March 13 2016. Life was great. I had my dream job as an emergency services comms operator. I was a recruit in the New Zealand Volenteer Fire Brigade. I had a beautiful home with the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with. I was so blessed and greatful for all I had.
Sunday morning was an early rise as I had to head out of town for day 2 of my Advanced First Aid Corse. It was only a 45 minute drive from my home. I was more excited that day then the day before, we had all become a tight nit group of people with the same goal in life. To give back to those in need. So it’s obvious we would all bond like we had known one another a life time. But this morning shifted from happy chats to an ambulance rushing its way to help me like a flick of a switch. At the time I didn’t really understand what was going on. One minute we are in a big room watching security footage of a poor elderly man drop and have a heart attack, which he services. To my heart going un believably fast where it was thumping through my ears. Now I’m no doc but even I knew there was something wrong. After confirming with my fist aid teacher that something wasn’t right we left the room and started to make our way down a flight of stairs. And that’s when it really hit me. My body went numb, vision blurred and everything around me decided to warp. Naturally i freaked a little, ‘what was happening to me?. Within a minute my breathing was fast, head was floating and my lips turned purple. First we thought I may have been allergic to the sulphur in the air as I am with the ones in medicine but no. I was having an extreme anxiety attack.
Ok so I know what anxiety is, I will admit i was a little anxious as a child but where did all this fear and panic come from? I had never experienced this before. Lucky for me the lovely ambo peps were able to slow my breathing down which resulted in me gaining some sanity back. I rejoined the group thinking all was well. And it was, until the drive home. Ten minutes away from home and hello my new friend visited me for the second time that day. Now I dont know about y’all but driving at 100kms per hour and having a massive panic attack doesn’t exactly go together. But I was in luck my trusty recruit friend was next to me ‘yay I don’t have to drive’. Believe it or not that helped me calm until she revealed that she could not drive stick. Darn!!! Well there went my speeding heart again. Good thing mum was only a phone call away.
That night my head felt different I couldn’ explain it and sometimes I still cant. There was so much to be afraid of but I couldn’t pinpoint the fear to any single thing. I jumped at any noise and could not wait for the night to darken. One thing I did know was that this wasn’t normal and I needed to see someone asap.
Stay tuned for part two of this experience. Learn how I felt and what I did to reset the way my brain was wired.
People with anxiety are more than not misunderstood and looked on to be attention seekers or often need to ‘harden up’. But I’m here to change that and help any of those who feel like they can relate.
Catch y’all soon