I will never forget the day I was jumping in a bouncy house with my friends after a late night church service and before I knew it the whole thing was collapsing around me. I know you're probably thinking, "why didn't you just get out before it deflated," but if you have ever been in one while this was happening you'd know that it's pretty much impossible. You're walking but getting no where. What someone thought was a funny joke was the moment I had my first anxiety attack, it was the moment I thought I was dying. I was trapped inside but I could see out and I saw my daddy and all I could do was scream and cry for him but I couldn't get to him. My breathing became heavy and there was no way to stop. When my daddy saw me he got mad that I was in this state, not at me, but at the person that thought it was a good idea. I was so scared and frantic and I could tell by the look on his face he was scared too. Crying is just an understatement. I was hyperventilating so hard. Little did I know this was the first of many...
I've been to concerts and places that have crowds before, I have even wandered off by myself and had no problem with it but there are sometimes that I freak. I remember at a Sam Hunt concert I had to go to the bathroom so bad towards the end so I told my sister to meet me in the bathroom and we would leave, I sat in the bathroom for what felt like forever and in that moment I realized I knew no one in that bathroom with me, I realized I was surrounded but completely alone. That's when it happened I started crying and my breathing became heavy and I thought my sister wasn't coming(even though I had the keys) that's when this girl in the bathroom tried to calm me down and stay with me and told me that I would be okay and she was coming but I could not calm down no matter how bad I wanted to it was not possible.
That same year during the summer I scored wrist bands to see Kenny Chesney at the Flora Bama! My thought was heck yes, I'm gonna be front row! So I was going to meet my friend but she didn't answer and I was right there, front and center. But that's when I realized again I was alone and that I knew no one. That's when I started to cry, I started making my way back to the boat where my family was but the people wouldn't let me out of the gate. I started getting dizzy and breathing heavy and the guy made me sit down and told me to breath slowly, in through my nose and out of my mouth but then I started to hyperventilate. Here I was passing out and no one I knew was there with me. When I came to I saw this girl that looked like my cousin so the men asked if she knew me and turns out it was her. She hugged me and help me get back to my family on the boat.
There were a few more times that this happened to me but one I remember most vividly is the time we were in New Orleans and we went to this restaurant for dinner. Now this restaurant was big, there was an upstairs and a downstairs. We all went to the bathroom but I was the last one to go so when I came out no one was in sight. I was walking to the front to ask if they sat my family but before I could get the words out of my mouth I broke down. I knew they were in the same restaurant but I still had this gut wrenching fear that they were not.
People think I'm crazy I'm sure but when I get like this I feel I'm drowning in an ocean and the waves keep coming and no matter who reaches their hand out I can't grab it. I feel like there's something sitting on my chest and I can't breathe and that as much as I try to make sense of what is going on I never can. It's like being trapped in a see through box and seeing the people you love looking at you but you can't get to them. Telling me to calm down doesn't help and it just upsets me more.
The worst part is I know that my family and friends do not know how to deal with it so I see how uncomfortable it makes them and I feel like a burden when I have anxiety attacks. I feel like some people think it's for the attention but it's not it's because I'm scared for some reason and I have no idea why.
There is no escaping and it's something I can't get rid of. I'm clingy, emotional, and so OCD. I try to control everything because I know if I can control it, then there's no way things can go wrong, or at least that's what I like to think.
Unfortunately, anxiety is not something I can control and when it hits, it hits at full force and I have no idea how to settle or slow it down. People who do not understand anxiety do not understand it and that's okay. Just try to understand that it's hard for us and we don't know what to do about it either. Just love us and accept that we struggle everyday with it. We don't know what triggers it because someday's it hits, and others it doesn't.