Coming To Terms With Anxiety.

I have felt physically ill, I have found my self shaking, I have felt so light headed I could see dots in front of my eyes, I have vomited, I have had chronic stomach issues (ongoing for the last year and a half) and I have had terrible sleeping patterns for the majority of my adult life.

The level of anxiety I’ve experienced throughout my life is far from normal, and it’s about time I came to terms with that.

As far as I can remember I’ve always been a ‘worrier‘. There’ve been nights where I’ve laid awake worrying about everything. I’ve worried about the things I’ve said and done over the last ten years ago, and I’ve even fretted over the things far outside my control. In the last few years of my life, the small glimpses of that worry have grown into something much, much bigger. Not only does the anxiety plague me at night but it clings to me throughout the day, reminding me that there’s always something to worry about.

The real problems started in my final year of university.

The perfectionist in me was driven to excessive new heights; studying to get the best marks, working to make money, and functioning as a normal adult in between. Looking back, all I did during this period of my life was work and study. Sleep and self-care weren’t words I often used in my vocabulary and fun was a distant memory.

During this time in my life, I would suffer from frequent palpitations, accompanied by dizziness and a sense of panic. I’m not talking ‘Oh dear, I’ve forgotten my keys‘ panic. What I’m talking about is unprovoked, out of nowhere PANIC. Alarm bells ringing, chest tightening, unable to breathe PANIC!

Surely, that can’t be normal. Right?


Dinner Rush Dizziness.

It was a busy day in the restaurant where I worked. We were understaffed by a significant amount. This in itself was not uncommon as we never seemed to have enough staff to go around. But never before had we been running on a skeleton crew when a rush would hit.

I had two full sections, hadn’t eaten as my break as prosponed and had nothing but coffee in my system. The more people came in, the more the kitchen backed up and the closer my anxiety got to boiling point.

I was standing at table thirty-six about to take an order when everything around me started to spin. My heart was pounding painfully in my chest, I couldn’t catch my breath and I was unable to say anything other than ‘I’ll be back in a minute‘. I placed my orderman down on the table and stumbled into the bathrooms where I promptly sat on the floor. I was shaking and trying to breathe but nothing was happening. All I could see were spots creeping into the corner of my eyes, eventually clouding my vision entirely. Luckily I had amazing co-workers who set about taking my table and getting me sweet tea to help with my nerves.

Looking back it was an intense panic attack and one of my first outside the privacy of my own bedroom.


Motorway Meltdown.

After driving home from work one night I unexpectedly found myself in the midst of panic. I arrived home, took a shower and suddenly felt like I was unable to leave the bathroom. My head was spinning, my chest was tight and I was shaking too much to allow my legs to move. Instead, I sat on the floor and cried for over an hour before composing myself enough to move to the couch.

Both occasions, along with the many more, were shaken off as just being a by-product of stress. Everyone gets it. It was fine. Right?

I’m guessing not quite.

Since then I’ve had to pull over onto the hard shoulder just to let the panic pass. I’ve even had to escape to the toilets at work to count to ten and let myself breathe. My heart ends up beating so fast that it feels like it might burst from my chest. I’ve even convinced myself that I can actually see my heart beating through my flesh if I stand still enough.

The panic has left me feeling physically ill. I’ve found myself shaking, I’ve felt so light-headed I could see dots in front of my eyes, I’ve vomited, I’ve had chronic stomach issues, and I’ve had terrible sleeping patterns for the majority of my adult life.

But, like I said, just stress. No big deal. I’d felt like this for so long that I’d just gotten used to it. The symptoms were just normal, everyday living to me.

I like to think of myself as Ross from Friends. When you’re trying not to think about it and someone asks you if you’re okay and you just say…

I’m finnnnneeeeeeeee‘.

drunk ross geller GIF

But then I began anorexia recovery again and I felt that it was time to address this once and for all. I spoke to my therapist about it and the end result was additional medication to take the edge of the anxiety (Quetiapine, if you’re interested).

One thing the consultant did stress is that this medication was just to help dull down the anxiety so I can start to concentrate on other areas in my life. It is not to dull any of the emotions I might be feeling. That would defeat the purpose of eating disorder recovery.


This article was first written in 2019 when I had just stepped into the world of writing and recovery. Even now, two years in, I still need to walk up to the closet where my anorexia hides, open the door, and face any demons that might be hiding inside. Anxiety, I’ve discovered, is just one more monster in my closet.

Interested in learning more about anxiety and panic attacks?

Check out any of these posts from some of my wonderful guests.

  • Panic Attacks Part 1 & 2. These posts cover panic attacks, what they are, the symptoms, and the science behind them. The second part gives us some information on how to best handle such attacks.
  • When it’s more than just worry. This post discusses the different types of anxiety out there including social anxiety and GAD.
  • Managing anxiety. This post discusses how to manage general anxiety.

49 comments

  1. ว่ากันว่าเงินอยู่ในอากาศอยู่ที่ว่าใครจะหาวิธีเอามาได้ “การพนันออนไลน์”เป็นหนึ่งช่องทางที่สามารถจับเงินในอากาศได้ ด้วยเงินลงทุนที่ต่ำแต่สามารถทำกำไรได้สูงแบบไรข้อจำกัดจึงเป็นสาเหตุที่ดึงดูดนักพนันออนไลน์ให้หลั่งไหลเข้ามาที่ คาสิโนออนไลน์ แห่งนี้

  2. I am so glad you are sharing your story on this important topic. Thanks so much for doing so!

  3. This post is still so relevant 2 years on and it’ll always continue to help so many people! Apart from anorexia we have a lot of similarities in our anxiety journeys. I’m so thankful that I’m out of the other side now but actually, even coming to terms with NOT having anxiety anymore has been quite a bit struggle. Because it was such a prominent part of my life for so long it kinda feels like a limb is missing sometimes x

  4. Thank you for sharing your story with us, posts like this are so important for all those out there who may be feeling the same way or going through something similar. I know I personally struggle thinking I’m alone with anxiety but when I talk to others it’s sort of comforting knowing I’m not in this alone, although I do wish none of us had to experience anything like this.

