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My embarrassing life.

Community Member

um... hi....to whoever is readin this.

This is the first time i have ever done anything like this but i really just need to get this off my chest hoping that the tiniest bit of weight will be lifted of my shoulders.i have no idea what im supposed to write but i hope this is okay....

This is my struggle. This is my story.

My story begins in yr. 8 (2006) when I went to a school production and as I got on the bus I felt breathless and lightheaded and then fainted, this was the beginning of my "anxiety" attacks. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before so I put it down to dehydration and that’s what it seemed to be. But then in the summer of 2007 I was doing cadets (surf life saving) and I had two anxiety attacks in one day and one of them was while I was in the water. I had no idea what was happening to me, it was very frightening and for it to happen on the beach in front of so many people made it that much worse. I was totally and utterly embarrassed. That afternoon I got home and told mum, we both put it down to asthma and she brushed it off while I felt like an idiot. Yr. 9 (2007) was a total blur with me having anxiety attacks left right and center. My first 'major' one was when I was in religion and I got short of breath, thinking it was my asthma I went to my locker to get my ventolin which is where I completely lost it and had a full blown attack. My attacks were varied from shortness of breath to hyperventilating to blacking out in which case I would have to be carried by teachers. They would also be from anywhere between only 10 mins to a few hours. One of the worst cases was on school camp, I went on a challenge high course and had an anxiety attack while up there and my weekend just got worse from there, I have never felt so humiliated in my life. I hated it! it was like having an attack for 3 days straight, I was exhausted, they were almost going to ring the ambulance but I begged them not to. The teachers also wanted to call my parents to tell them what had happened, they did which I didn’t forgive them for. I hated the fact that mum and dad knew. I dint know why, I think I felt they would be disappointed. Anyway through the year I saw the school counselor who attempted to help me with "strategies" they then also passed me onto a psychologist. I felt neither of them were very helpful and the strategies I was supposed to use I felt were just pointless, for instance I had to go through the alphabet. I guess it was hard for them to help me when there didn't seem to be any one cause. The one person I could count on when having an attack was my yr. 9 coordinator, I have no idea why but he was the only one that could calm me and actually comforted me. I will be forever grateful to him for what he did, he definitely got me through the year. Yr. 9 was one of the hardest years of my life. My anxiety attacks made me feel different (that I wasn't normal), that I wasn't in control and everyday that I went to school I felt embarrassed in front of my peers. After yr. 9 there didn't seem to be as many attacks but they were still there. I was still seeing the psychologist but I was really doing it just to keep my mum and dad happy. But inside of me I started to feel down, sad and worthless. I began having dreams and thoughts about ending my life, one day at school I tried to hurt myself (I have never told anyone that before) but not with the intention of dying more that I didn't care what happened to me, and of course nothing happened I just felt really sick and dizzy. But those thoughts were still there, I ended up talking to one of best friends about it, I just wanted to get it off my chest. After a couple of weeks my friend came to me telling me that she was going to go to the school counselor with what I had said, I told her that if she did our friendship would be over. A few days later I was on the bus home when I got off mum was in the car waiting for me which was odd cause our house was within easily walking distance, not thinking too much of it I got in. I could feel the tension in the air I asked her what was wrong and as we were speeding down the highway she told me that the psychologist had rang informing her of my thoughts. I immediately burst into tears. In that moment I was seriously thinking of jumping out of that car at 100km/ph., I felt dead inside, I felt mums disappointment, I felt that my life was not worth living right there and then, I didn't want to have to deal with the consequences and I wanted it all to be over. I have no idea what stopped me but for that 30 min drive that’s all I thought about while blubbering. When we got to the psychologists I refused to go in but in the end I did, we weren't going to leave, as my normal psych wasn't there I had to talk to someone new. So I talked...and I talked and got everything off my chest. How I felt my relationship with my mum wasn't very good and that she didn't understand me, how I felt I was a failure, and how I wanted to kill myself. When I walked out I felt like the biggest weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but I found this was only a short-term fix. When I went back to school I distanced myself from my usual school friends and found a new group, I learnt not to talk to them about my anxiety and sadness if I wanted to feel somewhat equal and if I wanted the friendship to last. I went to the psychologist a few more times that year (2007) but felt it wasn't helping anymore, I didn't find there strategies useful and they wanted to include my mum and I didn't and overall I just didn't feel like the understood. So through the rest of my high school years I had anxiety attacks and still had dark thoughts but didn't seem too bad so I kept quiet. In 2011 I had a gap year and as you can imagine it was not very stressful (I had to have 2x knee surgeries) so from what I can remember I didn't have any attacks but this was one of my happier years because towards the end I became close friends with these two girls. I had never felt so happy, included, equal and loved as I did with my new found friends but also my family and I can safely say if those two girls weren't in my life I believe I would not be alive today, they saved me from myself. In 2012 I started  university and stayed on campus. Within the first couple of weeks I had my first anxiety attack in what felt like forever, and it was the first one I ever had intoxicated, as you can imagine it was not a pretty sight. It went on for at least 4 hours until I blacked out. When I woke the next morning all I could think about was the fact my new 'unit' friends would think I was a lunatic. I was mortified that they had had to witness it and that next day I had another one. These anxiety attacks brought back all those unwanted feelings I had left behind a year ago. So I went to the doctors that weekend and asked for help. My GP gave me two options; either sees a psychologist or medication. I had tried talking to someone before and it didn't work, I wanted the possibility of these attacks gone I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of my new friends ever again so I took the medication , which seemed to help. I didn't have any more attacks but I still had the unwanted feelings. One time in my room on campus I was feeling quite down and felt  like I might hurt myself, the fact that I couldn't go through with it made me feel even worse so I tried to hurt myself another way,  knowing nothing drastic would happen but hoping to god it would. Obviously nothing happened I just felt a bit sick. Then when I would go out drinking with friends, I would really drink, say 9-15 standards or more in 6 hours. Mixed with the medication, I was a mess. The positive was that in those few hours I would forget everything wrong in my life and it would seem to be rainbows and sunshine but then the next day would be even worse with all those feelings coming back along with the embarrassment of the night before. So this summer (2013) I went back to the GP and she gave me a higher dosage of my medication, and it has made me feel somewhat better.

