Anita’s Story

I am 51 and have always had anxiety, even as a small child. I’ve tried to function as best I can throughout my entire life but just over a year ago I was diagnosed with a heart condition that is exacerbated by some drugs so antidepressants are now not ok for me to take. I decided I had to tackle the problem without medication.

I always get anxious beforehand go out and even worse when I’m out, panic attacks, problems breathing effectively, feeling sick, dizzy and having a bad stomach amongst other physical symptoms. I would prefer not to go out an almost became agoraphobic after having my children…..It was simply easier to just not go out (especially when they were very young) I never spoke to anyone about how I was truly feeling as I felt like a freak and that no-one else could ever relate to me. This all led to bouts of depression which were treated with medication (and greatly eased my anxiety in the process) I’ve lost friends over this and excluded myself from so much of life!

I asked for help last year, had a 12 week course of CBT which helped lots (although it was so, so hard to even sit in the therapists office at first!) Since finishing the CBT I’ve got into meditation and mindfulness (from books, YouTube and Facebook) I also joined a local anxiety management group called Manage Your Mind which is run by a local GP with a strong interest in stress, anxiety and depression. It’s basically breathing exercises……So simple but so effective!!

Anyway, since early December (2016) I’ve been meditating three times a day and practising mindfulness when I make cups of tea, and drink them, also when I brush my teeth and it is really helping my anxiety. I still have days where I just want to curl up in bed all day but I am so, so much better than I was. My quality of life is improving greatly as is my physical health.

I have severe rheumatoid arthritis (for 17 years) and since I’ve been meditating I can manage my pain levels better. One big thing I must say to everyone is to tell people how you are feeling…..If people understand and sympathise/empathise it does help you. I now feel I’m not the freak for feeling the way I do and that so many other people have the same anxieties and worries I do. I am disappointed I’ve wasted such a lot of my life not talking to people or living a happier life but I’m on the right track now and will continue to meditate and be mindful…..Taking care of myself completely and utterly. As a by note, I actually drove to London on my own last week to go to the theatre, not knowing anyone else before I went!! Something I would NEVER have done before, ever! I was so proud of myself. Anita

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