It’s like you’re in this fight alone, struggling with your own tired self, sinking in the sand unable to get yourself through it. You fear the sound of the only noise ever hearing, is the silence of your own heartbeat giving up, the thoughts coming to an end, and your soul sending out a final goodbye.
I used to tip-toe around people’s questions, getting uncomfortable and wondering why they had to dig so deep while I was crumbling on the inside, at every second, every minute, and every hour.
No matter how much I smiled and tried to convince them that I was doing just fine, my own eyes deceived me by revealing the ugly truth.
There are certain things that you cannot sugar coat or add a pretty filter that will hide the gruesomeness behind it, and though I’ve noticed that it is almost a taboo, 1 out of 13 (globally) suffers from it.
Anxiety, a relatively small word yet with the tremendous force to completely demolish you from the inside out, and your once peaceful state of mind gets turned upside down into an awry havoc of misery and angst. – You live in this cold despair, breathing in nothing but distress, drowning in tears and the essence of darkness left in the sting of the air. This suffocating sensation of everything taking your sweet breath away as you’re counting down the petals, hoping that by the time you reach the last one, you’ll be in a place much better than the one that you’re in.
For years I struggled with it on a daily basis, day in and day out, several times a day, even nights became something I feared, knowing that even in my sleep I couldn’t escape it.
At times, it felt as if all of my own walls were closing in on me, making it almost impossible to breathe; tormented by a constant pounding heart, unable to swallow, and fear.
Everything around me became threatening, out to get me, and I had never felt so weak as a person as I did in those moments, vulnerable, easy to damage and manipulate. I felt so little, scared, and wondered how an insignificant emotion could take over my life just like that.
Living with depression and constant anxiety is already a nightmare itself, but getting a panic attack is something I’ll never wish upon anyone to ever experience.
That horrid feeling that slowly crawls up your spine ready to blast and have you lose yourself is pure cruelty. Mine used to last for several minutes, but if you have ever had one, then you know that just 60 seconds feels like a lifetime.
They were so raw, brutal, and horrific that it came to a point where I was praying for my life to come to an end, thinking that being dead would be much better than this. Crying, and in agony wishing for death to knock on my door, because I couldn’t re-live another panic attack, it was destroying my life and everything that I had come to love. And worst part? Once the attack had settled, the depression was till there. I was taunted by this crippling ache that I couldn’t understand, and when the panic surfaced, darkness was all I saw.
There is nothing worse than going through the shaking, the cold sweating, every muscle tensing, feeling nauseated, the blurry vision, the loud pounding in your ear, and the sensation of your own heart wanting to claw itself through your chest – all of that while you’re in tears, screaming, and dealing with the panic of everything around you falling apart, thinking you’re about to experience the very last moment of your life. The desperate need to get away, to flee from the odd emotion of feeling like you are about to die, crumbling on the inside, and so is everything around you.
I could even wake up in the middle of the night, sending out a piercing scream from the core of my being, thinking that I was completely insane, pure madness running though every nerve of mine. It’s a bizarre blend of paranoia and close to damn psychotic.
They would creep up on me at all giving moments of the day – with friends, in theaters, at work, and worst, when eating. Suddenly, I found myself avoiding food, fearing that I would have another episode. I started to lose weight, to feel weaker, and I didn’t care – as long as I didn’t have any attacks, I was fine.
Before I knew it, I had developed a second disorder that was taking control of my life.
”don’t let it be this darkened cloud hovering above you, raining all over your paradise.”
As time went by, I somehow found a way to embrace it, I guess you could say that I got used to dealing with them, so then, whenever I felt a panic attack about to kick in, I just went along with it. Ride the wave instead of going against it.
The more you struggle, the more it’ll escalate, and drag out your anxiety.
Once you welcome it and remind yourself that nothing bad is going to happen, you will find yourself slowly adjusting to your situation.
It took me a while before I was able to control it, to not be dominated by my emotions, and not only did they become shorter, I didn’t have them as frequently.
