Stories, skills, and positivity- to anxiety sufferers from anxiety sufferers.
By: Danielle M
It begins with a simple thought. That’s all it takes for the panic to ensue.
Next, you get a tingling in your brain. One that you can’t explain, one that you can’t stop as it spreads like wildfire around your skull, setting it alight.
The rapid breathing follows, short and shallow, threatening to suffocate you as you gasp for the air that your body seems so incapable of holding within itself any longer.
You begin to feel your heartbeat quicken with each passing second, fearing it will never slow. You feel it push the blood within your veins with such force that you swear they will rupture at any given moment and you hear the violent throb of your own pulse drumming within your ears as a reminder your body is beginning to betray you.
You drop to the floor. Your eyes grow wide with hysteria and confusion. You begin to shake to such an aggressive degree that your body screams for you to stop as your muscles tense with sharp pain.
But you can’t stop. That is the problem. You physically can’t stop.
You hold your head in your hands and squeeze as if you are trying to force out the horrible physiological symptoms you know your brain is causing. You know you are teetering on a brink. You can feel it, sense it, taste it. You know you must regain control quick before it’s too late, before you are pushed over the edge. But you know, deep down, that you are already too far gone by this point.
You suddenly collapse as your mind begins to take hold of you. You scream, but no relief comes. Your mind shows you no mercy. You are helpless, you are alone, and most of all, you are afraid, deathly afraid.
Am I going insane
Am I insane
Will this ever end
Will I be this way forever
Am I going to die
Questions you could so easily answer no to confidently moments ago are now in doubt as it seems that each one of these questions could simply now be answered with a maybe, or even more terrifyingly, with a yes.
You begin to feel that familiar tearing sensation now as, not your brain, but your mind begins to haemorrhage. You can feel it begin to leak out numerous, unwanted, invading thoughts that torture and frighten you to your core. You try to suppress them, try to push them away, but they force themselves upon you and you can do nothing but scream and shake.
And so you lie there, shaking, whimpering, for what feels like hours until your world goes black or you go numb. This is the point where you finally feel some sense of relief where the haze that has clouded your mind begins to lift and you are left laying limp on the floor catching the breath you thought would never come back to you.
You are cold, yet you are drenched in sweat. Your eyes lazily scan your surroundings to find your family, friends, or peers staring at you with expressions of exasperated confusion, concern, but most prominently, fear. You shut your eyes and pray it was all just a dream and that they are not all truly there but you know they are, and you know what they just witnessed.
You feel the tears begin to well up within you as you feel the embarrassment hit you hard. You want them all to just go away, you want to be invisible, you want to just disappear; but you know you can’t. You are stuck there with the eyes of everyone upon you. You are now a spectacle.
You can now feel the tear in your mind that has just resealed itself ready to reopen once again as you lie there in a puddle of humiliation and contempt for the part of you that everyone has just witnessed. The disorder within you that you hate with your guts, the one you loathe, the one you despise with every ounce of your being: your anxiety.
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Katie McLean holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and bases her anxiety aid in personal experience, as well as techniques that have been passed on to her by counsellors, friends, and fellow anxiety sufferers.