Hello lovely friends,

Thanks for clicking! I don’t want to assume anything, but I’m going to go ahead and say that you clicked on my link because you know me or my parents or a friend. Aren’t they great? I like them a lot and they have good taste.

Okay, so to begin, I’m going to explain the title of my site, “noli timere.” In 2013, a famous Irish poet named Seamus Heaney, as he was being taken to the hospital, texted the Latin words to his wife right before he died. It means “don’t be afraid.” When it hit news, my dad called me and told me, and I liked what it stood for- he looked death in the face and knew he wasn’t going to make it, but he wasn’t scared. (SIDENOTE: if you know my dad, you know he gets very easily emotional, meaning he cries like a baby literally any time of day, and naturally, as we hung up, he chokes back tears and says “noli timere, Addie.” And I rolled my eyes and hung up. But I digress.) I spent most of my anxiety-ridden junior year looking for “the perfect quote.” I found a lot, but nothing I liked as much as noli timere. So it stuck. Eventually I want to get it tattooed, but my parents said I can’t get any more piercings or any type of body modifications until I am 25, or they won’t pay for school. And let’s be honest- I need them to pay for school.

It also is what got me through my first semester of college. I’ve always had extreme issues with anxiety, and I was really nervous about leaving the comfort of my home and my three fuzzy dogs and my mom and my baby sister who isn’t a baby anymore and my town and my friends and also actually having to work. But I moved in, and I was fine for about three weeks, and then the first “period” hit.

It was only for four days, but it was awful. I could not stop having panic attacks, I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, and when I did I would wake up in a panic and call my dad to learn how to breathe again. I even had to leave class a couple of times- shout out to Professor Hudson for being really understanding. Eventually it passed, and I kept on going. Two weeks later was parent’s weekend, and for the whole three days I was a wreck. I couldn’t stop crying, and every time I thought about them leaving again my chest would get too tight and I couldn’t breathe, or even imagine making it through the 17 days until I would see my mom again. The time came, and it was worse.

The second period was excruciating. It was even shorter periods between the panic attacks, and none of my tools would work to calm me down. Two days into the week, my mom came back with new medicines, and the comfort that I desperately needed to get my life back together and also maybe eat food. My mom stayed for a week. She held me when I cried, which was every hour basically, calmed me down during the attacks, and helped me get back on my feet. After she left, I felt okay. Not good, but I was eating and sleeping and getting back to “normal.” When I saw her a week later for fall break, I’d never been that happy. I had made it. I was in the clear. Right?

Coming back was hard. I didn’t go home, but I had seen my cousins and gotten used to being with my mom again, and I was afraid I was going to spiral again. I was about the be in a play that I was excited about, but I was worried that when I had my free time back I would lose it. It was a rough week, but the show went up, my best friend came to see it, and it ended and I didn’t freaking die. Which was exciting.

I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, a panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. All of those things I could have told you, but it was so nice to finally have a diagnosis, that my shrink at home hadn’t told me at all. I didn’t feel crazy any more. I haven’t had a panic attack since October 29. Yeah, I know the date. All through the episodes, I was writing “noli timere” on my arm and ankle, planning my tattoo for when I’m 25. I asked my parents, but they unfortunately didn’t change their minds on the age. But it’s my thing. I have nothing else figured out, but I found my quote and it works for me.

At the end of the first extremely dark tunnel of my life, I thought I would write about it. This post didn’t go in depth as I wanted to, but I want to share my experiences, both good and bad, and my coping skills and whatnot, in hopes that they can help someone who needed them as much as I did. Also, it’s my website so I can put more in the next piece, so stay tuned!

Here ends the first post. Thanks for reading! I need to Google pictures of really cute hedgehogs now.

~ Addie

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6 comments

  1. Peter D. O'Neill · January 16, 2016

    Well written Addie. You are a star. I look forward to your next post, oh, and I will drop a cartoon of Kleenex round in Cobb Street. Just give me the word.

    Like

  2. Peter D. O'Neill · January 16, 2016

    Maybe even a carton of Kleenex, but a cartoon would be more fun…

    Like

  3. Cindi · January 16, 2016

    Hello Addie,
    You are correct in assuming that I clicked on your site because I know someone in your life. I met your father through our mutual interest in supporting public education. He is a great guy, even if he does cry a lot. (-: Anyway, I’m really only facebook friends with him due to the education interests, but I have to say that I much enjoy the wide range of things he posts about, and I get a huge kick out of the pictures he posts of your family. I think you really won the jackpot lottery with your Mom and Dad and it makes me happy to know that you realize it! Anyway, when he posted the link to your blog, I clicked on it and immediately loved your title and the explanation of why it was so named. It’s a very hard thing to be brave in the world, this i know. But i love that you’re determined to try.
    I wanted to write you though because your post touched me because my daughter also deals with anxiety and with obsessive compulsive disorder. And yet, she also has been very brave- and because she has been, she is now 32, living in Tokyo, married, and has a wonderful big life working for a website called Tokyo Art Beat. (Note: if you are ever going to Tokyo, check the site out for the art happenings and exhibits that you can see. She very recently got to meet Yoko Ono when she was reviewing an exhibit.)
    Anyway, what I want you to know is that the 2nd term my daughter was in college, facing the loss of a family member and becoming overwhelmed with all she had on her plate in front of her, and about her future, she became afraid she wasn’t going to be able to handle it all. She was very afraid. And I remember distinctly how all alone and lonely she felt. But she was able to power her way through dark times and has come out the other side.
    So I’m telling you all this to hopefully give you some more courage for your future. I really think it’s going to be great! Yes, there might be more tense times and maybe even more moments of panic, but I can see that you share with my daughter some wonderful tools to combat those times- you seem very bright, creative, kind-hearted, and you have a family who loves you and who will be there to help you fight any battle you need to fight. I wish you all the very best!

    Like

  4. noli timere · January 17, 2016

    Hello, Cindy! Thank you so much! I definitely did win the lottery with my parents, and I am so glad you liked my post!
    I wish your daughter the best, and of course feel free to share the link with her! Thank you so much for your kind words!
    ~ Addie

    Like

  5. segower · January 17, 2016

    Beautifully and honestly written straight from the heart. We’re all with you.

    Like

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