Helener’s Panic Attacks and Derealisation Recovery Story

Hi my name is Helener and I overcame Panic Attacks and Derealisation

“I just thought this was me this is how I was made and to get on and live with it! WRONG!”

Hi, my name is Helener and this is my anxiety recovery story.

I had anxiety for about thirty years, it was always with me but it ebbed and flowed from a manageable level to hypersensitive state.

For many years I had no label for the way I was feeling because nobody ever said I was suffering from anxiety. It was so hard to understand because I was so outgoing and full of fun, the life and soul of the party so to speak, but it was like living in a body that had two people living in it, like the cartoon with the demon on one side and the angel on the other.

I was the angel constantly fighting the demon (anxiety) on the other.

I had many symptoms, too many to mention. I remember going to the doctors because I had a lump in my throat, I thought I had throat cancer, I was convinced of it. I felt like I couldn’t swallow, he told me I had acid reflux and gave me antacid tablets. It used to come and go so I thought that was it… I know now it was Globus Hystericus a symptom of anxiety.

I used to lie in bed at night with my hands on my chest trying to get a deep breath to go down into my lungs; it felt like I had someone sitting on me. How could this feel so heavy when nothing was there? I felt so afraid I would have a panic attack, exhausted from it all I would eventually fall asleep.

I used to wake up in the morning and think to myself its gone, I feel ok but that only lasted for about a minute then there it was just like the demon had jumped on my back, putting its hands round my throat and saying “I’m back”

I had to fight it every day but somehow I saw it as a fight, I was not going to give in. I don’t know to this day where I got the strength (now crying at the very thought of you feeling like this at the moment and you so don’t have to, not for another day).

I remember getting in my car and driving to work, breathing into a paper bag at the traffic lights having yet another panic attack. Why was life so hard? Why me!?! But yet I would fight it.

I can remember going to get some logs from the shed for the log fire and it felt like my eyes had been filled with smoke. I couldn’t see properly and then it happened, I felt like I was no longer in my body and I was up above myself looking down as I got the logs.

I was so afraid at this point I just sat in the shed with my head in my hands afraid to open my eyes. This had gone to a new level, I wasn’t just afraid; I was petrified I was going mad. Thanks to TLM I now know this was Derealisation.

I was a single parent at this time and my lovely daughter was about eight years old, I think she was the reason I had so much fight in me. She needed me so I had to fight for her too.

We we’re in a rented cottage that I was trying so hard to make home, I was painting her bedroom for her trying my best to make it a princesses bedroom. The window was open and it was dark, I had lost both my parents by this time. I remember looking out the open window at the stars and starting to cry.

The little girl in me just wanted to go home, to just talk to my wonderful parents, to be held in my mom’s arms and told it was going to be ok but there was no home to go to.

I remember turning round and my daughter was in the doorway of the bedroom with her friend, she had come for tea that night. My shoulders felt tight and I had a feeling of a tight band around my head. My face started to drop on one side. I was trying to talk to Esther but all my words were coming out wrong and making no sense at all but in my head I was talking properly.

My heart began to race and thump, she looked at me and said “mommy you are scaring me, what’s the matter?” I just looked and said “please God, don’t let me die in front of my daughter”. I thought I was having a stroke.

The next day I didn’t go to work, I was exhausted. I had been lying on the bathroom floor for hours after being sick the night before. I took my daughter to school and came back home. I sat on the floor in front of the fire and just thought ok demon you win! I can’t do this anymore, I have no fight in me, I have no fight left, I am broken and exhausted. I wanted to die just to be free from the pain, but I knew that wasn’t an option, I had Esther.

“That’s when I found The Linden Method and Charles. In my darkest moment I found the light.”

Something urged me to pick up my laptop and search the Internet – that’s when I found The Linden Method and Charles. In my darkest moment I found the light.

I can remember finding a video that had Charles talking about anxiety and how it affected him. I couldn’t stop listening; the more he talked the more I resonated with him. I just kept thinking oh my God, this is me!

He explained exactly how I was feeling and how it was affecting me, the symptoms, the feelings, everything! This man had walked in my shoes and recovered. It was when he said, “I promise you will recover”. At that moment I started to cry. I put my hand on the laptop screen touching the image of his face and thought, “I believe you”.

Hours had gone by and it was time to collect my daughter from school and do what moms do for their children. I lay in bed that night staring at the ceiling full of hope that I had found the answer but at the same time the ‘what if’s’ crept in. What if it didn’t work? What if I never get better? What if I’m the only one it doesn’t work for? And what then?

I woke up the next day and what little bit of strength I had, I kicked the ‘what if’s’ into the long grass and I rang The Linden Centre. I spoke to a wonderful lady; I wish I could remember her name because she was amazing with me.

I ordered the Home Learning Programme and the day it arrived, I remember holding it in my hands with a smile on my face. I kissed the box and believed. I got to work straight away and started to implement all the things I was told to do.

At times in the very beginning I would call The Centre just for a bit of reassurance to make sure I was doing it right. They were angels supporting me and putting me on the right track. It didn’t take long to feel so much better and as promised by Charles himself within weeks I was cured!

I went onto learn to sing and dance on stage and did productions in the theatre in front of hundreds of people. I became an even better version of me because of my journey. If you have the courage to start you have the courage to succeed. I learnt how to fly again and you can too.

It seemed that everywhere I went people would always talk to me about anxiety, so I decided to become an ambassador for The Linden Method. If I could just help one person by doing this then it would all have been even more so worth the journey.

Please, please just believe and have the courage to walk in my footsteps like I walked in Charles’. And you too will be free to fly again.

Much love Helener xx

PS: The moral of the story is you can’t let this fear (or any fear) stop you from living the life you dream of.


Hi, my name is Beth, I am director of Linden Tree Education.

You will receive unlimited, qualified support from amazing Recovery Specialists when you start the courses.

If you wish to receive guidance or support, please contact the support team through the TLM  Members Portal

If you wish to book a course, please contact beth@thelindencentre.org Beth is director of Linden Recovery and course director of the Anxiety Recovery Retreat programmes.

Beth Linden. Director.
Linden Tree Edu.

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