Becoming Shawny 

The last six months have been a great journey of self discovery.

I had become so lost, my anxiety was taking over my body, I had no control.

Everyday was a flurry of being so upset that my life was flashing before my eyes, but being too anxious to change any part of my routine. Leaving the house held the fear of the unknown, but staying at home was a wasted day.

Each day was long and tear filled. I felt consumed by anxiety, as if there was no way I could ever just be Shawny again.

With the guidance from my better half I managed to seek the care I needed to start feeling better. While I had previously refused taking anxiety tablets, I knew this was the point that I needed the extra help.

Visiting the doctors and asking for help seemed like the biggest hurdle I’d need to face, but more was to follow. It took me a week or so after filling the prescription to begin taking the tablets. My anxiety was preventing me from taking these new anxiety tablets. I really wish anxiety came with a handbook, because it really likes to throw curveballs  out of the blue.

The first several weeks of the tablets were terrible! My mood swings were uncontrollable, I would be happy one minute then be inconsolably crying, then distressed and confused. To top it off my body was overthrown by non-stop nausea!

Eventually these nasty side effects wore off, which was when I began questioning if the tablets had even been helping. I thought that perhaps I had just gotten better and my anxiety was under control and I no longer needed medication. The box of medication advised to not stop the tablets suddenly without recommendation from the doctor.

Naturally I stopped the meds suddenly without the doctor’s approval. Turns out that I hadn’t gotten better at all and it was in fact the anti-anxiety tablets that had made me much more level-headed. Safe to say that battling through the side effects twice was far less than ideal.

Through the process of becoming medicated for my anxiety I thought I was losing who I was, luckily as it turns out it has been the best self discovery. There were days that I thought I felt numb, but I wasn’t numb at all, I just was no longer afraid of living. I could now walk out to my car late at night and not fear for my life. No more questioning whether or not there was a masked murderer lurking in the shadows, or if I would trip and seriously injure myself only to be found weeks later. The medication gave me my life back.

If someone had told me that 6 months ago I’d need to dye my hair brown and get a new job to help fix my anxiety I’d have laughed at the very idea of it. My job at the pharmacy and blonde hair had become a huge part of who I thought I was.

Upon confirming my first ever job interview, those close to me began fearing for my anxiety. Even though I was taking the medication and becoming fiercely independent, this could have been the unmaking of all the hard work.

I to was fearful so went deeply into denial. No one knew that I was going for this interview, besides my immediate support network. Even after I had accepted the job offer I kept the news to my self.

Leaving my safe place of 6 years made me sad, but not anxious. Starting the new job I was overwhelmed with excitement rather than fear. And luckily I have been kept to busy learning my new role to even let my anxiety get a look in. While my hands like to shake with each new customer, my confidence is slowly but surely building.

I can honestly say that the only thing that has made me as happy as this huge life change, is all the support I have received. Everybody’s faith in me gave me enough courage to put my anxiety to rest for now. I am sure it will rare its ugly head again in the future, but for now I can happily say I am 11 days panic attack free!!

I am Shawny, I have anxiety but it no longer defines me. 


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