panic attacks

‘My arms are tingling!’ The wind knocked out of me. ‘Um, are you having a heart attack?’ My anxiety went from zero to a million.’: Woman with Generalized Anxiety, Panic Disorder declares anxiety ‘can’t take away my strength’

“I was at lunch with friends, light on sleep, and full on caffeine. I was already wildly anxious after having a bad breakup, an unexpected job change, and being hit by a car (I mean, seriously?), and then, out of nowhere, I couldn’t breathe. I was so nauseous I was profusely sweating. ‘There’s nothing wrong with you,’ I was told. I was damn close to calling myself a nice little ambulance. I didn’t leave my house for 2 months.”

‘You’ll never get a boyfriend. You look like a snake.’ I made up my mind the whole human race was beautiful, and I was ugly.’: Woman survives 4th degree burns after ‘hide and seek’ game gone wrong, learns to embrace unique beauty

“My friend invited me to a local nightclub. Before I knew it, I was dancing with someone and their hands were rubbing up and down my back. He whispered in my ear, ‘Are you wearing a corset?’ That scared the absolute life out of me. It was my scars, once a gaping hole through my back, and he could feel them through my clothing.”

‘After that baby was inside me, it was over. Heroin was no longer an option. I had no choice.’: Woman beats childhood addiction, now ‘8 years sober’

“I was addicted to heroin at 15. It was no longer enjoyable. No longer an escape, but a hell I was creating for myself. Maybe a few seconds of serenity, then reality always slapped me in the face. I’d feel so guilty about the damage I was causing to people that loved me, the pain I was inflicting on myself, the hatred and anger I felt from all the things I had no control over. I thought this was the only way to feel this good. That little heartbeat was the sound of a chapter of my life closing.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

‘My daughter morphed overnight. My happy girl became dead-eyed, hateful. Her pupils were dilated and dark. I felt like I lost my daughter. We couldn’t figure out how to make it stop.’

“New issues kept popping up. Screeching, laughing for no reason, wetting the bed. She couldn’t finish her sentences. She’d think all types of disturbing thoughts about hurting her little sister. I had to explain to my 5-year-old why she didn’t want to play with her anymore. I felt like a failure of a mom. I knew I had to find answers.”

‘He literally turned into a rabid wild animal! His hands turned into claws, his face looked evil. He was foaming at the mouth, and growling. I couldn’t believe this was our sweet boy.’

“He came home from school a different boy. He wanted to hide behind the couch. He snapped and growled at his siblings. ‘Did something happen at school?,’ I asked him. ‘No,’ he replied, crying his eyes out. We started noticing unusual symptoms in our younger son too. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of our nightmare.”

‘There’s not just one healthy baby. There’s TWO!’ My husband fell to the floor in shock. I had a huge pit in the bottom of my stomach. ‘There must be some mistake!’ 

“She stepped out of the room to give my OB a call. My mind went crazy. She must’ve been calling for backup. I was crying in complete confusion. Two? TWINS? No one gets pregnant and thinks ‘Yay! I’m going to have babies!’ It’s always, ‘Yay! I’m going to have A baby!’ But I had this strange feeling in my chest.”

‘Calm down, it’s not like you’re gonna see the guy you robbed.’ Well guess what. I walked up to the church, and guess whose face I saw? The man I had just robbed. He was the greeter.’

“I couldn’t get out. I was terrified. I walked up to him with tears in my eyes, and he gave me a hug. ‘You are in the right place,’ he told me. ‘When I was your age, I was doing the same thing.’ I had no idea he was in recovery. That I was the first time I believed there was hope for me.”

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