When I returned home from the Doctor’s office I went straight to my room. My iPod earphones went in and the volume went up. I lay on my bed for hours staring at the ceiling, thoughtless, until I eventually fell asleep. Waking up the next morning, it felt like my body had filled with anger and my thoughts were filled with spite. There was not any part of my existence that would accept what the doctor had told me, that after all of the tests and stress, I had Anxiety.
For starters, I didn’t even know what anxiety was but I knew for sure that it wasn’t powerful enough to make me feel so physically bad. Secondly, I had nothing to feel anxious about. This man was trying to tell me that in a school classroom, surrounded by my friends, that I was so scared that my body basically shut down? There was nothing to be scared of. None of it made any sense.
In life, I was never a wallflower, I always knew my own mind and I have always been strong willed. I never had many fears, I’m not afraid of spiders or snakes or rollercoasters at a funfair and I have never walked away from a fight. There were no dots to connect, yet, this man stared me in the eyes and with a smile on his face told me that I was so afraid of nothing at all that I was doing this to myself.
I went on a mental tirade, I’m sure I visualised walking into his office and smashing up every single certificate he had plastered on his wall. These certificates, to me, were what gave him the right to make me feel worse, to make me feel hopeless, to make me feel like I was always going to be so sick. There was just no way in hell that I would live on pills. Pills that make you numb, pills that you become dependent upon them, pills are unnecessary. I was fourteen years old for christ sake and these doctors were handing out pills like they were sweets, all because they have these certificates perfectly framed and perfectly measured, hanging on their wall.
Another option was counselling. I never understood the purpose of counselling. That’s why we have friends and that’s why we have family. The stereotypical image of a sympathetic face asking you “how do you feel about that” repeatedly, made me cringe. I had nothing traumatic to discuss with a counsellor and I didn’t feel the need to talk about how these physical symptoms were affecting my day to day life. I didn’t want to talk about it I wanted to fix it, I wanted a diagnosis and I wanted a solution that I could get on board with.
With a rebellious spirit and no options left, I turned to alcohol in order to attend functions, parties and gatherings like a normal teenager. I enjoyed being drunk with my friends, it was never some giant sob story or the beginning stages of alcoholism, it was fun at the time. It was almost like a crutch for me because I knew that, while I was drinking, drunk or hungover, all of my physical symptoms were gone. Oblivious to any consequences, I never thought at the time that this would lead me right into the ‘bargaining’ stage.
***Keep an eye out for the Five Stages of Anxiety: Bargaining post coming soon***