Anxiety ruined my life

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi all, 

I'm not sure where to start with this but my anxiety has got to the point where I've simply had enough of life and find it hard even leaving the house. 

It all started when I decided to move to the other side of the world (from New Zealand to London). I never had severe anxiety before I arrived, I only had a few minor panic attacks for legitimate reasons. 

I was fine for the first couple of months in London but slowly a culmination of all the stress of work, the daily commute, public transport, overcrowding, flatting, paying sky-high rent.. etc, it all got to me. I think what triggered it was when I was on the train home one day. As per usual, it was overcrowded, hot and uncomfortable. (If there are any emetophobics on here, I would stop reading now!) I was standing on the train squished against other people when I heard the sound of what sounded like someone throwing up - sure enough it was and as I am an emetophobic, I had the worst panic attack of my life. During peak hour, the train sometimes goes really slow or stops inbetween stations. At this time, the train had come to a complete stop inbetween stations and all I could hear was the throwing up. There was no escape, I couldn't walk away, I couldn't hop off the train, it was dark outside so I couldn't distract myself, I didn't have my headphones so I couldn't drown out the sound with music, it was hot and stuffy so I couldn't breathe, the train was packed so I couldn't just move further away. This was one of the worse experiences of my life as an emetophobic. Since then, I've had panic attacks every time I set foot on a train/bus. This started to affect my commute to work as I had to hop off half way through my journey just so I could breathe again. I then started having panic attacks at work and had to go to Accident and Emergency because I had a very bad episode. The anxiety has now caused me to quit my job as I was panicking 24/7. 

I am now stuck in my bedroom trying to work from home (I'm a freelance web designer). I only go out to get groceries a couple of times a week. As I can't get public transport, I've stopped doing things I enjoy like going to the gym as there are none within walking/running distance from where I live (owning a car in London is very expensive and there is next to no parking).

I've been in London for just over 7 months and haven't really enjoyed it. I've been thinking about going back home although I was meant to be here on a two year visa. I'm here with my boyfriend and he wants to stay here for at least a year. I don't really feel like I'm living life as I never planned on moving to London to spend my day sitting in a room depressed. I just got to a stage where I had enough of panicking. What do I do? I have tried many things to help myself handle panic attacks and whatnot but I feel like the only way I can be happy is living in an area where I can drive to/from work. I also miss doing the things I am passionate about (hiking, rock climbing, camping, mountain biking, the great outdoors etc..) as these things really helped my mental health. It's impossible to do that without a car. Part of me wants to go home, part of me wants to stay here to fulfill my overseas experience. I wish there was some happy pill I could take to forget about the stupid traumitising experience I had on the train sad  

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I understand what you mean. You have a fear of public transport, I have a fear of being in my car on my own on long journeys. The best thing to do is face the fear. I've just had a new job and it involves driving long journeys on my own, I have panic a tracks on the way to work every morning but I have to keep doing it to concise my fear and not let these silly things take over my life. I think you gradually need to slowly get back into public transport. Just jump on at a stop and get off the next stop and slowly build yourself up to going longer. Facing your fear is hard work, but you can't let it take over your life because you only live once!
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    • Posted

      Thanks Nicola. I'm sorry you're going through this as well. Not sure if it helps you, but back home I would always play my favourite playlist in my car and sing along.. quite loudly and badly smile I found this quite therapeutic before/after work. 

      I have tried occasionally getting back on public transport with my boyfriend but I don't last long. Logically speaking, I thought the more I did it the easier it would be but it got so hard that I simply couldn't do it anymore. I never used to have a fear of public transport, for me it's more the fear of someone throwing up near me and not being able to escape immediately because I'm stuck in a crowded train/bus. It sounds ridiculous I know, but because it already happened I fear it even more because I know it's possible and I can't control the panic I feel when it's happening.

      Thanks for your kind words smile 

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  • Posted

    Hi - I think you should go home so that you can do all those things that you say that you feel passionate about- the things that help your recovery that keep you well. you cannot be fulfilling your travel experience in london being stuck in your room sat at your computer. Most peoplewho livein the Uk stay well away from London apart from the occasional show, concert or to visit the musuems when a new show comes to town. I cannot think of anything worse to be honest for someone who has anxiety issues. I suppose you need to weigh up the pros and the cons but u also need to reasses youur situation carefully. If your visa was suddenly  revoked for some strange reason and you had to keave within two weeks imagine how you wouuld feel? This might help.Take care - 
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    • Posted

      I am leaning towards going home and yes you're right, London is not a good place for people like me!

      I think the pros outway the cons. I would be leaving my boyfriend behind for about 4 months which is one of the reasons I'm finding it hard to make a decision. We moved here together and intended to travel together so I would feel quite bad about leaving him here when we don't have any family and not many friends here. I'm also afraid I'll regret the decision once I'm back home as New Zealand is so separated from the world it's difficult and expensive to travel to a lot of places.

      I really had every intention of making the most of it while I was here but I guess I need to put my health first.

      Thanks for the advice smile 

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    • Posted

      I am leaning towards going home and yes you're right, London is not a good place for people like me!

      I think the pros outway the cons. I would be leaving my boyfriend behind for about 4 months which is one of the reasons I'm finding it hard to make a decision. We moved here together and intended to travel together so I would feel quite bad about leaving him here when we don't have any family and not many friends here. I'm also afraid I'll regret the decision once I'm back home as New Zealand is so separated from the world it's difficult and expensive to travel to a lot of places.

      I really had every intention of making the most of it while I was here but I guess I need to put my health first.

      Thanks for the advice smile 

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  • Posted

    On the other hand! if you stick it out and try to make the last few months a bit better by focusing on the end stage - it might give you a huge sense of satisfaction that may in fact release some of the strength of the anxiety. You would be saved from the feelings of regret and possible guilt of leaving your boyfriend. You would not have to travel home alone or experiencee that moment of getting back to your  home in NZ with a sense of having failed. MMMM - yo would be telling your anxiety to get back in the box ? Have another think??
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