It was doomsday every day after that. I feel like I was dying. I lost weight. I’ve had panic attacks. They felt as if my heart has stopped, and I couldn’t breathe. The only way I could take a breath is by smoking. I went to a doctor to find out what was wrong with me. I was diagnosed with panic and anxiety disorder. I had a severe fear of death. I was prescribed with meds, and for short moments since intake, life was normal.
The problem is my fear of going out. The wind is too noisy for me, and I get fearful of other people. I was riding a public commute when I had one of those attacks. I was lucky my sister was there with me. I cannot go out with my friends like before. I played in a band and used to go to gigs, but because I’m afraid of going out, I lost contact with most of my friends. The isolation worsened my condition.
The effects of my treatment took a long while to happen. For more than a year I stayed at home, but my meds helped me to function. I was able to get an online job, and I focused my time and energy on it. I got in touch with my friends through Facebook and Twitter. Little by little, I started going out, first just to a nearby park, then to close towns using a bike.
A few months ago, I decided to try something else. I joined a group of friends in a trip to the beach. While we were riding, I had an attack, and my friends stopped the van to help me cope. The trip back was okay. In a way, the trip was a success for my condition, because I was able to go far, and I was able to have fun again even in a place full of strangers.
I can go out without a problem nowadays, but I still need to take my meds with me. The only reason I still stay at home most of the time is because of my online job. I regularly meet with my doctor just to ensure that I’m in good shape, and my anxiety stays at a level that I can control. My story tells that there is life and hope despite having an anxiety disorder, and you can still enjoy the things that you used to do.