Like all mental health disorders. There are good days and there are bad days. Today is bad day. I woke up in a confused and uneasy state. I mean, I knew I was in my room but nothing made sense and I had to get up but it felt like there was a hole in my chest that wanted to pull me back into unconsciousness. It’s the kind of feeling that comes on my bad anxiety days. It’s the feeling that says:
“Everything is wrong.”
“Everyone is mad at you.”
“Expect the worst.”
“You’re going to die.”
But just like every other bad day, I got up. Took my meds with some water and went downstairs. Hoping the throat closing feeling would stop. It did for a little bit. But as I was sitting on the couch, it started again.
The confusion. I can’t focus. My right leg is going numb and tingly, it’s creeping up to my knee. My heart is speeding up but my breath is stuck in my throat. My emotions are all over. I want to scream and cry and curl into a ball until the universe swallows me up. This is the worst it gets right? Wrong. I feel like I’m falling. I can see that I’m just sitting there, that the room isn’t moving. But my body still feels like it’s falling. I’m dizzy and now my toes and fingers are ice-cold. I can almost feel my blood buzzing through my veins. I’m scared. But I can’t make a scene. I don’t want to scare my family. Because it will look scary to them. They know all about it. But they don’t know what I look like when anxiety attacks me. It scares me, and I’m used to it. So they will definitely think it’s worse than it is.
Truth is, it will go away in a couple of hours, or minutes. Then it will be like nothing even happened.
I think the scariest thing, is how confused I get. When I feel it coming on, I try to remember simple things. Like my phone number and address, the lyrics to my favorite song. This little exercise is supposed to help me. In all honesty it just freaks me out even more when I can’t remember my own phone number. Because I know that my state of confusion is only an indication of what’s coming. I don’t know how else to explain the confusion I go through. It’s almost like an out-of-body thing. Where my thoughts and myself aren’t really connecting. My thoughts, my brain there just kind of floating in space near me.
Then there’s the shaking. When an anxiety attack is over or narrowly avoided. The shaking doesn’t stop. It takes a while to leave, even when my mind is back in its sentient state. That can be scary too. Because it’s when you’re looking down at your hands, watching them shake and twitch on their own, that you realize how out of control you are.