Due to the response my linking this blog on Facebook has received, I wanted to add a second update today:
There's a selection of things getting me through experiencing this medical crazy: an awesome specialist who seems to take a personal interest in making sure I stay positive and live a full life, my parents managing to keep it together whenever I discuss this with them or raise new news, and of course Tom, my husband, for being a rock and being able to put a smile on my face during the darkest moments, but also knowing when I just need to curl up into a ball and stop for a moment.
However, another truly important element is my friends. Knowing I've got mental support from people around me is a massive help in itself. And the last two months have been the biggest demonstration of this.
Two months before I informed my doctor of my final decision, I began having anxiety attacks.
I'm a natural worrier and always concerned with how things are going to turn out. I'm also fairly empathic so can pick up on emotions bouncing around and know when tensions are rising.
As my decision began to sink in, despite knowing it was for the best, every little daily decision, every little concern and every 'I may have let someone down' was suddenly magnified to intense proportions.
And now I could not only pick up on the slightest nuances of emotions that were normally there, but my brain now created some exaggerated worries of its own.
Instead of being able to take a step back, evaluate the situation, then deal with it: the problem was now put on a huge projector before me, a klaxon went off in my head and there was nothing I could do which wouldn't just make the problem worse despite the comments of (when seeing me freak out) 'take a breath, it's not that bad.'
Logic agreed with them. The wall in my head flipped the bird and said 'No, it's worse!'
It appears, waiting for my appointment and not knowing what to expect was too much for my brain to cope with so it displaced the worries onto normal, every day things.
So I had to leave my job. I used to thrive under pressure. Not any more. Even booking train tickets started giving me 'moment's.
Since leaving, I've calmed as I can now focus on myself. My moments still arise on occasion, but are far fewer and I feel like my world is slowly starting to make sense again. I'm now looking into acting work as I've always been passionate about performing and I feel that's more in my control. Plus it gets me out the house and meeting new people as I was verging on Agoraphobia and I wanted to stamp on this as soon as possible.
And the support I received from friends was like a life raft.
During worry dreams expressing my fears, and even moments of anxiety, in the back of my mind I've always had a shadow of people behind me, sending me their well wishes and their good vibes. It's almost like an invisible hand on the shoulder and whisper of 'you'll get through this'.
And I can't think these people enough for this. The difference knowing I've got support is amazing.