January 8, 2018

My mom looked at me and asked if I would be okay at home alone. I said “Yes, I will,” without considering the fear that I could feel already running through my veins. I told her “yes” because I thought that if I told myself a certain amount of deadly times, my brain would believe that I was actually okay, despite the impending fear that was constantly imprisoned inside of me as if my mouth was one-way barbed wire, and my body was a prison cell for a monster. My mom took my answer as a certainty, and she left with the rest of my family to a wedding reception an hour away from our house. I sat on the couch with my favorite show on, and some paper to draw. I started to draw and the lines weren’t straight, my hands were shaking, and the ink was bleeding down the page as my tears created a river over my work. The fear imprisoned inside of me took me in as its hostage, and I lost control. I felt hands gripping my neck, and breathing became a ransom my body could not pay for. I began to scream in hopes that someone would hear, and rid me of what was going on inside. I fell from the couch and I crawled up the stairs so I could lay in my parent’s bed as the fear consumed me completely. I made it half way up the stairs and I was hit with another attack that felt like war over my body. I screamed and I begged God to take away the anxiety. I begged for Him to pull me up from beneath the waters I was drowning in, but no relief came. As my lungs filled, along with my mom’s text message inbox, she sent one of our really good family friends straight to my house. I can imagine that if she hadn’t done this, tragedy would have fulfilled my place in my family. This woman was someone who my brain found safety in, and she was able to calm the uproar of fear that was settling beneath my fragile bones. I still shook, cried, and worried relentlessly until my mom was finally home. When my mom arrived home she ran inside in tears and cradled my trembling body. In her arm’s I felt a defense line start to build up against the monster that was haunting my life. She calmed my tense muscles and slowed my nerves. In her I found peace that I was not able to lend myself because of the tragic outbreak of anxiety that was eating me alive, slowly. I often told myself that I would never know the sensation of a normal heartbeat again, and that this was the perpetual reality that I was forced to try and survive in. I told myself daily that surviving is not living, and it is much easier to want to die then to go on. Imagine trying to live when everything around you is seen as terrifying. Your skin, lungs, hands, food, medication, doctors, grass, walking, living…Everything. Imagine constantly thinking that these things were putting you in danger and that you had to find some way out of their reach, but you were their reach. It is terrifying. Catastrophically, all-consuming, and horrifying. Being clinically diagnosed with anxiety, pulled from school and the outside world, confined to your bed by your own brains instruction, and having no control over what you felt is absolutely tragic. I have walked through hell, and I have suffered many things to see the light at the end of my trial, but it was hard work. Bone shattering, back breaking, bloody work. I am, undeniably, the walking definition of anxiety, even to this day. But at least I am beginning to learn how to swim and navigate my own terrifying waters. Thankfully, I have love and help as I try to find the girl who I used to know; me.

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