four years ago my dad suffered a stroke, and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. My dad was a healthy man, ate right, never got sick. I could not understand why he had a stroke and almost lost his life. After the stroke I suffered from severe post traumatic stress. It was my Junior year in college getting ready to graduate and my life completely changed.
I started having nightmares every night, I spend months being scared to fall asleep. When I did sleep it was after several hours of counting sheep, drinking tea and praying. On top of the nightmares I started suffering from severe anxiety/panic attacks. I could not do the everyday things anymore, I was afraid of EVERYTHING. I started blaming myself for my dad getting sick and I tried to be as good as possible so that it didn’t happen again. I couldn’t drive far by myself anymore because I would have severe panic attacks on the road, I would get scared if my phone rang and it was my mom. I lived on campus so phone calls began to scare me. I was scared that I would lose the people close to me.
It got so bad that one of my closest friend was celebrating her birthday in the city and I was too scared to go. I thought if I had gone I would have to lie to my parents about where I was going, and I was afraid that God would punish me for lying. I started overthinking everything that I did. It really got bad. Being that I was mentally sick, it started affecting my body. By my senior year I kept getting sick all the time,missed so many days of work and class. I couldn’t tell anyone, I just spent hours crying in my room by myself.
I could not understand what was going on, I was literally living in fear. My relationship with my boyfriend suffered because he could not understand the change that was happening. Nobody understood what was going on, so I lost friends over it. At 23 I was on blood pressure medication, and I refused to have a short life because of my anxiety. I started working out, eating better and mediating. I wanted to take my life back, I hated the feeling of living on edge.
Today I can truly say I am at a place in life that I haven’t been in years. I am laughing more and enjoying life. I am stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing the things that I was always afraid to do. So if any of you out there are dealing with the same, trust me there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It might seem scary but there is help and putting your health first is the best thing you could do.