Aladin Bensassi

My terrible fight with anxiety

“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” Joubert Botha

m one of the last people on earth you’d expect to have an anxiety disorder, as a matter of fact, I would have never expected it too until I went to sleep one day and a panic attack woke me up.

I woke up the first day feeling the full wrath of my new found mental disorder descending upon me, my full body was twitching and in pain, I was unable to breathe, and my mind raced into a thousand different directions.

After two days of this hell on earth, to the point where I was afraid to go to bed at night, I decided that I really can’t keep living like this and that I should go see a doctor, at which point I was told that I’m suffering from an anxiety disorder.

The days and weeks to follow were no easier, I refused to take medication to treat my illness because I’ve seen their side effects on people first hand, and I never wanted to ignore my pain, after all, in a way, I felt like anxiety was my body trying to tell me something, so I lived through the sleepless nights, the panic attacks, the fear of going crazy… and in a weird and strange way, I’ve never felt so close to myself, and in tune with my own mind.

Since I decided against being medicated, I had to find alternative ways to improve my own mental health, and in the process took a deeper look at how I lived my life. I used to push down everything I felt, through big financial losses, through countless hardships, and even losing my father, I have never shed a tear nor acknowledged what I was feeling, Instead, I worked and drank myself to sleep every night for almost 10 years.

I lived for so long without acknowledging my feelings to the point where I was taking it out on myself, from alcohol abuse to destructive behavior, and at times I took it as far as pushing loved ones away, for no apparent reason aside from hating myself, and after all, why shouldn’t I hate it? It kept the real me chained in the dark for years feeling the full depth of my pain while I drank it away.

I took a good look in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw, and suddenly, my terrible anxiety didn’t feel so terrible, it felt more like a final warning to get my shit together, and I wasn't about to ignore it, I’ve ignored enough things in life already.

I started eating healthier, cut back on alcohol, stopped smoking, got back to playing basketball, and I even started meditating, and although I’d be lying if I said that I felt much better after, I did improve, and I know it’s a journey that I need to follow through because it might help with my anxiety, but it will definitely make me a better person.

Through this journey, I learned a few things, such as never to tell anyone suffering from depression or anxiety to “get over it” because goddamn it, that’s not the way it works, and I also learned that no matter how fast you can run, you can never run away from yourself, but most importantly, I learned that taking care of your mental health is a must, otherwise, a panic attack might wake you up from your sleep.

Web developer, frontend consultant, avid reader, and a total tech geek. I work closely with Startups and Big Businesses. Find me on http://AladinBs.com