Last week on Wednesday I was asked to come into Matches HQ and pitch my collection for the first time. My pitch was at 10am and after my 8am meeting in Soho I started to make my way over to the Olympic Park on the other side of London. I was nervous, this was a big moment for me, I had never presented my collection before and it was something I had been working towards for a few years.
For those who may not be aware, I don’t handle my nerves well and have been prone to panic attacks throughout my life, especially when caffeine and stress are involved. So I was on route to the meeting and the familiar sudden rush of stress kicked in... palpitations, dizziness, a shortened breath and tunnel vision. Before I knew it panic had set in and I was in the back of cab breathing into a paper bag. The week before I had done a 5 day juice cleanse and so I knew my blood sugar level was down anyway and this combined with stress was causing me to feel faint and lightheaded. If any of you have had a panic attack you will understand that the spiral of fear can get really out of hand fast and it’s difficult to rationalise the sudden intense feelings that override your body. I basically thought I was having a heart attack. The taxi driver offered to take me to hospital as I lay down flat on the backseats crying and holding my chest as my heart pounded out of it.
There was just half an hour left before my meeting and I had to decide if I should go to hospital or not. I called a friend. A friend that was familiar with these sensations herself. She explained that all these sensations were just energy moving around and that I should just go with them and not fight them. She explained that what was happening wasn’t dangerous and that I should trust that things were going to be okay. I told her I was planning on missing the meeting and going to hospital instead but she insisted that I go to the meeting and that I would get through it.
On arrival at the Olympic Park I could hardly stand up, I was shaking, my body was drained and feeling faint and pins and needles all over. Not exactly feeling my best self or ready for presenting my collection. The taxi driver helped me get to the nearest cafe where I brought myself something to eat and drink. Half an hour later I mustered the courage and took myself into the pitch. The pitch was in a glass box in front of a panel of seven people. Dragons den style. This was all very new to me but I managed to somehow keep cool.
Thank goodness, (like all these things) in the end it all looked and appeared much worse than it actually was and it ended up being a very positive experience. I was so grateful that I went in. I was glad my friend had encouraged me to do so. I had beaten the fear. I had overcome going to hospital. I had managed to overcome the panic and this in itself was a huge achievement for me. It had given me a boast of self confidence in itself. Overcoming ones own fears and anxieties can be hugely empowering.