I definitely have my good days but I still have my down days and I all I can think about is what’s wrong with me? In my heart I think no I know that I should not feel like this, have these thoughts. But that’s how I know that there must be something wrong. I don’t understand why this has and is happening to me I feel like there are so many things wrong in my life and I feel like I cant catch a break, a chance to breathe, but at the same time I know my problems are small. In my life I have been quite lucky, no one in my family has died, my parents aren’t divorced, I wasn’t bullied in school and the fact is my parents have given me every opportunity in life and I know they love me. So the question remains, what the hell is wrong with me?  The fact is there are many days in which I wish I could trade places with some poor person with a terminal illness so that they can use my life to its full potential. I still have thoughts about death although in my heart I know I'm too cowardly to go through with it, and I don't think I could bare to put my family through that kind of pain. There’s so much more I want to say, most of this has never been heard by anyone else and to be honest it probably doesn't make sense but as I’m typing I feel the darkness surrounding me getting that little bit lighter. 


1 Reply 1

Community Member

Hi Kari,

Welcome to the beyondblue forum! Thanks so much for sharing your struggle so openly with us, no doubt there are many others who can relate to your words. You know, mental health issues do not discriminate. We don't need to have gone through terrible life experiences to struggle with depression and anxiety: anyone can get them and you shouldn't feel bad about having the difficulties you do. What's important is that you don't try to manage this all on your own. You have mentioned seeing different health professionals in the past but do you see anyone currently? If not, you can call our Support Line on 1300 22 46 36 if you need someone to talk to on those really hard days, and they can even recommend services in your local area where you can meet with someone face to face. The forum here is also a great way to connect with others who are going through similar difficulties, so we hope you stay in touch!

With best wishes

beyondblue moderation team