This is the first time I am seeking help besides a few close friends.I recently went on a school trip overseas and when I got back and whilst I was over there found out that my ex boyfriend (of a year) had cheated on me with one of my closest friends. Dealing with that became extremely hard as we are all still a part of a big group. I then started having extremely negative thoughts and started self harming [Mod edit]. Although none of the time they were serious. Things got worse for me when I started having panic attacks. Although they weren't serious except for a few. They became at school, during class and I would literally freak out. A few days I have to go sit by myself at lunch as I can't handle being around my friends and my negative thoughts come. I've also had a problem with washing my hands obsessively for about 3 years to the point that they bleed. A few of my friends know about the first time I self harmed [Mod edit] but nothing else. Only two know pretty much everything. I have quite a lot of "down days" as I call them. Where out of nowhere I will be extremely sad or just cry. Only yesterday was my worst panic attack. I went to have a shower and couldn't stop crying. I could barely breathe and collapsed on the ground struggling for breathe and constantly crying. I then had a shower struggling to breathe and after sat on the floor of the shower crying. This went on for about 15-20 minutes even when I was out of the shower.
Re: need help
Hey, @courtez ! Thanks for posting! I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you're experiencing. It is, however, important to know that you're not alone. People can disappoint you sometimes, huh? But so too are they capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness and selflessness. Don't lose faith! 'The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you', singer/songwriter Bob Marley once said. 'You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.' It sounds like there are people in your life who, flawed and imperfect though they may be, are nevertheless supportive of you? You said you'd sought counsel from a few close friends? You presumably felt like they could be trusted? You bestowed upon them a great honour by offering your trust, courtez. It's the most precious gift we have to give. I remember reading Khalil Gibran some years ago. He was a guru/philosopher who achieved mainstream success in his own lifetime and again in the 60's. One piece of his writing in particular has stayed with me: 'You say that the beggar doesn't deserve your charity?', he enquired. 'I say that it is you who is underserving. For the priviliege is yours.' I quote that passage here to demonstrate that, offering your trust like you did to your friends, you gave to them, courtez, not the other way around. And that was an incredibly generous thing for you to have done. So, before I say anything further, congratulations!
I've often heard people recommend concentrating on your breathing as a strategy to deal with anxiety/panic attacks. If nothing else, it gives you something to distract you from whatever it is that has induced feelings of anxiety/panic in you. As well, Amy Cuddy gave a TED Talk last year about the effect of body language on how you see yourself. Her research shows that, striking a 'power pose', we can sometimes fool ourselves into feeling confident, etc., even when we don't. I'd encourage you to watch by clicking here.
Thanks once again for posting, courtez. We look forward to your continued involvement in the ReachOut forums!
Re: need help
Welcome to the forums and you are so strong for seeking help you are so strong. I can hear that you are going through so much at the moment and finding that your friend and your boyfriend at the time were cheating must have been so difficult. I have experienced something like this as well, one of my very best and oldest friend slept with my ex boyfriend and it truly broke me and I lost so much trust for people so I can somewhat relate to what you are going through.
It sounds like these negative thoughts really affected every part of your life and going through this mostly alone would have been so hard for you. I hope the friends that do know what is going on have been of support to you. You have taken a great step forward coming on here and sharing how you feel and what you are going through. Have you thought of going to see a GP or counsellor to help you move forward and work through this?
Self harming sounds like it was a way for you to cope, this factsheet on building better coping skills might help you find other ways of coping through this. Also contacting help services like Lifeline on 13 11 14 and they also have online chat service if you prefer and this might help you figure out what to do to move forward and get the help you need.
Take care of yourself and we are here to support you.
**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**
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