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Kates Story

I was having the time of my life on a working holiday with friends, I was 23 and nothing bothered me, I just loved having fun. Then I found out that my Dad had Mesothelioma (cancer) and would shortly die. Up until this point my family life was perfect and my Dad was the most loving amazing easy going Dad, I really did not have any problems to speak about

…. My whole world slowly began to cave in and I met up with a guy from school that I used to like. He was heavily into alcohol and drugs and on our first date he told me he had tried to commit suicide.

I was so down that I wanted this kind of relationship-big mistake. I gradually reclused more and more with this man and turned my back on good friends. The anxieties slowly kicked in and when I had drugs with him I suffered my first horrific panic attack. I wanted to go to hospital but he would not let me.

The next attack happened on holiday with just me and him, it was so scarey I could not feel my arms or legs I desperately wanted to see a doctor and thought I was about to die.

A long time on my Dad died and I had a baby girl with this man. I have only recently had the courage to tell people that he did violent things and scared me.

I have finally found the support and courage to break away and I am a single Mum with my beautiful daughter. I have started working again part time and I am doing really well. I take regular exercise and I do give in to the glass of wine at night. I am just getting back in touch with old friends but I still suffer with anxieties. It is so sad because it stops you enjoying life and life is so precious, I miss being content and not worrying. I am so scared about meeting old friends in case I feel panicky, but I work through the feelings all the time. Sometimes they are exhausting.

MY biggest relief that I found was crying and crying and letting my body shake. I know this is not very positive but sometimes I think panic attacks are worse because it is just a feeling that you desperately want to hide. I am so ashamed that I have them that I make them worse by trying to hide them or avoiding situations where they happen.

I found seeing a good counsellor much better than any drug therapy. We are all the same and there is nothing to be ashamed about.

You are coping even though it does not feel like it.