It’s like a shiver, growing in strength as it climbs from the tips of your fingers to the top of your shoulders. A fizzing of carbonated drinks rumbling right under the surface, with every pop follows a shiver. All you can do is imagine your bed and comfortable blanket and sweatshirt waiting for you at home, mere miles and hours in your future. “You can get through this,” you tell yourself. “Just keep going,” you say as you move through your necessary operations. You look at everyone else, envy building within your bones that they seem to be at ease. Maybe they’re nervous about an impending job interview or national test their future relies on, but their skin hasn’t broken out in cold telltale hives of your anxieties.
“Breathe,” you tell yourself taking a labored inhale and pointed exhale.
This is only the beginning and you know it: the initial stages of an anxiety attack. Anxiety disorder is defined as a mental health disorder that results in feelings of worry or fear that can worsen over time, to the point of interfering with one’s daily tasks.
Your stomach begins fighting the cold, trying to wiggle free from the frigid claws that encompass it. Thank God you refused breakfast earlier. You’re hungry and sick at the same time and the desire for a nice warm blanket has never been so great. Questions begin floundering in your mind, growing like balloons without space to inflate. With every question comes a booming in your mind as though being yelled at you by someone else. You wish it were someone else. Then you could yell back or silence the noise by covering your ears. Is there a way to silence myself?
With every question brings another string of questions that push at the seams of your skull. Is this right? Is this wrong? Can I trust myself? What does it mean if I’m wrong? What does it mean that I’m contemplating this? What if I’m right? If I’m right, can I trust myself? What am I going to say to people? What am I going to tell myself? What if I’m immediately wrong? What f I regret it months from now? I can only regret it if I survive this, can I get through this? How sick am I actually? Why am I like this? Why can’t I be like others without this mess? And so on and so forth the cycle goes, asking each questions multiple times.
You want to be alone; you never know when you’re going to break. Rupture with tears of severe annoyance. You’re trying. You really are. How much more can you take? Breathe, keep breathing. “You can do it,” you keep telling yourself, until you can’t.
Your friends and family try to help. “You need to calm down, it’s all in your head,” they tell you when you call in a panic. They’re correct, it’s all in your head. A hot air balloon filling with ideas and haunting questions that fills your head up and bounces with pain in your skull. You can’t do anything without your brain. How are you supposed to calm down? How can you stop your own brain? How do you go on without it? It’s in your head; focus on something else, something happy. Count the tiles on the floor. Remember what you’re watching on Netflix. Your heart rate continues to rise and beads of sweat swell on your forehead.
You’ve reached your limit, you don’t know how much more sickness, exhaustion, and anxious mental punches you can take. “You’ll regret it,” they all tell you. You’ll obviously regret anything you can’t do. Remember that it wasn’t because you wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t be there to start with if you didn’t want it.
Anxiety comes in many forms and symptoms that vary in many people. But what are your options? You could seek medical help and get a prescription to suffocate those feelings completely. You could try to fix it on your own. You could seek psychological help and learn tips and tricks to make it better, but after years of struggling with it yourself and discovering tactics of your own, what more can they teach you?
Six-year-old kids to senior citizens have reported having extreme anxiety, with more and more emphasis building up for every detail and decision in our lives; sooner or later you won’t be the only one, now or in the future.
For now, you are okay. You are breathing. And you’ll do just fine. Focus on the numbers. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…