Initiative Update

And then I had an anxiety attack which lasted over 24 hours before the final release and acceptance

Marie Abanga
Posted January 26, 2021 from Cameroon

My initiative is a unique one in my own eyes because I share a lot about my own journey and struggles with my mental health and mental illness. I am happy to this so that more awareness is raised, more identify with my journey and feel less alone, and can proceed to taking the actions they need or reaching out for appropriate help with fear if stigma and rejection.

Now, let me just reiterate that am a high functioning person and can smile my way through alot. That's why looking at my picture you might not guess I was freaking out at that time. 

It all started around noon on Saturday 23rd January when the things I had to do that morning weren't done and I just started getting nervous and tired at the same time. Fear started creeping in and I really felt like sleeping. I went back home and slept for like an hour (sign of something for I hardly sleep like that during the day). I resisted screaming at my son and instead went to my office by 2pm to try and catch up on the pile of work I had ( after a week shuttling to the psychiatric ward to care for my sister).

By 8 pm, I had done 75 percent of the work for the day but I felt like a loser and my head was already aching. Back home and off to bed by 9.30 am; up at 00:30 then sleep and up at 2:30 am, and then doze and up for good at 4:30 am. All signs and by then the head was pounding, heart beating and sweat had started. My to do list for Sunday was even more scary with a tender to be completed and submitted latest the 27th. Datelines can get me to loose sleep days ahead; I always try to be as early as i can.

I got to the office at 8 am reminding myself to keep breathing and to remember that all that matters is that I do my best. I had to go pick up a bed from my mum's across town to replace a broken one in the boys' room, and instead of being happy I was crying at the freight of driving from my aunt's to my mum (I borrowed my aunt's pick up and my cousin had agreed to meet me at mum's and drive me back home and take the car back to my aunt's). Anyways, I drove the 10 minutes distance in 20 minutes or so with so much sweating and prayers I don't hit anyone or vice versa - luckily it was in the hood on dusty road so no car was speeding (was also a Sunday at noon hurray).

When I got back to the office, I did my best and even had a session with a couple. The great news is that I ended up doing all I had to do to like 90 percent good. I actually breathe out the last anxious thought at 4 pm when the couple came in, we had a great session and I reminded myself it was ok if I didn't have 7/7.

Anxiety attacks creep in more slowly than full blown panic attacks when you feel like you are dying and sometimes see or feel them spiders (I have had like 3 I can remember like 6 and 5 years ago).

What I can say is that with the right support, such attacks come to pass. I refuse to shut up or accept any form of stigma about my mental health muggles hahahahaha

I hope my experience inspires, motivates and encourages someone out there

How many people have you impacted since your last update?

300

Comments 10

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Hello, Marie,

Breathing exercises really help a lot! I'm relieved you have your tools ready to help you self-regulate. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your anxiety attack. That's tough. It's surely not a one-size-fits-all experience. It's actually good that you can recognize it immediately. You're so good at hiding your invisible challenges. You're right, the photo didn't capture it. :)

Marie Abanga
Jan 28
Jan 28

Dear Kaye,

Your comment speaks volume and am so glad to read it. I share so we know we are not alone, it is possible and it's a process to be pursued with a lot of self-compassion.
Thank you so much dear

Katrina Maria
Jan 26
Jan 26

Hi Marie
Thanks for sharing sometimes I feel we can share more of this experience.I remember for me long walks are normally helps me a lot.Or sometimes I start cleaning the house or just keeping busy,
LOve learning

Marie Abanga
Jan 28
Jan 28

Dear Katrina,
Thanks for your comment. You know we are already sharing and if we keep doing so more would feel comfortable sharing their experiences too.
I love long walks and cleaning my house too, and yes keeping busy helped me that day. Self isolating can drive me more nuts on the other hand hahahahaha
Light and love
Marie

Barry
Jan 27
Jan 27

Thank you for sharing this Marie. I have had very few attacks like this and what worked for me was listening to music and closing my eyes for a some time while breathing slowly. I am glad you are doing okay now :))

Marie Abanga
Jan 28
Jan 28

Dear Barry,
Thank you for your comment. Good to have a toolkit indeed. I did learn of 8D music thanks to my reaching out for help on Facebook, I listened to it too on that Sunday with my eyes closed some, and indeed felt much better.
Love
Marie

Nini Mappo
Jan 27
Jan 27

Hello Marie,
Ha ha you are so right, that photo don't look like somebody having anxiety in any form, mild or attack. But what is incredible is that even when you can fake it, you choose to get real. That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience. I had no idea that anxiety attack have physical symptoms.

Marie Abanga
Jan 28
Jan 28

Oh Nini,
Thank you for your comment. I share so others going through same feel less alone, or that care givers understand some what their loved ones might be going through.
Oh yes all mental illnesses or challenges have physical symptoms and the reverse is equally true.
This is why separating the two types of health for me is not the best way forward. Imagine I could be complaining of heart rate, headaches, palms and belly stuffs without sharing the fears and thoughts, and I would be prescribed medications for those physical symptoms which wouldn't take those fears and thoughts away. Hence I share my experiences in all honesty.
Take good care of your mental health

Tamarack Verrall
Jan 30
Jan 30

Dear, dear Marie,
Even as you are describing something so difficult, you are sining the lantern for us all in case we are feeling the same. photos can be so deceiving. I at first saw a strong woman enjoying being able to get something big where it was needed. This was true, but all that was behind it is such a strong message for what can be going on behind the scene. I love that you offer the whole story, always, gently and lovingly inviting us all to self care, and to watch for what might be going on inside others. And then to laugh and celebrate with you: "I refuse to shut up or accept any form of stigma about my mental health muggles hahahahaha".
So much love to you,
Tam

Marie Abanga
Jan 31
Jan 31

Dear Tam,

Always so soul to read your comment. I really appreciate you. Happy birthday once more and hope you had a sweet and special one.
You know me well by now that am a keep it real last but just as much q fighter and lover of humour hahahahaha.
Happy new month and yes yes yes #selfcare #selflove #selfawareness #selfconfidence and so many other selfies all the way
Light and love always
Marie