My Mental Health | Anxiety Does Not Discriminate

10th October 2019

I was once told that I shouldn’t have anxiety because I have everything I want.




I had a nice enough upbringing, my parents are still together and although they’re both from very poor backgrounds, they didn’t struggle as much for money by the time I started high school.

I graduated from university to become a nurse, managed to buy a house with my husband and we have a child.

I have great family and friends. I have more than enough and there are unfortunate people out there far worse off than me through no fault of their own.

So why do I have anxiety?

I don’t really know.

It’s horrible, I hate it and it can make my life a total misery. The side effects are shite and can affect my loved ones as well as me.

When I was 17 I had my first panic attack.

I had no idea what was going on and genuinely thought I was about to die. I had a part-time job at a bakery and my boss was a bitch, was studying full time at college and also struggling with driving lessons.

I was trying to get some work done at college one day when my phone started ringing. I could see it was my boss but I was in a lesson, so ignored it. My heart had already started pounding as soon as I saw her name on the screen.

She kept ringing over and over again, to the point where I found myself staring at my phone deciding that I must be in big trouble and probably fired.

My heart pounded harder and faster until I could hear and feel it in my ears, while my hands and feet started tingling with numbness.

I felt dreadful, and then my hearing went. I began getting tunnel vision until all I could see was a patch of the keyboard in front of me. While all this was going on I felt like I was going vomit and that I couldn’t breathe.

It felt like it lasted forever and I was terrified.

I remember someone grabbing my hand and pulling me up to my feet while saying my name. I have a blurry memory of the hand still holding mine to lead me along a corridor, which it felt like I was floating along.

I “woke up” outside, sat on some concrete steps with my head in my hands and my ears ringing loudly. It was a friend of mine who’d taken me outside for some air – she spotted me sat at the desk looking grey and gasping for breath, staring into space.

I was very confused and shaky and didn’t really understand what had just happened. I actually thought I was just a bit ill and that was all and didn’t really talk about it much.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realised I’d had a panic attack, brought on by my boss calling me. That was the trigger, but it was the result of months of extreme stress.

A few weeks later I had another panic attack on the bus on the way to college, although it was much smaller that time.

I had no way out of it that time as I was alone and sat at the back of a packed bus. I just had to try to control my breathing and wait for it to pass. That’s when I decided to quit working at the bakery and also quit my driving lessons. That saved me from panic attacks for a while.

Years later I’d started training as a nurse and in my second-year things started falling apart.

Nurse training was extremely hard anyway, but in my second year, my parents went through a very rough patch and were going to split.

I moved out to live with my boyfriend (my now husband). I failed assignments and struggled to concentrate on my studies, and found myself having to attend a meeting where a panel decided if I should stay on the course or not. It was fucking horrible.

The night before my meeting I had a huge panic attack but again, I didn’t acknowledge that this was a problem.

Fast forward a few years again, a few months before I got married. Work was stressful already but I got moved to work on another ward that was even worse to work on. I had no idea what I was doing and the workload was just too much.

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back – on top of the stress of planning our wedding and the financial hit we’d taken from buying our first home previously, being told I was being transferred to work on a ward I hated working on just destroyed me.

First world problems I know, but to me, it was all too much. I found myself calling the new ward’s manager in floods of tears and just told her I could not face going in. She completely understood.

I was signed off sick for a few weeks with a sick note from my GP for stress and anxiety.

This is when I started taking Propranolol to reduce the symptoms of having a fast heart rate all the time with palpitations. I was offered Diazepam or antidepressants too but declined, as I didn’t want to feel spaced out any more than I already did. The Propranolol really helped.

I had to start going to counselling through occupational health at work and it was long overdue.

This was the first time I’d ever addressed my anxiety and after a few weeks of sessions I realised a few things; I’ve had ongoing anxiety since I was a child and it stems from a deep fear of angering my Dad.

He never laid a finger on any of us and is very loving, but he’s always had a bad temper. I’ve just assumed that other people will react angrily if I disappoint them ever since.

It got even worse in high school where I experienced some bullying and then spiralled from there.

Having more responsibilities as I’ve grown older has certainly worsened things.

I had to stop taking Propranolol when I fell pregnant with Archie, then because I breastfed him for over 2 years I couldn’t restart them.

We’d already started trying for a second baby while I was breastfeeding so I still haven’t restarted them, but I know that once we’ve completed our family I will need to stat them again.


So that’s my story so far with anxiety.

It’s always there, bubbling away in the background and I accept that. But I also accept that I will always need help with it and that I have to use extra coping mechanisms to get through day to day life.

These can be as simple as just sleeping or cancelling plans so I can be on my own and gather myself together. Sometimes I have really bad days where I don’t even want to get dressed or brush my hair. I could be a lot worse – I meet patients who can’t even speak when their anxiety is so bad.

One thing I have learned is how to help other people with who have it in the process, as well as trying to help myself. That’s one big positive thing I take from this all.

How do you deal with your anxiety?

Sarah x


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Brands We Love

Follow Us

Thanks for reading this post, we hope that you enjoyed it. You can follow Girl About Blog Squad by clicking in the links below – keep up to date with Girl About news and Reviews.

Share this Article

Share it on your own social media channels or with friends


Children’s Wellbeing | Kids these days – they’ve got it made – or have they?

Children’s Wellbeing | Kids these days – they’ve got it made – or have they?

I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.

GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM | He’ll love this immersive Crime Scene Investigation Experience in Yorkshire

GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM | He’ll love this immersive Crime Scene Investigation Experience in Yorkshire

Anyone who fancies themselves a bit of a sleuth. If you’re an armchair detective and work out “whodunnit” before Poirot even twiddled his moustache or love watching real crime documentaries then this CSI Experience in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire is for you. Vouchers don’t have to be bought in pairs but I would say that to get the most out of the experience you’d be best off going with likeminded, crime-fighting friend.

REVIEW | Kelham Island Food Tour in “The Shoreditch of the North” – Sheffield

REVIEW | Kelham Island Food Tour in “The Shoreditch of the North” – Sheffield

If you love food and don’t know Sheffield very well then the Kelham Island Food Tour could be the one for you. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, filled with many tasty delights whilst discovering new places around the much loved industrial part of town. The first time I ventured away from my city-centre haunts was shortly after finishing uni, when we discovered the Fat Cat pub and (more importantly) £2 pints of ale. It dumbfounded us that we’d never even heard of this part of town, so finding such an amazing place to drink after four years living in Sheffield was quite a late discovery!