Anxiety Attacks

It starts with a pitter-patter innocently tapping on my shoulders, I hope and pray that this time it might be different, easier, more-forgiving. 

This is not some must-have fashion accessory.

I quickly realise it's not soft, sodden, kind drops I'm sensing and everything is about to unfurl dramatically. This is a shrieking, keening omen of the carnage to follow. 

The sky darkens into gravel-grey, large clouds form, hailstones descend. The force intensifies and falls down heavily. I'm left with no shelter from the huffing wind and being swept away in a mighty flood. It's all whipping up into a frenzy of mass destruction. 

This is not a 'quirk', or something you want.

My throat pulses as I swallow.

My stomach weakens, twists, somersaults in spasms

My heart is beating like a techno rave, punching itself out of my chest. Raging palpitations accelerating my heart rate.

I blink hard. My eyes have a flicker of anguish. My eyelids are puffy. Tears form from over emotion. I can almost taste their salt, it makes me retch.

The unease drips like wax from my chattering mouth.

My breathing becomes laboured. I experience choking feelings and a shortness of breath. My throat tightens, my lungs rummage for oxygen.

My face pales, the lines on my face deepen.

I'm powerless, frozen in my tracks. I feel like shriveling up on the floor and detaching myself from my immediate surroundings. Dissociating is a good coping mechanism when it all gets too much.

The nerves creep and tingle across my skin. I feel judders of electricity across my hands and legs. They become sweaty and clammy. I itch - twitching, trembling with distress. I dig my nails into my palms to make it stop. The torment physically seeping out of me.

It's a frightening, horribly uncomfortable experience.

This is not something you wake up someday and decide to have.

Eventually it subsides, because it's provisional, tentative - some even dare say a concept I've made up in my head. In that moment, when I'm in a heightened phase of turmoil, experiencing the cutthroat brunt of its wrath, the situation feels like it's never going to end. It's a searing, blinding agony, I lose control and cannot function.

The only logic I can build from it is that my body is reacting to perceived danger. Then, a fear steps in and physical symptoms attempt to keep me from getting too close to whatever I identify to be triggering it.

This is not romantic or glamourous.

I have health worries, that this sort of consistent erratic behaviour is going to shorten my lifespan or worse; be the cause of my demise. 

It affects my sleep. I tend to have difficulty concentrating or remembering things. 

It drains my energy. I'm consistently tired, often dizzy and light-headed. At times, I'm easily irritated. I find it tough to relax, feeling trapped. It makes me focus on upsetting situations or events happening in my life. I'm constantly overthinking problems, fretting over silly issues being resolved. Small, mundane worries can quickly manifest into the biggest challenges.

It devalues my opinion of myself. Creates self-doubt in my own capabilities, takes away my trust in who I am as a person. 

This is not 'cute'. 

Depressive episodes come in waves, drifting in and out. It snatches my interest in activities I'd usually enjoy. I feel unaccomplished. It towers over me.

It interferes with daily activities, hours are spent enveloping in complete nothingness. I isolate myself a lot because it impacts relationships with those around me, prevalent and overlapping into my life in ways I didn't think possible. 

A crushing instability that I wish I could strip from myself. 

I don't know why I wrote this.

I'm not seeking any answers.

I just feel it needs to be spoken about. There's power in opening up a conversation, a dialogue, because it's real, and it's there. Although no two people suffer exactly the same marks, I believe exposing the dirty details, however personal, and putting it into black-and-white can act as a catalyst to understanding and grasping something that it is nowadays being labeled as a 'fad'. I'm speaking up so that those similarly affected feel less abandoned. 

Showcasing honest portrayals can keep others from the edge of the pitch. Even if it's only breathing a silent thank you. 

Seeking out the pain, is the thing. 

Sometimes you have to go deep into the dark, I think, so that you can shed a little light. 

There's got to be something effective in that?!


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