I feel as if I have written this blog post a thousand times. I’m falling apart again, and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it. My anxiety has me questioning how long I will have a job, or even a relationship. It amazes me how something that is essentially mental can manifest itself into something so physical that it is impossible to breath, let alone function like the person I once was, or even strive to be. I have so much hope, and gratitude that you would think that the combination of these gifts would be able to fight off the evil that is the panic attack. The dreaded panic attack.
It manifests itself in my chest, in my shoulder, near my heart, for no apparent reason… ever. I cannot always determine what is triggering me, or when it is going to come on and steal my laughter. It becomes an obsession, a heart attack on the mind, a dread in the stomach, a mind numbing surrender that one fights with every ounce of sanity left. It leaves me with so much energy that I could fight the world if needed, but there is nothing there to fight. Nothing. It is my mind playing tricks on me and then it drains me. Physically drains me, mentally drains me, and leaves me feeling foolish and crazy. Logically I know I am not in danger, but my body seems to have its own ideas. Living on high alert for so long has left me uncertain about what real threats are anymore.
I feel powerless and silly once the panic subsides. I am striving for health, for happiness on a daily basis. I take my medication, I take deep breaths, I find gratitude in everything, and I have started counseling again… yet here I sit a day after leaving work because I could not get myself calmed down. Adding yet another occurrence to my list… which is frustrating in its own right. How can I work when I cannot see straight? How can I keep a job with much needed insurance if I cannot breathe every other day? How can I explain to anyone that I am not a slacker, that I have a great work ethic when my body and my mind are under control. How do you explain to people that have no idea what hell looks like? That you were threatened with knives, your face cut, and your throat in the grip of a devil that still haunts your every dream? Would they even care? Would it make a difference?
PTSD, anxiety and depression feel as if you are alone all the time. The ones you want to keep in your life look at you as if you are batshit crazy, the ones that understand tell you to stop and start over. There are encouragers, helpers, friends that would do anything to help you survive, yet here you sit battling this war in your own mind. It is so hard to get the words out, to explain how completely overwhelming it all feels. How your bed seems safe, until it is not. How you function like nothing is the matter, until you can’t.
And then you get up and you do it all over again.