It doesn’t seem so long ago; the November morning of 2018, when I woke up with my first ever anxiety attack. It seems like a second ago.
At 7 AM sharp, my phone alarm went off. I turned over and switched it off, and turned back again. And everything changed.
I closed my eyes for a few seconds and opened them. I couldn’t move. I realised that I was at the edge of my queen-sized bed, curled up in the feral position. I couldn’t move.
I haven’t felt such stillness and truth, as much as I did in the five seconds between opening my eyes after switching off my alarm to the first tear that ran down from one eye to the other.
My stomach felt like one of the balls from Amoeba’s bowling alley was weighing me down. I couldn’t move.
All I knew was that I wished there was someone with me at this emergent time to run their hand over my back while this heavy underrated cloud of weighing darkness passed. I wished I wasn’t alone. Correction. I realised I was lonely.
One of my dearest girlfriend asked me once. What is your anxiety to you? To me, there’s only one way to describe it.
My anxiety attack is during when I see the simplest and truest form of what I desire the most.
The first few months, I struggled with it. A lot. A looooot. But I had the best support system. I reached out because I always knew that I had to get to the bottom of it. Or maybe the top? I don’t know. But understand it, I did. Fight it, I didn’t.
Try and avoid fighting an anxiety attack. Speak with it. Go through the motions of it and you’ll understand you. The crying and other manifestations are just peripheral. And yes, remember to breathe.
It’s here and it isn’t going to go away. So might as well sit back and hear it out.
Today, two and a half years later, my best partner is snoring gently next to me. The one who insists on touching my back with his and falling asleep even though we face away happily after we kiss good night. And who smiles in his sleep when I give in and envelope his legs with mine on a warm night. I’m not lonely anymore.
All I can think of in this moment is that I understand how Rachel felt as she hugged the cordless phone to her chest and looked over adoringly at her F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and sighed, ‘I’m fine.’
Speaking of anxiety attacks always has me rooting for Team Therapy. And while it’s not for everyone (and that’s okay), this following book had me slapping my mattress and exclaiming out loud, “Yes! Exactly! That’s bang on what’s up with everything including myself” at two in the morning. If you’re struggling and unsure if therapy is for you, please read Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb.
Lori Gottlieb gets you.Srishooo