I wake up from my nightmares to the sound of my alarm screaming. It's the same dang nightmares I have every week, every night. There's the one where all of my teeth fall out one by one. Or how about my personal favorite of where my entire family is being murdered. Those are just a couple of the most popular anxiety manifestations that live in my head.
The hiss of my alarm never sounded so sweet. It's exactly what I needed to break out of the panic my nightmares had me in. I'm awake. Finally. I'm finally safe. At least for the moment.
I stand up, brush my teeth, and wait for the world to stop spinning. As soon as it does I rustle through the medicine cabinet to find my drugs. I hate them. I hate the way I need them.
Oh how I need them...
I take my prescribed dose, .5mg higher than last month, and .5mg lower than next. That's just how it goes. Even when I start to feel better, my reward is more pills. But I never feel better. Only, more distant, cold, and numb.
I close my eyes and hold my breath until the medicine starts to kick in. When I feel it slowly seep into my system I begin to open my eyes. When I open them the world is no longer spinning, but it's now sideways.
I can't remember the last time things weren't sideways. Everything's always so sideways.
One deep breath in, and now it's time to do this. To walk through the motions. To float through my day.
I go class and work physically present but not really there. My body appears, but my mind is everywhere. I smile and nod and play pretend, but deep down I'm wondering when it will all end.
All I can think about behind my smile is the nagging agony of the thoughts that surround me. All I can do is worry, about the past, the present, and the future. And then I start thinking, "what future?" Because let's be honest...if I keep living like this, I won't be living at all. I'm barely getting through each minute as it is, how am I supposed to get through some 50 plus more years.
I try to stay hopeful, but my head is so harmful. Every positive thought is counteracted with the harsh reality that things will probably never get better. That things are destined to get worse. That I am destined to get worse.
I can't shake this. This feeling of constant agitation boiling from my innermost core. Death and dying, that's all I see no matter how hard I'm trying.
Why am I lying? I say to mom "everything is fine" but really I can't get the worst case scenario off my mind. Why make people worry? I do enough of that for all of us.
The day comes to a close as night shifts over. As if the day wasn't hard enough, the worst is yet to come. Everything gets worse at night. I don't know why, all I know is it does. That's when my demons come out to play, and they don't just come for a short visit, they like to stay.
I take my nightly dosage of my medicine and try to calm down. It's not helping.
Oh no, oh no no no. It's happening.
Suddenly it feels like a ton of bricks are sitting on my chest. I am paralyzed in whatever position I left off in. I can't speak. I can't breathe. I can't move. I can't do anything but think- and the thoughts- they won't stop. Neither will the tears. They flow and flow until I can't see in the mirror.
An hour passes and I start to catch my breath. My thoughts slow down and I regain control over my body. "Control" that's a funny word. The only one in control these days is my anxiety. It controls me, who am I kidding?
I wish I could say that when the panic attack stops, my heart starts. But it's not like that is it? My world goes from a suffocating sadness and overwhelming worry, to a numb sensation. I don't know what's worse. Feeling everything, or nothing at all.
I lay my head down to rest. I try my best to sleep, but deep inside all I can do is weep. Tomorrow is another day. "I'll try again" I say. That almost makes me laugh. But then I remember I don't laugh anymore. What's the point in trying anymore? Why bother trying to remember who I was before?
Before is in the past now. And as much as I'd like to live there again, I'm too busy sorting through the anxiety of the now and the soon to be, to go back to who I used to be.
A day in the life of my anxiety has finally come to an end. Tomorrow will be better, let's pretend. I hope this helps you understand, that I'm trying my best, I really am.