Cold sweat, darkness creeping in from the sides of my eyes, numb and immovable hands, waves of nausea and dizziness and an inability to breathe…fear, consuming and paralysing fear. Each time this takes over my body, I reflect afterwards, and am amazed by those who fight anxiety every day. I am in awe of the bravery, the courage to keep on.
My experience was triggered today by my horse being stuck in a horse box because of a mechanical failure with the door. He doesn’t like being boxed and is in training. God was with us, and all the people around me were amazing. Miraculously, they got us out safely and calmed me down.
The after effects are still running through my system though. I was diagnosed with CRPS nearly ten years ago. In an attempt to stop it spreading to my neck, because of the whiplash I received after a car accident, I was prescribed Oxynorm. Pain prevention is one of the ways used to try and contain CRPS. Oxynorm didn’t agree with me, and, when I tried to come off it after two weeks, I experienced full drug withdrawal. It was a harrowing three months. Since then, I have had flare-ups of the symptoms when something traumatic happens or when my immune system is knocked severely. My doctor explained its cell memory, the cells of my body react to the adrenaline and set off a chain reaction. My body feels like a separate entity. The most awful aspect is the loss of rational thinking, my mind becomes full of the worst case scenarios and I grieve accordingly.
God, prayer, my mum, friends and family are what see me through each time. They remind me to look up for my help, to pray, to sing, to repeat biblical verses and to lean into them. My instinct is to close my eyes, isolate myself and try and forget it. What makes it better, what makes it bearable, is to share it. To talk to my mum about the horrible things I see in my head. To ask for prayers from friends who know the history. To reach out and feel the love, peace and reassurance come rolling in. When your truth goes walkabout, hearing it spoken back to you is so calming.
In the box, God said “I’ve got this, I’ve got you” and His peace is amazing but my friends and family are His hands and feet, saying it to me over and over again each time I need a reminder. If someone in your life goes through this, know each time you love them means the world and, if you are going through this, know that you are amazing, you are strong enough and you will overcome it.