Anxiety Through The Lens Of A Panic Attack
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Health and Wellness

Anxiety Through The Lens Of A Panic Attack

The pain often goes unnoticed.

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Anxiety Through The Lens Of A Panic Attack
Kayla Tison Photography

Do you ever get that feeling like you're not enough for anyone? You try and try to please everyone and make the world a happier place, but all for a lost cause. Your voice is still the one ignored in the crowd, and your needs go unmet. You spend so much time and energy benefiting the wellbeing of others that you forget about yourself. You forget that you need love and kindness too. You need someone to give to you and make you feel loved.

But no one does. The world is a dark and dirty place, and even though you want to be a light, you feel like a part of the darkness. You crave acceptance and love, because exchanging love for love is one of the best feelings in the entire world. Your heart and soul thrive when someone does something kind or says a sweet word, but it's momentary. That loving act is overshadowed by countless ignored conversations, nights spent alone, and an immense lack of appreciation.

The knot builds up in your chest and you keep pushing it away because exposing your flaws makes you seem weak, and the last thing you want is for people to see your weakness. But like all knots, the only way to dissolve them is through the complicated process of untying, so it continues to build until your very being feels like it's going to explode, exposing who you really are.

And then it just does. The buildup leads to a breakdown, and the tears begin to flow. No matter how many deep breaths you take, your lungs refuse to work, so you begin a seemingly unending cycle of trying to breathe while your tears fill the bathroom sink and make those deep breaths only more difficult. You want to be alone, but at the same time, you wish you were surrounded by people who actually cared for you and could console your pain.

So you keep crying. You want to be seen, loved, and cared for in the same way that you so happily care for others, but reality strikes and you realize that isn't going to happen. As you gasp for air and your eyes continue to pour out tears of disappointment, the knot in your chest slowly unties, but not completely. This - this silent and sneaky source of pain - is the face of anxiety, and it will take more than just a single panic attack to completely unravel the meaning of your pain.

The pain of feeling unloved will tighten it's grip on your chest soon again, because you can't and won't stop caring. You're going to continue doing everything you can to make those around you happy, because that is the only thing you know that will loosen the knot. Loosening it isn't enough, but in the moment, you just want to be able to breathe, so you care. And you love. Deep down inside your soul, it hurts, but it's the only thing you know.

(I wrote this at the end of a panic attack, hoping that it would help me to verbalize what I was feeling and lessen the severity of my emotions at the time. It is by no means my intention to draw attention to myself or my personal struggles, but rather instead to bring to light the fact that anxiety is a real thing, many times masked by a smile. Love and care for those around you, because though you can't see the knot in their chest, it might just be there.)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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