My Life In A Panic Attack
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Health and Wellness

My Life In A Panic Attack

Highly anxious, high functioning, highly medicated.

My Life In A Panic Attack
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It was a Monday night, around 10 p.m. I had an exam in my hardest course the next morning at 10 a.m. sharp. I had begun studying for the exam a week and a half in advance. I read the chapters, made a stack of notecards, study guides, and forced myself awake with copious amounts of coffee. Friends and family reminded me that I was ready for the exam and insisted that I put the books away, relax, and get a good night sleep.

I laid down in my bed and turned on an episode of Netflix. But before I could even rest my head on the pillow, the thoughts billowed in. Like water rushing through a hose, the thoughts kept coming, one after the other. Before I knew it, I was standing in my room and pacing the floor. Back and forth, back and forth for nearly fifteen minutes. The thoughts turned vocal as I repeated definitions and theories out loud. I picked up a marker and scribbled information on a whiteboard, failing to keep up with the speed of the thoughts.

The marker began to slip from my hands as my palms became sweaty. My heart racing faster than I ever imagined it could in an earnest attempt to keep pace with the thoughts. The room was spinning around me, as the floor and the ground collided.

I knew I was having a panic attack. I knew I needed to calm myself down.

Next, I was sitting on the floor of my closet in the corner. My knees touched my chin as my arms wrapped themselves tightly around my legs and my body rocked bath and forth. My eyes were blank as I stared a burrowing hole into the floor. I bit down on my lip, hard, tasted the blood, and was reminded that I was still within my own body. I slowly began to lift my gaze as I stared out at my bedroom. On the floor, by the whiteboard, was the uncapped marker I dropped. On the bed, the blankets tossed and pillows strewn, lay my laptop with the open Netflix tab. On my desk, the remnants of my studying attempts sat open and the coffee mug empty.

I slowly stood up and exited my closet. My palms remained bound tightly together; too sweaty to unstick themselves from each other. My heart was finally beginning to slow down as I forced myself to take deep breaths and count down from ten.

The panic attack was over.

I have had three panic attacks of a similar degree since. Each time, I find myself sitting in a ball in a corner of my closet. The panic attacks didn’t stop but the overwhelming feeling of anxiety remained at a high 24/7. No amount of deep breathing, listening to music/soundscapes, exercise, phone calls with loved ones, or writing could squelch the anxiety.

I had to rely on medication. I had to accept that I am not strong enough to fight every battle on my own. Therefore, I pop two pills three times a day, take a sip of water, and carry on with my day.

I do not accept the stigma of mental illness just as I do not accept the daily panic attacks.

I am a highly anxious, high-functioning, highly medicated college student that will no longer resort to a corner of my closet to deal with the pressures and realities of the world.

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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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