People would describe me as a person who was strong, full of life, ballsy, outgoing, overly social, and fearless. When I began my first year of college I made friends within the first 20 minutes of orientation. I didn’t force myself to be social, it was just my natural instinct and who I was to be so engaged with my social surroundings. I had the friends, the parties, the girls, the girlfriends and A's and B's while studying Police Foundations. I was also in the best shape of my life, going to the gym, practicing my cardio and endurance for the police program.
In March 2015, I experienced some odd chest tightness, had episodes of trouble breathing which I found odd because I was just sitting on my computer. My brother drove me to my doctor, where she performed an examination on me and found nothing wrong. Over the next 3 weeks I visited my doctor every other day because the pain was not going away and I wasn’t understanding what was going on.
A month later, I developed an eating disorder where I couldn’t relax myself while eating and I needed water to get down the food. My biggest fear was giving up food because i could eat well over 5000 calories and not be sick. Two weeks went by and after finishing 2nd semester I couldn’t even manage to have one full meal a day. I went from 71kg (156 pounds) to 62kg (136 pounds). This was when my anxiety and panic attacks got worse. One night a few days after my birthday, I couldn’t keep my body in control. I was shaking, couldn’t catch a breathe, had a hard time responding to my parents sitting right across from me in the same room, then I fainted, woke up and my parents drove me to the hospital.
After three hours of waiting, I finally went to see the doctor and his words were "you're fine, you are free to go.” I responded, "What do you mean I’m fine, I had a panic attack, I’m losing weight and I cant fully move my legs or hands.” He answered me, "You're fine, are you trying to get attention kid?” My final response was, "Doctor, you never treat a patient like that ever".
As the months went by, I barely left the house during the summer. I couldn’t properly enjoy going downtown with friends or being the person I was before all of this. July 25, 2015, I felt the lowest I have felt in my entire life, I never thought I would ever think to resort to pulling the plug. My life had felt so bad at that point, I thought ending it would have been the best option. Five minutes before I was planning to attempt the worst choice, something said to my brain "Don’t do this, go get tested and checked, you're better than this, you're stronger then this".
A week later in August 2015 I booked a CT Scan, ECG, Ecko Cardio Gram, Endoscopy and a breathing test. All tests came back normal, so I knew it was only anxiety. My doctor then recommended that I take CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
It has been almost a year sine then and I’ve dealt with my anxiety and panic attacks (without medication). On April 14, 2016 while at work, I choked on food, had a panic attack, fainted and the moment I woke up, paramedics arrived on site to take me to see a doctor (who didn’t help at all and barely looked at me). So I guess the next chapter of my story will be taking the paramedic’s advice, "Would you rather suffer from the pain of having panic attacks and paying for the ambulance or having short term side effects from medication that will help you in the long term.”
I just want everyone to know that anxiety, panic, bi-polar disorder and all these issues people go through is part of life, we just have to know life isn’t a playground, we will have obstacles, we will have to fight for our lives, experience things that cause us bodily harm - both inner and outer - but the main point is, if anyone feels alone, you're not. There is someone out there who knows exactly what you're going through. Much love, much respect!