Hi, there. My name is Julia Bar. I live in Sydney, Australia. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.
I was born in the former Soviet Union and when I was 22, my life changed dramatically when I migrated to Australia to join my then fiancé.
In 2002, my life took another turn when I got very sick with anxiety and panic attacks. Since then, I have been working very hard to heal myself and change myself for the better.
Unfortunately, once you get anxiety it never goes away completely. However, one can get to the stage when it is lurking somewhere “backstage” and is no longer a dominant force. I also suffer from a form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), which is not properly diagnosed in many people. It is very well described in Lee Baer’s book, The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts.
We all have issues and worries we have to deal with daily. On top of this, my head is constantly bombarded with obsessive negative thoughts. How can one survive?
I decided to adapt a holistic approach. Instead of relying on drugs long term and becoming a hermit, I read about anxiety and what causes it. I have also studied spirituality. Even though in the former USSR, religion was considered to be “opium for the masses,” I have been religious since I was a young girl.
I realized that we are here to learn lessons, and once you make a change for the better in one area of your life, other areas start to follow.
I had a difficult personal life as well: First, divorce when my daughter was 4, and then another long-term relationship ended in separation just after I got sick with anxiety.
It’s a constant struggle to keep my conditions in check, but as I was progressing physically and spiritually my whole life changed.
I’m now more happy and peaceful than ever and am engaged to a wonderful, loving man.
If you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety:
I believe that anxiety is a sign that something is not right in your life. A sign from your body that deep inside you are disagreeing with something that is going on. We all have the fight-or-flight response — and anxiety can be described as being stuck in a constant position of “fight or flight.” See a progressive doctor as you may need some drug relief, and see a psychologist to try to work out why your body is sabotaging you. Reading about anxiety will help as well.
I describe my journey in my first book Healing My Anxiety (www.HealingMyAnxiety.com for more and to reach me).
An excerpt from Healing My Anxiety:
I read that many people have their first panic attack come on suddenly, out of the blue.
It starts while they are watching TV, having a meal, or simply relaxing. In March 2002 I experienced some chest pain. Back then I lived in a small but prosperous country town in New South Wales with my de facto husband and my daughter from a previous marriage. I was 33 years old.
A moment in time: I am lying on a bed in the emergency department, staring at the ceiling and promising myself to change my lifestyle, to lose weight. I am scared, but hopeful. I have never had any serious health problems.
I tried, but I didn’t persist with my efforts. It was not only extra weight that I was carrying. I found that often before a significant medical issue comes up we get a warning of some sort. There is still time to do something, but often it is ignored or dismissed….
My life became a nightmare. I was getting sick as often as every 10 minutes.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.