I wrote this piece at the beginning of my anxiety/panic attacks diagnosis. I decided to share it on my blog. There are many people out there who suffer with this and there are many people out there who still don’t quite understand it. This was the best way I knew how to describe what my experience was like during my episodes, in my own creative way and what I still go through at times. It’s imperative that I share it because you need to know that my life is not always peachy and this is one of my struggles. A struggle that has shaped me into the woman I am today. A struggle that has birthed the mindset I have today. Step into my world temporarily and let me strip down naked…
I was laying out on the beach styling in my fuchsia soaked two piece, listening to the sounds of the ocean, and soaking up serenity. The sky was so beautiful and the wind was so calm. The sun was shining so bright, sunkissing every inch of my body. I think it was in the low 80s that day. All I know is, I was in my element and it wasn’t that crowded at all which was perfect because I’ve never been a fan of large crowds. Funny how things can change in a matter of minutes or seconds even. I grew tired of laying down and wanted to go into the water a little. I walked towards the water where the waves were steady but not too strong, and it felt good. I was truly in my happiest place. After a while, I could see the waves coming and they were crashing into me. Though I never was one to go out too deep anyway. The waves slowly but surely started creeping up, getting more, and more aggressive. So of course I turned back around, hoping to get back over to my spot on the sand. I mean…I love a good wave crash, usually. But before I knew it, the tide engulfed me and carried me deep into the ocean. I was fighting to find my way back up to the surface and I did at one point. Actually at several points. But each time, I was dragged back down underneath of the water. Just when I thought I had escaped, the water would overcome me again. I was in a serious battle with this damn ocean and I was losing. I was holding my breath, attempting to swim, kicking, and just putting those good ole swimming lessons I picked up at a swim club to use, and trying to get to some air. I just needed some air. I was holding my breath in so hard, it felt like my head was going to explode. My arms and legs were cramping up on me. I was in distress and I had lost all control. I had absolutely no control over what was happening to me and I couldn’t get my rhythm back. You can be the best swimmer, REALLY! However, once you’ve entered a panic mode or lost total control, it won’t matter much. My body was feeling extremely weak, very numb and I didn’t have much fight left in me. Why was this happening to me? I was just enjoying myself a moment ago. Why me? I knew I didn’t deserve this. Then, everything became so still and quiet. I opened my eyes, my body was going limp, sinking deeper, and deeper into the bottom of the ocean. I was preparing to succumb but someone or something whispered to me, “It’s over now.”
I don’t know how. But, I ended up back in my spot on the sand where I was initially. I felt completely fine. Unscathed is a better word to describe it I guess.
ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS ARE REAL! Don’t ever be afraid to seek help!