Last time I blogged I had increased my medication. It was September, not long after my birthday and I was actually feeling optimistic about the prospect of getting better than I currently was.
I was nervous, to begin with, awaiting the same possible symptoms as before. Feeling more anxious, stomach aches and rumbling head pains did flow through however they didn’t last too long. A couple of weeks in and my feelings about everything calmed once again. Although this time I was feeling a tad more confident that I was a few weeks before. I wrote this short blog piece mid-October and never got around to completing it for publishing.
Eight days ago I increased my medication.
With full support from my doctor, of course. In fact, it was a recommendation that was said to me a few seconds before I was about to suggest it. Things were going good, great at times but something was lacking. Something was stopping me from beating through the last hurdle e.g. longer car journeys, especially motorways.
At the Start.
When I first started taking the drug Sertraline it was 2016 and I was nervous. My dad was receiving treatment for a terminal illness whilst my best friend had suddenly passed away. I had been battling on with anxiety for a number of years until I finally bucked up the courage to tell my doctor how I really was feeling.
A little reflection over the last twelve months.
Today is my birthday. It’s usually something people meet with either happiness or dread, depending on what end of the spectrum you are on age wise. I’m in my twenty-ninth year as of September 2nd, which makes me a freshly made overthinking twenty-eight year old. My anxiety all began when I was a child but my first ‘proper’ panic attack began on my twenty-first birthday.
The stresses of not completing all the tasks I had wanted to by that age all came down on top of me. There was no university graduation, no long-term job, no apartment, no savings and no partner (although this wasn’t on my list of things to have it would have been nice to think I had settled down).
We all have music/songs that we go to at certain times in our lives. Me, I like to casually listen to all types of music. From raving it on down in the car with my mum to 70s classics to feeling sorry for myself as I hum Ed Sheeran tunes. The list is endless, they all inspire me and naturally it grows the older we all get.
A song appeared on my Youtube suggestions very recently and it was that that actually inspired this post and it was by the band 1975. I had heard of there music before, I’d probably played it before when using Amazon Prime random playlists but had never paid that much attention – this was until their new hit (after their year-long hiatus) was released titled ‘Give Yourself A Try’. So that’s exactly where I’m starting! I won’t be numbering them, instead opting for a bullet point system – they’re all equally brilliant.
Anxiety isn’t a walk in the park. It can be like the monster from under your childhood bed coming out to follow you around the streets. Invited he was not.
I was told I had anxiety at the age of twenty-one. This unfolded due to what I now understand was a severe panic attack on the day of my twenty-first. Medication and recommended CBT therapy was the prescription. It would fade. That it was not permanent. This gave me some hope, which can only be a good thing. I’d have thought.
Seven years down the line I’m bumping along rather calmly. I still take medication, plus a new additional medication which I started two years ago, and things are going OK. I’m no longer housebound, which is an improvement.
My anxiety started, I believe, when I was a young child. Feelings of being unable to breathe would follow me around. One evening I was sure I could feel my lungs getting smaller and smaller, my throat tightening, so we headed to A&E. A Doctor checked me over. I was sent home shortly afterwards. From sweaty palms, throat clearing, headaches, not sleeping enough, refusing to go to school, sleeping too much, staying up until the following morning and sleeping through the day… the recipe for it all to come crashing down a few years later practically wrote itself.
I’ve always been a lover of all things Dawn O’Porter, going back to when she presented a range of shows on BBCThree. I found myself following her on Instagram a while ago as well as finding her books on Amazon. I’d purchased them (Paper Aeroplanes & Goose) but had never got around to committing and reading them. It wasn’t until her new book, released in paperback this Summer, came out that I realised The Cows was her first Adult novel.
Finishing up my last book I waited a few hours until the evening came around. A mug of tea at my side and propped up on a cushion in the corner of the sofa I delved into The Cows.
To begin with, I wasn’t sure what it was about. Did it involve actual cows? I gave the synopsis at the back of the book a quick read but the quote on the front cover “Don’t follow the herd’, led us in. Oooh.