Meet Paige

“I’ve done a lot of independent travel, especially to third-world countries. But it wasn’t until I was back in my hometown surrounded by friends and family that I felt feel so lost and so anxious – I couldn’t understand why.

Meet Paige, a 29-year old self-proclaimed dog-lover, spending every spare minute with her best friend, her dalmatian, Oreo.

Paige spent her early 20s traveling. “I’ve been to Africa, Central America, South America, New Zealand, even South-East Asia.

I’ve always struggled with anxiety. But I used to think, anxiety is just that: anxiety.

When I returned from travelling, I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and panic attack disorder.

My panic attacks slowly took over my life to the point where I had to stop working. I couldn’t leave the house.

I had uncontrollable shaking and couldn’t feel my legs for a long time. I had suicidal thoughts, migraines, nightmares and huge fatigue.

For about 8 months, my whole body was in fight or flight mode from when I woke up until I went to bed.

There were numerous times I called the Beyond Blue 24/7 Support Service. It was reassuring to have someone to listen on the other end, and not judge.

I used to go onto the Beyond Blue website to read stories about other people. I remember reading what others had overcome, and I thought to myself, I can do that too.

At difficult times, it’s easy to think “no one else has ever experienced this”.

One of the biggest things to help my journey of recovery was talking to people that understood mental health.

I took small steps to get better. I found having a routine to help. A morning routine would set me up for the day.

I also spent a lot of time with my family dog and watching the TV show Friends.

Slowly, I would go for walks around the block, and walks with my parents. I’m lucky to have really good supportive friends. I would even walk their dogs too. I love being with animals and being in nature.”

Since then, Paige has been smashing goals. From running a fundraiser for Beyond Blue, to getting a qualification in mental health care, Paige is passionate to give back and help others experiencing anxiety, depression or impacted by suicide.

“When I think back to who I was back then, I would say: Don’t give up. Surround yourself with people you can trust and take it one day at a time.”

When you run for Beyond Blue, you’re helping us to make it as easy as possible for people to find the right advice and support, just like Paige did. Every donation helps Beyond Blue to provide professional counselling 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk things through via webchat, phone and email.

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