When I was younger I watched a documentary with my parents on cows and the meat packing industry. It was about how horribly they treat the animals and how they feed them horrible things to get them all fat so that hungry humans can devour them. I remember sitting on my couch and watching it, hating it, but I couldn’t look away. There was a story in the documentary about a regular young boy who was just eating regular hamburgers for a regular dinner and the next day he felt as sick as can be. It was because of the hamburgers. The regular hamburgers. He contracted E Coli from the seemingly regular, but in reality not so regular hamburgers he was eating as his regular dinner. The young boy died from this, and before his horrible, unexpected death he wasn’t allowed to drink water because it could worsen his condition. It was horrible and painful to watch him suffer, he was so thirsty, but all he could do was wipe his forehead with a damp sponge. All I could think about was, what if that happened to me? What if I died because of a stupid sick cow?
Looking back at it now, I had an anxiety attack after finishing that stupid horrible documentary. My first one. It felt horrible. It felt as if the ceiling above me was caving in, I couldn’t breathe correctly, I felt the extraordinary weight of all of the stupid horrible things in this world bang on my chest so hard that it knocked the wind out of me and I became paralyzed. I didn’t want to move or speak or do anything in fear of feeling more fear. I wanted to stand there for the rest of my life and just breathe because nothing bad could happen to me if I just stood and breathed. I felt so small and so not in control, I couldn’t stop crying, sobbing, my face was red hot and I just kept thinking what if that happened to me? What if that stupid horrible thing happened to me? And after that had passed, Reality tried to comfort me by saying “It won’t happen to you, I promise.” So, for a moment, I felt a sense of calm, but I was still left with fear. A fearful feeling I didn’t want to deal with because it was so horrible. I just tried to shove it to the back of my mind and not think about it. That stupid horrible feeling stayed back there for a long time, but when I was in middle school, I was reminded of that stupid horrible feeling somehow, and my good friend, Anxiety, decided it was best not to eat red meat. I am almost a senior in highschool now, and I still don’t eat red meat, even though I really should, even after doctors told me how severely anemic I am, Someone with even a touch of intelligence can listen to their doctors but, my anxiety had made the executive decision for me. I couldn’t eat red meat. “Don’t eat it.” It always whispers to me, and I listen. Because I am scared I will end up like that regular young boy who died that stupid horrible death.