1998 was the craziest, scariest year of my life. I had a nervous breakdown that year and that story is the topic of a kindle ebook I'm writing, due to be finished in September.
The few years before had seen me become increasingly busy and stressed. My dad died in February '97 of cancer and that was a big blow. My parents had followed my family to Australia as we were all they had other than Holland, and then dad died.
I was busy trying to build a natural therapies business as well as studying more, and involved in setting up an alternative school in town. I had our 3 young kids on my own during the week while my husband worked out of town and came home on weekends. Our relationship had been going downhill for a while.
And then it ended and I moved out. 8 months later, not realising how stressed and unwell I was, everything came to a halt. I had a series of intense, full blown panic attacks and my world came to a complete stand still.
When it's happening, a panic attack is mind-blowingly terrifying, literally. It is also very, very physical. You think you are dying, but you aren't, and when you finally realise what's going on you wait, totally wired 24/7 for the next, and the next, and the next...
It took 8 months of hell before I was put on antidepressants and I began to fell a little 'normal' again.
However, I don't think anyone ever completely gets over a nervous breakdown. You are changed in some way or another.
In my case, I just wasn't as 'robust' as I was before. By that I mean I was a bit fragile. Not that anyone would notice, I felt terribly ashamed of what I hadn't noticed happening to me.
So I was wearing a brave and strong face. I pretended as best I could that nothing had really happened and I would carry on with my life.