Imagine receiving a phone call from someone you rarely talk to. If you’re anything like me, your guts will slowly make its way up to your neck, knowing that their number on your caller ID can only mean something bad occurred. Now imagine them leaving a voicemail (an even rarer occurrence), but not being able to call them back until your lunch break 45 minutes later. Remember how you felt during those 45 minutes.
Imagine making breakfast one morning. You know, letting the pan warm up while you whisk away at some eggs. It’s nice outside, and you think you can get away with wearing shorts that day. Now imagine bursting into tears just seconds later for (seemingly) no reason.
Imagine a break up so bad that you don’t want to have any connection whatsoever to your ex. You’ve unfollowed them on social media, disconnected yourself from mutual friends, and make it a point to not frequent the same places. Now imagine they’re just around the corner – with their new boo.
Imagine laying in bed on what most people would deem a good day. No barking from the dog, no smog, and mama cooked a breakfast with no hog. You think about how lucky you are to be surrounded by good people, and how fortunate you are to have a roof over your head and food on your plate. Then, you think surely things are too good to be true and it will all come crashing down any second now. Then, you think of how unsuccessful you are. Then, you think of how you’re going to die soon with nothing substantial accomplished. Then, you think of how it feels to be dead. Then, you think that you can’t even think of how it feels to be dead, because – YOU’RE FUCKING DEAD.
That. That is how my anxiety feels. All of that. Sometimes it feels like all of those things at once, and sometimes it feels like just one of those things. Sometimes I can have a panic attach right in front of you, without so much a hair out of place. Sometimes I can power through it, and sometimes I have to lock myself in a conference room and wait for it to pass. While other times, it consumes me to the point where I can’t pick myself from off the floor, what more go to work. But all the time I feel helpless, hopeless and worthless. Like I’m drowning just within arms reach of help, but my lifesaver keeps electrocuting me everytime I touch it. Now depression? Depression is swimming, but not making an attempt to grab onto anything.
Anxiety can be different for everyone, but what remains the same is the option to not let it define you. Personally, I know how hard it is to choose that option, but the key is to at the very least know it exists. Know that getting through it isn’t impossible no matter how tasking it may seem. The next time you experience anxiety and think you can’t survive it, just remember that you probably thought the same exact thing the last time you had an attack. You got this.