I haven’t had a panic attack in months. I can’t remember the last time I had one. Maybe it’s not something I like to keep track of, so how would I remember?
All I know is I feel like I’m having a small one now. And it’s scary and it’s frightening. It consumes me.
I have tried everything: my breathing techniques, closing my eyes, counting to ten, looking at my peripheries in the mirror, talking to a friend, changing the subject, you name it.
I’m shaking and my heartbeat echoes in my head. My first tear just broke and I’m stumbling to catch my breath again. I’m writing this in hopes that it helps: that it forces me to focus on typing rather than break down into a million pieces.
School is the trigger this time around. It’s that time of year where I have a midterm, an essay, and two assignments due this week. I need to do well on this upcoming midterm because I did poorly on the last one. I need to do well on my essay because I am doing so well otherwise in the course. I need my marks to be good so I can go to grad school in the future. I don’t know what my future holds and the uncertainty is consuming me from the inside out.
All I want to do is cry. A good cry would help me right now. Instead, I feel numb. I feel emotionless. My vision is spotty and I want to just fall asleep. Just for a few minutes. But I can’t. When I rest my head, the panic sets in again. I have too much to do. I need to get some work done before my meeting tonight. I feel like I have chosen to allocate my time in the wrong ways. Last night I went out to the bar. I justified it by saying I wouldn’t realistically get much work done after 11pm anyways, so I might as well go out with friends. When I say it out loud, the reasoning seems sound. When I sit here right now, my body shakes at the thought of wasting my time.
I feel so weak. I have come such a long way since my battle with PD started. Am I just losing all over again? Maybe the battle was not even won in the first place.
Today’s blog title is inspired by “Going Away to College” – Blink-182
I believe I was 12 years old the first time a boy ever gave me flowers. It was valentines day. I received a single rose, a small stuffed dog, and chocolates. He also “broke up” with me after handing them to me, but that’s a story for another day.
When I brought the rose home, I showed my mom all excited. We put it in water where it remained until it started to die.
I was so upset by this. It couldn’t die. I just got it. It was so beautiful. My mom told me not to worry and she took the rose out of its water and hung it upside down. A day or so later, it had dried out but it still seemed so beautiful. Here it was, on the verge of dying, and my mom saved it, retaining its form and overall beauty.
From that point onward, if I ever received flowers that meant a lot to me, I kept them. And oh goodness, I kept them until they got all crumbly all over my desk.
With Monday morning being garbage day, I decided to tidy my room Saturday morning. There were little flakes of a dark red on my desk. Puzzled, I looked up to the shelf above my desk to see the dried flowers I had kept from my past relationship.
I was so shocked I still had them. I thought I had gotten rid of every visible trace of evidence in my room of that relationship. But it appears, I still had them in their vase above my desk. When I took the vase off the shelf, the flowers started crumbling into flakes. That used to be the definite sign that it was time to throw them out. And you know what? It was time to throw them out. They were no longer as beautiful as when I first got them. They were fragile to hold onto. And I had even forgotten about their existence. It was time.
Today’s blog title is inspired by “Nothing Gold Can Stay” – Robert Frost
Three months doesn’t seem like a long time, in theory. In reality, once you wait for it to pass, it can feel like an infinity.
Really, it’s a quarter of a year. 25% or however you want to look at it.
Tonight, I found so many parallels to this day three months ago. A relatively typical school day, followed by a drive home to my hometown. I drove down the same road. This time, I was alone, and this time, I did not cry. I don’t remember who I was three months ago. That thought scares me. That thought empowers me. I looked at this day not in the sense of “where do we go from here?” but more so as “you can breathe now.” In my head, that sounds so awful; as if I’m waiting for something to be over, or like it was three months of pulling off a bandaid.
I waited for change. Change in myself. Change in him. Change in us. I saw change in all three aspects. Perhaps not as planned, but when does anything go according to plan?
I have learned to stand on my own two feet and stay grounded in them. I learned to walk before I run and look before I leap (as cliché as that sounds). I learned which friends would always have my back and which friends could press the “unfollow” or “delete” button and never look back. I learned a lot about myself: some good, some not so good. One of the biggest things I think I learned was to take chances because life doesn’t wait for us. I won’t be rushing into anything anytime soon, despite my satirical (yet mostly true) tweets about the single life (aka Tinder).
So cheers to the past three months and the person I was, and cheers to the person I am proud to be and who isn’t looking back.
Today, I wrote my last midterm of my third year of my undergraduate career.
Wait. Let me read that again: third year.
It feels like just yesterday I was moving into residence and falling out of love with chemistry as most seem to do within the first month of Life Sci.
Anyways… that’s besides the point. If I just wrote my last
midterm? term test of third year and end of the year papers are due next week, it can only mean one thing: life is about to amplify in insanity in 3………..2……………………………….1.
Exam season is a trigger.
Side Note: A trigger is an object or situation that can cause your anxiety symptoms to appear.
Tests and papers and journal articles and data and numbers and —
I. Need. To. Breathe.
The pressure of having everything done in what feels like a short period of time frightens me. They say some people work better under pressure, and although I may think that’s true sometimes… not this time.
Not exam season. Symptoms I have not felt in a long time have come back… Yesterday, I thought I was having a heart attack as I clutched my chest at the tightening feeling. It made studying difficult. I feel so distracted by these feelings but I try to make them feel minuscule and not let them overrule my studying.
Today, while last minute cramming for my test, my vision started going blurry. This was one of the first serious symptoms that made me seek clinical help in the first place. I had to close my eyes because I felt so nauseated. And the tiredness is increasing. Each day, regardless of how much sleep I get, I feel tired, exhausted, completely worn out. With exams around the corner, I cannot afford to waste precious time studying to focus my attention on my anxiety symptoms. I refuse to let it control me.
If anyone out there also has anxiety that peaks at this time of year, you are not alone. To those who may not have an anxiety disorder, please be considerate to your fellow students. When you say, “I’m feeling stressed” and I say, “Yeah, me too” and I reply, “No, like..l I’m really stressed. You don’t understand,” I will have the urge to punch you in the face. Those with anxiety have amplified emotions and reactions to various things, even to those that the average joe would not be overly emotional about. Be considerate and empathetic. Here’s a great link going viral on facebook about understanding anxiety: http://themetapicture.com/heres-an-easy-way-to-understand-anxiety/
There’s my little daily rant. Stay strong, it’s almost summer (school-wise, not weather-wise)!
Today’s blog title is inspired by “Demons” – Imagine Dragons.