Sometimes anxiety likes to hide around corners and pop out at you when you are least expecting it. It’s rare for me, I can usually feel it slowly moving throughout my body. It starts with tingles and prickly feelings, and ends with waves of tears and uncontrollable shaking. Sometimes it never reaches the final stages and instead I’m left with a buzzing sensation throughout my veins and a slight confusion.
I woke up this morning feeling calm and relaxed. I went downstairs, listened to The Monkees and drank my coffee. My family was gone for the morning so the house was unusually tranquil. It was one of the most relaxing mornings I’ve had in about a month.
Then, as per usual I made my way to the restroom. I was washing my hands when I looked up into the mirror and a sudden wave of disassociation hit me. Who was that? That’s not me? Is that my face? That’s my face. No. Who’s that?! I don’t know her. I don’t know her. Not at all in a metaphorical way either. I actually panicked because I felt like an alien in my skin. Like there was an intruder in the house. I couldn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. Then came the wave of pure emotion. That’s you. This is you. You are here. You are present. That’s your soul, in this body. It was almost as if it was some sort of mind blowing revelation and it was just too much for me to comprehend.
I began hyperventilating, tears were flowing down my face and my facial expressions were unrecognizable anguish. My knees buckled and I toppled to the bathroom floor, still hyperventilating, I sounded like a fish out of water just gasping at the dry air. I felt like a prisoner. Stop.Stop. I can’t stop. It won’t stop. Don’t be bad. Please don’t be a bad episode. Don’t blackout. Stop. Please. I can’t even tell you what my entire body was doing because I have no idea. It was like tunnel vision, all I remember now are just staring at my fingers scratching the linoleum floors. Trying to grasp onto the earth, with my shaking hands. I can’t remember how it stopped but I do now that I eventually just layed there for a solid 10 minutes after it was over. Small muscle spasms still working there way out of my system.
Then I was myself again. I was calm enough to form a sensible inner dialogue. Looking up at the brass bathroom doorknob, I thought
Shit, girl. You’re tough.
Because now I know my family will be home any minute. It’s time to dry my tears clean up whatever I knocked over and move on with my day. It’s over. Nothing I can do about it now. Maybe I’ll go on a run. Move on and hope that the next attack stays as far away as possible.