My Story: 10 Year’s Living with Anxiety Part 2

Posted on October 14, 2013


3 things I believe led me to a life with anxiety

1. Volunteering in Tanzania, on a community development project helping build a school, a village well, and working in an orphanage. 

Seeing all these children who by western standards technically had ‘nothing’, yet were so full of life, so happy – I realised I’d been living a materialistic existence, addicted to buying clothes mostly. To fill the void. And I started to feel disgusted that I had £20,000 of debt, from store cards, credit cards and running away from my problems.

2. Lariam (aka Mefloquine, an anti-malarial drug that was recently described in the Independent newspaper as the modern ‘Agent Orange’ – putting loads of British soldiers lives at risk despite claims that it has increased suicide and psychosis) a drug banned recently United States.

Lariam made me suffer from horrific paranoia. At night I had violent dreams. I’m a vivid dreamer anyway, and these were the worst I’ve ever had. One dream convinced me that my brother had died in Afghanistan, and I had no way of contacting my family to find out. Another I remember featured my mother’s head, rotting and filled with maggots. I was overly emotional, crying all the time, extremely on edge. I thought all the other young volunteers despised me. It felt like being at school again, where I had often felt like an outsider. And at times, I despised them, and was vocal about it.

When I left the voluntary project and went off travelling through Tanzania to Malawi by myself I have never felt so lonely and scared in my entire life. There was an incident I’ll never forget, where I was the only tourist in the village, and two local guys came knocking on my motel door, they knew my name, and they wanted to be my boyfriend for the night.

3. The 2004 Tsunami.

It woke me up, rushing under my hut on stilts in the island of Ko Lanta, in the western region of Thailand. How I happened to be on the one island where staying in a hut on the beach, didn’t most likely equal death or a severely traumatic experience, still haunts me to this day. I think what happened afterwards, could be likened to survivors guilt. I have felt tremendously guilty about the fact that so many people who loved their lives, lost them, and here I am, struggling to want to live sometimes.


Posted in: The Truth