I would need to run away from the situation and hide in the toilet (PANIC AND CONVERSION DISORDER PLUS PTSD)
A story of hope, love and strength.
With a bustling life filled with a great career, beautiful friends and family, being a social butterfly, lovely home in the city and counting down the days until my trip of a life time 5 weeks travelling the world.
Nervous and excited, 32 years old, look out world here I come.
In the early stages of my trip I started getting this foreign feelings where I would need to run away from the situation and hide in a toilet. This progressed to a moment in Mikonos where I swore I had, had my drink spiked, my head was spinning, I was screaming, nothing made sense, I was out of it.
Of course I still was clueless as to what was going on. The remainder of the trip had ups and downs still clueless as to what was happening.
I made it home and did some research and found out this may have been panic and anxiety.
I spoke with trusted ones, completely oblivious to how serious these things were and certainly no understanding of its debilitating nature.
Fast forward a month and things had got worse so rapidly I could not get out of bed, I could not even get my face out from under the blanket, I couldn’t talk, every time I closed my eyes all I could see over and over was me being pushed through an emergency ward. I tried to get to the doctors one day, only 1km away tried to get out of the car and ended up on the side of the road in the foetal position screaming and crying afraid of everything. Everything was foreign, noises were ear piercing, I couldn’t breathe. I was carried by strangers up to the medical centre crying and screaming and the next day admitted to hospital.
I don’t remember a lot besides little things like needing to be fed under my blanket and any time I tried to leave my room ending up on the ground again or running as face as I could to get back to my room.
The next 6 months things were pretty much the same. I barely spoke and when I did it was yes or no in a voice so soft and scared it was hard to hear me. I didn’t eat. My knees became completely covered in bruises upon bruises as I couldn’t walk only crawl.
Fast forward to 2014 (this all started June 2013) things started becoming possible. I liken it to an rehabilitation. As I hadn’t left the house for 6 months for a week I would walk to the end of the driveway. The next week whilst hard as hell I got to the bus stop. This slow challenging progress months later had me back at work and functioning. Wow! It was over. It was shit but it was over.
Things remained steady until mid-2014 until I crashed again. But this was completely different.
As debilitating but very different.
Every day I would break down for an hour with a bellowing scream and the highest intensity I know of crying. This became the norm. Ambulance not uncommon at my house. I knew every day this was coming. I used the time I was not going through these attacks to build strength for the next one. This lasted 6 months. 2015 arrived and depression hit which I had never had swallowed me whole. I was miserable. Nothing in my eyes. Back to being mute. I just essentially did all I could to get through the day and knowing bed time was coming was the best part of the day. A break from the pain.
By March 2014 I was readmitted to hospital. This time for a month. I tried to go home after but within 3 days of sitting in the corner shaking and crying nonstop in my unit I rang my family and said someone needs to come and get me. I have been here ever since. The second half of 2015 had ok days but mostly a mix of all of the above with huge mood swings. Some you just wouldn’t know where me. So many stories such as been pushed through the airport in a wheelchair crying my eyes out trying to get to meet my nephew through to the amount of strangers thy helped me out. On December 28, 2015 I was all out of strength and the procedure (the only thing I hadn’t had) electronic shock therapy was my only choice. I called my doctor and said I can’t do this and the next day checked in to hospital for this treatment. Needless to say for the best of people this was horrendous. But my body didn’t respond well to it. After the 9th treatment I thought I had lost my mind. Lucky albeit still a mess things made sense and this only lasted 24 hours but I was so scared I couldn’t do any more treatments.
Feb – May was hard but got easier. I feel at the moment good most of the time but am still home bound.
But I laugh again. Do normally silly Sarah stuff.
I even get excited by the footy again.
I am working from home.
So through this time I had
EEG’s wires hanging out of my head for a week
I was diagnosed with
Server Panic Disorder and
Still have no idea.
Doctors all over Sydney are watching my case.
No one has ever seen anything like this before. I always was a little different lol.
So that’s the shit bit.
But now I can see a bit clearer I want to tell my story. I want people to know how indiscriminate mental illness is. How to most people outside my immediate people would have ever guessed this had happened.
How hard it is to not complain as I totally didn’t feel like a victim but how to possibly explain to people why you have disappeared from their life when they are dealing with their own problems and you can’t even walk.
About what I am so thankful for.
My support network. Whilst I didn’t realize at the time I am the luckiest girl in the world.
My boss: having worked for my boss for 13 years none of this was a problem and I am back with him.
Roof over my head: the stories my goodness the stories of others suffering would make you sick to the stomach.
Love and non-judgement: from every single person.
Growth: sounds cliché but geez people are not kidding about losing everything how it changes you. From the colours of leaves changing through Autumn. To being able to hopefully one day be able to attend a friend’s wedding. To laugh. To have purpose. To have feelings.
I am doing really well (for now lol) and I am a strong little Bugger and I have always been an advocate for helping others.
I tell This story to offer others strength, understanding and hope.
To the future.