It was supposed to be a holiday.
The year was done, we had just come back from a New Years festival and it was the morning after a really fun night out. I was having coffee with some friends, and it hit me. All of a sudden I was running to the bathroom, my head spinning and the feeling that I was going to suffocate overwhelmed me, I thought I was going to die. It lasted for about fifteen minutes before I could think straight, and the rest of the day I spent scared that it would happen again.
From then on it was always at the back of my mind, and I felt so nervous that it would come back spontaneously when I wasn’t expecting it to the point that I was always scrutinising every interaction I had with everyone, assuming the worst of every situation. It wasn’t until the third time I had an attack that I saw a counsellor about it, and talked to a few friends about what was happening. I learned from talking to a counsellor about it that I needed to take care of myself and my physical health to make sure it didn’t effect my mind, which has worked mostly. More than that, I found that being able to talk to someone you trust about it is the most reassuring thing you can do about an issue which is so unpredictable.
Image: ‘a captive of my own mind’ by Katie Joy Crawford