Living most of my life with panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder and the wonderful panic attacks that came along with all this has taken a huge toll on my self esteem.
As a young teen, I experienced panic attacks in my classes. I did everything in my power to look ok from the outside and I was terrified that someone would find out how ‘weird’ I was because I couldn’t speak up in class. This was especially painful for me because I was a straight A student and was proud of my intellect. When I could no longer sit in class without feeling anxiety, I felt like a failure. I did not share my troubles with my parents or anyone. I kept it all bottled up inside.
At the same time this was going on, there was trouble brewing outside of class as well. I started to have difficulty with the popular clique in school. I felt alternately ridiculed and ignored by them. My social anxiety prevented me from sticking up for myself. As a result, I felt like an outsider, and started to gravitate more towards boyfriends.
As any grown woman looking back knows, young boys are usually only interested in sex, or at least that was my experience. So it’s not as if these relationships were deep and meaningful. So while I always had a boyfriend, I had very few ‘true’ girlfriends. This left me feeling quite bad about myself, and very much alone.
At age 16, I stopped going to church completely. My panic disorder saw to that. I could not sit through mass without a panic attack, even in the back row, at the very end of the pew, closest to the exit. I constantly prayed for the fear to go away, but it only got worse and more invasive in my life, like an ugly cancer. I could not understand why God would punish me this way, especially in His house. So I thumbed my nose up at God and gave up on my religion.
The anxiety continued into my college years. By now my agoraphobia was such that I was unable to go away to school. Since high school was so bad, I dreamed about having a great college experience. When I realized my GAD and panic were not going to allow me to move away to college, I was devastated. I wanted to go away to school so very badly, but I could not. The thought of being away from home was unbearable. I applied to a few colleges and got into all of them knowing full well I would never be able to go. (My SAT scores were high and I maintained straight A’s)
My college experience was anything but great.
I attended a local university and became what was known as a ‘townie’, a derogatory term used by the girls at school to describe the locals. They saw us as pitiful and looked down at us. I felt pitiful, and I kept it all inside. Again, my social anxiety prevented me from sticking up for myself, even if only to tell them to ‘lay off”. These cruel girls continued to torment me over 4 years.
I naturally gravitated towards other townies and these were the people I hung around with. I also got deeply enmeshed with my boyfriend at the time, and he became my sounding board for all my woes and troubles. Over time I became abusive to him. Throughout this, I was unable to sit in the lecture halls or socialize during the day without tranquilizers. At night, I drank a lot of alcohol to take the edge off. It was a terrible way to live, but I didn’t know any better. My doctor prescribed the pills and I took them.
My Life Continued to Get Worse
I remember one day I had a particularly terrifying panic attack in my Medical Ethics class. We were having a debate, and I fled the class in horror. I never went back to that class and dropped it 3 days later.
After bolting from the class, with my mind racing, bewildered and not knowing what to do or where to turn, I hid in a corner of the university library and cried my eyes out.
I could not believe how hard my life had become. I felt like a complete and utter failure and emotional cripple. I knew at that point my dreams of medical school would never come true and that I was instead damned to a life of fear and avoidance. I seriously thought about killing myself.
Upon graduating from college I did move to New York City. By then I was really messed up psychologically, but I knew how to self medicate just enough to make it through my days, get along with my roommate, and perform at work. I became a very heavy drinker as well. Since I brought home a regular paycheck and had a good job, technically I was ‘functional’. I had lots of boyfriends over the years and 2 or 3 close girlfriends. My shame was so deep, I never told any of them about my panic attacks.
And this is basically how I existed until about 10 years ago.
I self medicated and drank to keep my anxiety at bay. Along with suffering from all my fears, I became a very angry woman. The anger that built up inside me was overwhelming. I felt like panic robbed me of a the life I was meant to live.
It killed all my hopes and dreams of being a doctor, ruined the great love of my life, and made me into a shell of the outgoing child I was long ago.
I Decided I Had Enough.
I could not go on living this way. Through the grace of God, I finally found my 12 step program. My psychiatrist had urged me to go for years. It got to the point where I was truly sick and tired of being sick and tired. In the rooms I leaned that although I was beaten down, I wasn’t broken. There was hope for me. Slowly and with the help of program friends and my sponsor, I began to heal. People listened to my story and didn’t judge me. I learned that a lot of people drink to cover up anxiety. I leaned that addiction and low self esteem go hand in hand. So I learned to beat the addiction and I started to really feel better. All the anger I kept bottled up over all those years began to melt.
I Sought Anxiety Relief
But I still had to contend with my panic disorder, crippling social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and severe panic attacks. I no longer relied on the bottle to take the edge off. But the edge was still there. I needed to find answers and real solutions where doctors and medicine had failed me.
I turned to the Internet to educate myself. I got active on anxiety disorder forums. There I met lots of people who were going through the exact same situations as me. To my astonishment, some even had it worse than me. Through sharing and mutual support, I experienced a great deal of emotional healing. One day one of my online friends told me about Panic Away.
I Used Panic Away
I purchased the program almost a month ago, and I can tell you unequivocally that it works. This program is the real deal. It has quite literally given me my life back. I am almost off all my meds and my life is a real joy. In my other posts I realize my tone is so enthusiastic, it almost borders on hyper. I cant help it. I’m that gung ho about Panic Away. I tell you from my heart, if it helped me, it can help you too.
Today, because of my 12 step program and Panic Away, my self esteem is in check. For me, overcoming low self esteem was far easier than all the years my anxiety beat it into the ground. I may fall but I keep getting up, and it’s all good. I wake up in the morning and give thanks for my life. I am a powerful, competent, happy woman. My life is truly blessed 🙂
Has anxiety and panic attacks taken a toll on your self esteem? Do not waste one more day letting fear and anxiety ruin your life. Reclaim your right to a life of quality and freedom from fear today with Panic Away.
I wish you peace,
ps. If your anxiety and low self esteem has robbed you of a life of quality, I can’t think of a more loving thing you can do for yourself than to give yourself the gift of healing from anxiety. Read my full and honest Panic Away review.