'Debilitating is probably the word': Coast mum on anxiety

SURVIVOR: Rachel Dickey has written a book about her life and the experiences of friends. Rachel is pictured with her children Byron,7, and Tayla,10.
SURVIVOR: Rachel Dickey has written a book about her life and the experiences of friends. Rachel is pictured with her children Byron,7, and Tayla,10. Warren Lynam

IT'S the journey no one thinks they'll ever have to take.

But it's one Currimundi mum Rachel Dickey knows all to well.

She was a hard-working personal trainer who thought everything was fine until a counsellor identified the root of the angst she was feeling.

"Coming to terms with what was going on is what was really confronting," she said.

"It actually took a visit to a counsellor (to realise the situation that Iwas in)."

The situation Rachel was in left her experiencing numbing panic attacks, which were having big impacts on her everyday life.

"For me it was just completely overwhelming - the feeling of going into a panic attack and not knowing what it was or how to stop it," she said.

"The feeling of my heart racing really fast and like you're going to be sick.

"Debilitating is probably the word.

"You just feel like you have no control over yourself."

It was a long road thereafter for Rachel trying to understand the cause of the problem and more importantly how she would beat it.

"The key to realising I was that victim was knowing that unless something changed I always going to be in that place," she said.

"When you're full of anxiety you don't get that clarity.

"It's a bit of a process to go through."

Through practising mindfulness she says things started to become much clearer.

"It's not an easy thing to do, particularly when you get older it gets harder," she said.

"But for me it got me to where I am today where I now teach it."

While she says she still goes through days where she feels overwhelmed, mindfulness continues to guide her through.

"I've learnt to really be thankful for the people that hurt me along the way," she said.

"If I'm stressed or anxious there is no clarity."

Today Rachel devotes her energy to running her own business, teaching others about the power of mindfulness.

She has written her own book which details her struggles and triumphs along the way.

And is a proud mum of four children.

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Topics:  anxiety author counsellor life coach mental health mindfulness

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