In August 2010 I experienced what I thought was a heart attack. My chest hurt, my hands were tingling and shaking, and I was sweating like crazy. I experienced three more episodes just like this before deciding it was time to visit my doctor.
After tons of bloodwork, loads of questions, and a heart monitor which I wore for a week my doctor confirmed that I did not have a heart attack, but instead, was suffering from anxiety attacks. I received my diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in September 2010 and began the trial and error with medications. After trying three different medications we finally found one that worked, as best as it could anyway.
I still experienced anxiety attacks at least twice a week, some of the worst happening while I was driving, leading me to become terrified of even being a passenger in a car much less the driver. I wasn't sleeping, I could barely eat, and I sank into this dark, almost depression, where I felt like my life as I had known it was over and all I was left with were these insane anxiety attacks that became scarier by the minute.
I lived with debilitating anxiety attacks for four years, losing my home, my car, and my job all within the span of 2 months. Everything I had been working so hard for was suddenly ripped away by this horrible disorder and I had absolutely no control over it.
It wasn't until I was left alone and left to fend for myself that I decided something had to give. I had to overpower the anxiety. I had to stand on my own two feet and show anxiety that it would not defeat me.
Being left to fend for myself ended up being the best thing that's happened to me, aside from my three handsome children. I learned to not only take care of myself and my children, but I developed courage that I never knew I had. It took time, but eventually I became the mom, daughter, and woman that I always knew was in there, but never could find because anxiety controlled my entire life.
Now, 12 years later, I am empowering women just like me with the tools and resources they need to overcome their own anxiety disorder and live life without fear.