We were out a club. I was drinking, but not excessively, I had had a decent supper before and was feeling good. All of a sudden I panicked, I felt somewhere between wanting to be sick and like I was going to pass out. It was very crowded and I realized that I had to get away. I started to head for the toilet, but after only a few steps I knew that I wasn’t going to make it. I turned back towards the friends I was with and collapsed. I had no feeling in my arms or legs, I was aware of what was happening but had not control over it. My boyfriend rushed towards me as I fell, and he and a friend carried me towards the exit. The bouncers immediately thought that the guys who had rushed to my aid were up to no good and so would not allow us to leave the exit. It took a minute or so for me to come around and assure the bouncers that I knew and trusted the boys I was with. We headed off to the nearest clinic and were casually informed by the nurses that if I was conscious and not vomiting, I was fine.

Everyone thought that my drink had been spiked, it happens a lot apparently. It was really scary to think that someone could have been watching me that night and deliberately went out of their way to do me harm. That’s at least what I was thinking until it happened again – at work. Following that was several doctor appointments, tests and stressing, but they never could find anything wrong. I questioned everything I did, ate, drank, felt. Was I imagining it? Was it psychological?

That was three years ago and it has happened approximately five or six times per year since that first night. The doctors tell me that this is just something that happens and I have to deal with it. It’s strange how people start to see you differently though, always on the look-out for me to pass out. It’s awful not to be in control of your own body. It’s something that I have to warn new friends about, especially male friends as understandably, people always assume the worst and I have to always be careful of who I’m with or where I am.

I can’t let it control my life but I am constantly aware of how vulnerable it makes me. I feel like my body has let me down and that its weakness and vulnerability don’t match at all, and cannot keep up, with the confident person I am.