  5. It’s easy for anxiety to build when there’s not enough help and you get overwhelmed. I have experienced that before as well.

  6. In any problem, issue, or concern, the first step toward finding a solution is acceptance. I guess it’s the same with anxiety, which I can somehow relate to.

  7. It took me a really long time to accept my anxiety, which I have had most of my life, but it was not until my early 40ies that I realised that I just had to live with it and stop fighting it. After acceptance it has been so much easier!

  8. I’ve suffered with anxiety disorder for about 12 years now. I recently changed the way I was eating and it’s improved significantly.

  9. Anxiety can strike in so many ways for so many different reasons. If you struggle with it, it can be incredibly hard to manage it. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Reading your story, my heart goes out to you. It seems a lot of people start to struggle with mental health during college. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I really enjoyed you sharing this. I have terrible anxiety. It’s the reason I can do my job so well as a VA, but it’s also the reason that I can’t do much of anything else.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it’s so important for all of us struggling with mental health issues to talk about them so we can help ourselves and others.

  13. This was a great post – personal, open and honest. It helps others to read your work when you are so willing to be vulnerable. Anxiety is a horrible beast and I truly hope you can find release from it. I find CBD has helped me be in better control of my anxiety and stress – it doesn’t fix them but I have been able to get up and do things since starting it

  14. I think most people struggle with some form of anxiety at some point in their life. I have. I am a worrier and sometimes a perfectionist. I think as I gain more life experiences, I developed more coping strategies to manage my anxiety better.

  15. My anxiety oddly got better when the pandemic started, and I was even able to go off my meds. But a year later my sleep anxiety started up. It’s a nightly struggle, and one I hope to have under control soon.

  16. Great post! I think this is a very insightful look at your anxiety and mental health journey. This will be so helpful to others in the same situation, thank you x

  17. Thank you so much for your kind message. It’s so hard to come to terms with and then learn to manage, it’s almost causing more anxiety. I have made a lot of progress since this post, but I’ve also had a lot of setbacks. One day I’ll learn how to utilize the ultimate coping strategy and what works best for me.

  18. HI Nykie,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad you did because so many people deal with anxiety and I am one of them. Every one experiences it a little differently but the one thing that always the same it is a serious problem and can be overwhelming in your life. I think you have done a great job at facing your fears and talking some very positive steps that will help you overcome the anxiety. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day and keep up the great work.

  19. I love this post! You are so strong for sharing your story with us!!!

    Kendra????

  20. Great post! Thanks for being so open with your struggles. I’m glad you have a good therapist and meds. Anxiety is tough! Mine manifest with stomach issues too. No fun.
    I hope you are managing it better now and can get some sleep. Good luck!

  21. It’s hard sometimes to take that mental step from acknowledging a more minor situation, like ‘being a worried’ versus acknowledging that the situation may be more serious and seeking answers. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experience.

  22. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I hope it gives your college some relief that she is not alone! x

  23. Thank you so much for preparing this and sharing this… it takes guts to share something like this with people… a good friend of mine from college was struggling similarly. I’m going to share this with her.

  24. It’s horrible, especially panic attacks. Looking back I should have pushed further with my GP about this and not accepted that I was just stressed or worried.

  25. Thank you for sharing your story. I have never been diagnosed with anxiety, but I have experienced issues like this before. Panic attacks for seemingly no reason, it’s very annoying.

  26. I love this post. I have struggled with anxiety myself for my whole life, and I have had panic attacks too. Thanks for sharing your story

  27. You’re welcome! I totally relate. Always was told I was being too much and still struggle with that today. Part of my journey recently has been finding out for myself whats too much or not enough based on who I am and what’s true about me, not what other people think about me. So freeing!

  28. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I’m still finding it difficult to accept that I’ve had this my whole life and it was always just waved off as being ‘worriesome’ or ‘annoying’ as a child.

  29. Absolutely ur made the way ur supposed to be. No flaws. Just things to have function with. I’m glad realizing that it is ”real” thing thru the doctor helped!
    I know personally that they can be bad enough to make u believe ur having a heart attack and even lose consciousness.
    Ur life is valuable. Lol.
    I’m getting used to the nook so I need u to keep it all together over there. Differences and all.
    I hope u can feel the love.
    Lol and please don’t let replying appropriately to me give u anxiety. I’m literally expecting a few words reply.
    I love the nook man. Happy Sunday Nyxie! ♥️????????
    #LetsGrow

  30. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your experience. I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life and am just now getting to the place where I have the courage to face my demons. I know how scary it can be and it’s easier to hide under the blanket of shame! Good for you for fighting back against the shame! What an inspiration to others!

  31. I have had anxiety all my life and I think it goes hand in hand with my ADHD. One thing that I have learned that helps me is the 5-4-3-2-1 concept from Mel Robbins!

  32. I loved reading this post too! I can totally relate to your anxiety battles and i love that you have no shame in taking meds. Thank you for being so open and honest and real. Can’t wait to read more!

  33. I love how you address it in the end half, “walking up to the closet”
    To true for so many of us, in so many types of recovery.
    Nice piece

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