The initial battles of the day are as common as bread and butter to me. As the day progresses, my worries become more intense. I most likely overthink every conversation I have had, I imagine road accidents with me involved, and I pray for the day to turn out okay. That’s not all, I get over sensitive with every remark, every word, and every argument I have. So, by now anxiety has had its cup of coffee and is ready to make a routine day, way more challenging.
The worst part is, it doesn’t stop, like some old cringe-worthy record on loop.
When I step out to face the day…
Every morning, when I have to leave for college, or whenever I have to step out of the house, both my mother and I, feel the same fear-
What if I get another panic attack today?
When my stress level rises, or when I’m too exhausted, my body breaks into a sweat. And I don’t mean in a normal-bodily-function kind of way, but in a more dangerous way. Sometimes, when I’m sitting through a lecture, I suddenly feel my heart beat getting faster or my breathing getting heavier.
The room suddenly feels claustrophobic, and the weather, too hot.
I lose sense of reality, I can’t understand what the person in front of me is saying. Soon, my hands begin to tremble and at that moment, I become sure that my body is about to have another ‘earthquake‘, as I like to think of it.
Most of the times, I get a panic attack because I am sub-consciously thinking troubling thoughts.
Sometimes, it’s because of a stressful situation and very often, it’s because of no reason at all. The only way I can explain it, is by comparing it to cravings. Like, once in a while, our body craves a break or a certain food or a massage, or whatever. Similarly, my body (and mind), plagued by this disorder, has this habit of breaking into a hyperventilation attack every once in a while.
How I deal with Anxiety…
How do I deal with it? I don’t. I just have to wait for it to pass. It leaves me in tears and pain, I am shivering while reeking of sweat and usually, am on the verge of collapsing.
Having a panic attack feels like your entire body has been wringed so tightly, all the life has trickled out of it. It leaves you exhausted and broken.
My task for each day, is to distract myself enough to not think of the disease I am living with. Every two hours or so, I recall grounding techniques and whisper to myself:
breathe in, breathe out.
Distraction, for me, is what works the most. It helps me steer clear of painful thoughts and panic triggers.
Which is why I prefer being busy all day, and on my toes. You would think, how difficult can it be to stay distracted? Well, for how long do you think you can avoid a raging storm? I can’t do too much and stretch out more. Because, with constant sickness, I’ve grown weak and awkward. Working out too much exhausts me; reading or painting at a stretch tires me to an extent that I sometimes end up hyperventilating.
When you have anxiety, the simplest of tasks seem like a mountain hike.
When the day nears an end…
It’s a great achievement if I manage to survive the day without a panic attack or nervous breakdown. But, being the pessimist that this disorder has made me into, I fret over the next hour and the next attack. For about six years now, I have been taking medication ranging from intense to mild. I have lost count of the number of therapy sessions that I have gone to. Unfortunately for a lot of us, we can’t find a medicine combination that suits us fine, nor can we find a truly helpful doctor.
For a long time, I felt like a lab rat, being treated with different chemicals and by different professionals.
A lot of times, I cancel plans because of the anxious thoughts in my head, ranging from my appearance, to being around people and finally, about having a panic attack.
At the end of the day, I am left dissatisfied and sad.
Those are the regular days for me. On the rare good ones, I feel grateful for the few supportive friends I have and feel optimistic about recovery. On the intense nights, I cry uncontrollably and write emotional blog posts.
Insomnia, or sleeplessness is the most annoying prick in life. It also is a bonus of living with Anxiety.
So, at 12 or 1, late at night, I stare at screens, look for some form of distraction, some pseudo-lullaby, that will help me force-shut the anxious voices in my head.
Somehow I manage, and that, I think, is the highlight of my day.