From a young age anxiety has truly ruled my life. Starting at the age of 11 at school I had my first anxiety attack in the assembly hall. This was the first time the horrendous feeling of pure dread consumed me. The very real physical symptoms of numbness, tingling, heart palpitations and dizziness all attacked me, causing me to flee the hall and refuse to sit in one ever again throughout school. I missed out on so many things at school and even had to do examinations in a small separate room. I blamed the hall for the anxiety and this is where my journey of avoidance and blame began.
This anxiety followed me to University where I began to have panic attacks on trains and public transport. I often got on the train and ran straight back off due to the crippling anxiety that overcame me every single time. Again, I avoided public transport and blamed the trains for these attacks. I felt abnormal and could not see a way out of this vicious anxiety cycle.
My anxiety came to a head at the beginning of this year, when I was struggling to travel to work due to the fear of traffic jams. This was a problems as I am a 9-5 commuter. I had a constant battle every single day and felt exhausted just with the journey there, as I had used so much of my mental and physical energy fighting my severe anxiety.
This anxiety caused low mood and I found it was impacting my close family and partner. I did not want to socialise with my friends and I was irritable and unhappy. It got to a point where I did not want to get up on a morning and face the world!
One evening after hours of obsessing over my symptoms online and feeling sorry for myself I decided to take the very brave step forward and contact Judith to enquire about life coaching. I automatically felt a weight lifted off my shoulder by telling someone I had never met about my anxiety issues. I had even begun feeling guilt for discussing my issues with my loved ones and I knew that I had to take a positive step forward and this was the best decision I have made in a long time!
My coaching experience has been life changing. From the person who first emailed Judith earlier this year to the person I am now is a complete transformation. My experience gave me confidence and knowledge I so desperately needed to live this life I wanted and deep down knew I deserved. I learnt more about myself than I thought I ever could and it allowed me to put the missing pieces together, to understand what was going on in my head and fully move forward and challenge my anxious thought patterns.
I learned it was not the train, traffic or busy places to blame for these attacks, it was my thinking patterns. Once I was given the knowledge and tools to change this way of thinking I was able to make a positive change in my life. The coaching experience included me setting small targets for myself with guidance and in depth realistic discussions on how I would reach these targets. Every time I did something like get in a car on my own, drive somewhere new or get on a train for one stop on my own, I felt more and more positive and confident. The whole experience was so positive and invaluable.
I have conquered so many different anxieties. I no longer fear the scary symptoms anxiety can bring - instead I understand why they are there and I have learnt how to manage them without avoiding the situation. I have gained the courage to go for a career I never thought I could have with 'anxiety' - it is the job of my dreams and I am excited rather than scared of the new challenges ahead of me. I am able to drive wherever I choose, including my partners house which is nearly two hours away. I used to avoid driving on my own due to the fear of panicking alone in my car. I even enjoy the drive and my time alone with only thoughts of positive situations rather than dread or fear or a worst case scenario way of thinking!
Whenever I get a little anxious or worried I am able to put what I have learnt from life coaching into practice. I can understand the anxiety and why it is there and work though the feelings, go through the motions calmly and carry on with my life. I have even booked a holiday to New York at Christmas.
This is something I have put off for so long due to to a crippling fear of flying. Judith has talked me through how I can remain calm and even enjoy the flight with some practice. I am not dreading the experience but excited for the holiday of a life time, which once would have been overshadowed by this fear and anxious thoughts. I now have more energy and want to socialise with my family and friends. I feel 'normal again' but most importantly I am happy and my family are too!
Coaching can certainly help you with anxiety and panic attacks. I would tell anyone suffering now to go for it. It is a non judgemental, comfortable environment where you are able to question your thoughts and anxieties. Together with the Judith's help and dedication we were able to work together to find a way to manage this anxiety. I would also tell anyone who is considering this to be 100% honest and open to the whole experience.
I would like to personally add how incredible my life coach Judith was in helping me when I genuinely believed all hope was lost and I thought this would be my life. The passion was so clear to see and it makes you feel and know you are genuinely going to be OK and you can overcome anxiety and panic with the right support.
I would recommend this to anyone who has suffered the same as me.