When you start to cooperate with it, it will become much easier to cope with it as well.
I started to create these little mantras that I kept on a loop, playing over and over inside my head until my own brain started to pick up on them, accepting the words that I was telling myself and agreeing.
It can be anything, something that you say to remind yourself that you can do it and will make it through.
Accept yourself and your anxiety, truly love yourself, recognize your own value and beauty, having this awful disorder doesn’t lower your worth as a person.
Though it may sound like bs, these little mantras helped me overcome whatever little monster that had moved into my system without any sort of permission.
For you to cope with your anxiety, you must be able to understand it, and for that, you must know what it is.
What is the core of it? What triggers it? And, what happens to you when it goes nuclear and explodes.
The heart of the anxiety is different to every individual, but the cause is the same to everyone, stress.
Stress based on several types of factors such as; PTS (post-traumatic-stress), phobias, OCD, or environmental reasons like work or relationships.
The result can be the combination of all of the above or one specifically, stress that has been inside of you for a while, bottling up until it blasts.
Once you start to place every piece of the puzzle together, you’ll get a clear picture of what it is that you must focus on in order for you to go into battle. Prepare yourself for what it is that might come up, and face it.
The anxiety is a rising fire, and a panic attack a full blown explosion.
Everyone has a so-called parasympathetic nervous system and a sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system is what makes your brain feel hunger, or knowing when you’re tired. The sympathetic nervous system is what helps you survive traumatic encounters.
During a panic response, your sympathetic nervous system is the one that gets triggered and reacts. Every single one your senses are alert times ten, and your adrenaline kicks in, which causes your heart to pump faster, which in turn is the start to everything else that will suddenly be the worst ten to twenty minutes of your life in that exact moment.
I’ve had therapy, gone to phycologists, gotten every medication for it, but nothing has helped me as much as I have helped myself by being patient.
Don’t be afraid of it, and don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t let it be this darkened cloud hovering above you, raining all over your paradise.
You as a being are much stronger than a small thought, don’t give it the power to tear you apart. It might sound like a cliche but fake it ‘till you make it. Fool your own brain, feed it with encouragement at every hour of every day, and eventually, it’ll start to actually work. Overpower and overshadow those horrid emotions, knock them down before they knock you down.
As hard as it may be, try with every once of force inside of you to guide yourself through your surroundings once you have an episode, reminding yourself that you are safe, and that, will slowly bring you back.
The anxiety is still there underneath, taunting me, but every day is becoming easier to deal with. I still struggle with panic attacks every now and then, but I don’t constantly feel that fear and uneasiness at every minute of the day anymore. I am once again doing the things that I once loved but stopped because I was scared that I would get another episode of pure panic.
Don’t let it get in the way of doing what makes you happy. Whatever that brings you that spark of bliss, do that. Never let it win.
Use your voice, seek treatment, find whatever that might be able to help you. The mantra helped me, but we’re all individuals and work in different ways, but don’t be afraid of trying to find a solution so you can overcome it and leave it behind you. You are not alone, thousands of souls are dealing with it out there, and I send every bit of my heart out to those spirits, knowing that it ain’t easy.
Don’t become a hostage of an illness, you’re not a bird with clipped wings, you might be slightly tainted but not broken. Soon, you’ll be free to fly.
Stay beautiful. Stay unique. Stay strong.
Few things that helped me along the way;
Supplements (If you are missing a certain substance, that alone can trick your brain into sending signals that you’re not doing well. Example, lack of Magnesium,Vitamin B, Iron, and others, can lead to depression) Take a full blood test and see if there’s a vitamin that is missing.
The tv-show FRIENDS (spending few hours a day just laughing, did wonders)
Zen Living (Cleansing my mind from clutter, identify the resistance and remove it, face the problem and don’t run away from it, fight it.)
A healthy diet
Music. Reading. Writing.
Treatment (provided by doctors)