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It was a typical November night, snow on the ground, rain falling from the sky and freezing cold. I had just come inside from running into the woods after a friend who was crying over a guy, who pretty much cheated on her. She did not want to be found and so we had been outside searching for close to an hour. We found her, safe thankfully, and made our way back to the school.
“Hey, I'll be right back. If my parents come to pick me up, just tell them I'm in the bathroom.” Feeling kind of weird, I made my way to the girl's bathroom. Opening the door, I slid down the cool tile wall and brought my knees to my chest. I sighed and leaned my head against the wall, listening to the music playing in the background. I heard light footsteps coming from the bathroom entrance. Someone had followed me. I sighed, it was probably Katie.
“I'm fine you know.” I told her. I actually wasn't sure if I was, I just really wanted to be left alone for a bit.
“You really suck at lying, you know that right?” She replied with a roll of her eyes.
“Yeah, I know.”
I started to feel weird, kind of claustrophobic, like the world was closing in on me. “Please just leave for a few minutes?” I pleaded.
“Alright”, she said hesitantly ”but I'm coming back to check on you soon. Just to make sure you're OK.”
I sighed and leaned my head against the wall, trying to fight off this feeling of sudden claustrophobia. I attempted to slow my breathing, only to have it spike suddenly to the point where I was hyperventilating. The world began to blur and shift around me and all I could feel was dread. Pure dread and despair. My stomach was clenching and tears were running down my face. With my eyes shut tightly I buried my face into my knees in an attempt to make the world stop spinning. It didn't work. Now I felt like I was the one spinning. I lurched to my feet. I have to get out, I have to get out, was all that was running through my mind. I felt that if I didn't get out, something dreadful was surely going to happen.
The floor seemed to roll and buck beneath my feet as I tried to make my way out of the bathroom. I was shaking uncontrollably, lost in my own mind. I knew nothing outside the fact that I had to get out. Now. I was getting light headed and dizzy from the lack of oxygen, I could see little white and black blotches dancing in from of my eyes. The last thing I knew was the floor rushing up to reach me and the sound of my own chocked breathing.
I could hear voices, but it sounded like I was under water. I struggled to hear more clearly. They were louder now, alarmed and worried sounding. I opened my eyes to see the faces of Katie, Chantel, and the vice principal hovering above me.
I looked around, confused. I couldn't remember how I got here, on the floor of the girls bathroom. I tried to remember. My eyes widened as I recalled what had happened just moments earlier.
“...Kayleen?” Someone asked.
“I'm fine” I whispered, though clearly I was not.
I stood up slowly, bracing myself on the wall behind me. I pushed passed the worried and concerned faces, angry at myself for creating a scene. I walked out into the hallway of blaring music and made my way to the front entrance of the school and stepped outside into the cool air, trying to clear my head.
“What happened in there?” Katie asked, a worried frown creasing her forehead. She had followed me outside.
“Panic attack”, I replied quietly, “ I haven't had one for months, so the thought never crossed my mind that that was what was happening. I can usually calm myself to the point where I at least don't pass out if I know it's happening.”
I looked at Katie, standing beside me. Her face was smeared, eye liner running down her face in dark tracks. Her shoulder length hair was plastered to her forehead, and she had her Invader Zim sweat shirt hood up in an attempt to fend off the rain. She looked disheveled and worried, frightened and concerned.
“Kayleen, are you going to be okay? I mean, your not going to die or anything, right?” She asked, her voice quite and tinged with fear.
“Yeah, I'll be fine. It's not really as big of a deal as it seems. Don't worry, hopefully it won't happen again.”
“Yeah, let's hope so” She replied, a small smile on face.
That wasn't the last time it happened though. For the past year I've started to get them a couple of times a week, sometimes everyday. Yes, it's hard, but I'll get through it and learn to live with it. The events of that night showed me that I don't have go through all of this alone. I have friends that will help me, no matter what happens.