Hi guys!! Today I want to share with you all a personal story. My goal for this is to motivate you to share your own stories too! It is empowering to do so. It shows your anxiety who’s boss! I won’t be silenced in fear because of my anxiety. I will use it to bring encouragement and strength to others!
I have had social anxiety my whole life. I was always the kid who hid behind their mom when someone said hi. I hated when people talked to me or even looked at me. I would cry, run, and hide. That being said, I didn’t experience my first panic attack until I was 19.
It was my freshmen year of college. One of my roommates, I’ll call her Sam for the sake of anonymity, asked if I wanted to go to a party that one of our friends was throwing. I hadn’t made any close friends in college yet and it was already December so I decided it was worth a shot.
Picking out what to wear was so hard! I wanted to look “cool” and to fit in. I wanted to make friends. I wore a cropped long-sleeve shirt that ended right on my waist line. I also wore high-waisted jeans and knee high boots. I was all ready to go.
Sam and I went to the party and the “house-thing” it was in was microscopic! My anxiety immediately shot up. Everywhere I went, I was touching someone. There were always people on all sides of me. I couldn’t breathe.
That was when it started. My hands began to tingle. I wasn’t really sure what that meant…I thought maybe I just wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Then one of my friends from the apartment complex I was living in tried to get me to smoke some marijuana. That pushed me over the edge. My hands and feet were numb. I could hardly walk. I felt like I was out of my body. I thought this was all like a second-hand high from the marijuana smoke (I researched it and turns out it is very rare to get a second-hand high. Very very rare. The high comes from whatever you are breathing into your lungs from the joint or bong and that stays in your lungs for the most part. All that comes back out is carbon dioxide). #funfact
My roommate got bored after a little bit and we went back to our apartment. My anxiety slowly wore off and I felt much better. At this point I still thought I had somehow gotten high and that was the side-effect. It wasn’t until I’ve had two more panic attacks when I found out what they were.
My second attack was similar to the first, I was pressured to smoke again and almost passed out. My vision went completely black and I fell to the floor. I thought I was having a stroke. When I finally went back to normal, I once again assumed it was from being around smoke.
I’ll talk about my third attack in another post.
***If you have panic attacks, you are not alone. Don’t be ashamed of them. Embrace them for what they are. Realize God made you the way you are for a reason. I believe he made me with these anxiety and panic disorders so that I can become stronger through overcoming them and using my stories to encourage others to do the same.
If any of you guys have questions about panic attacks and anxiety, please feel free to ask! I would love to answer your questions! You can either leave a comment or email me if you wish to be private.***
Thank you all for reading my story! I hope the overall message provided you with some encouragement for the day!