Photo Credit: Me
I had a panic attack about twenty minutes ago and it felt like I was going to die. My chest contracted, my heart was on fire and right now, so is my head. After realizing that coming back to reality was not something I could do on my own, I picked up the phone and dialed several people who could talk me from away from the edge that I was tiptoeing over to as my breathing worsened.
Alas, they did not pick up and I was alone. Before I began this post, I was writing about the movie, The Danish Girl, a flick that I'd never gotten to last year after I'd seen it in theaters, but after a three day marathon of the TV show, Girls, some feelings of bleakness over those last couple of days and the inability to watch something new that I hadn't seen before, something in me snapped and that's when the panic attack began. I haven't had one in a couple of months and while this once wasn't as severe as ones I've had before, it was new as I'm home from college, in a new environment that ceases to do anything else but depress me with only my family around me to keep me from sleeping all day or end my life. During this panic attack, I was alone. I could've killed myself. I could've just let it keep going, but instead I did something different and dialed my friends. Even though no one picked up, one of my friends did call me back and talked me through everything, which again was something new because I've never reached out for help before because no one around me really understands what it means to have anxiety or depression.
No one around me really understands depression, unless they are in fact depressed, but talking to people with the same affliction is like talking to a brick way. Strange, but true. Talking to another person with depression is comforting in the aspect that they know where I'm coming from, but I all I want is for someone who doesn't see the world in black and white to understand why I see the world the way I do and not respond, "Just ignore the bad thoughts." I want someone who doesn't see the world they way I do to understand just what it means to not want to roll out of bed every morning because we have to go and do "human things" like brushing your teeth, showering, and speaking to others because in just those tiny interactions most of my energy is gone afterwards. I want people to ask me about the bad days and understand that when I go on forever, most days are the bad days and be okay with it. I want others to know that even though I plaster a smile on my face and make jokes about things like my weight and face, they're dark, bitter jokes and that deep down I mean every single angry, mean word and also that the smile is fake. I want someone to ask me if I'm okay and when I say, "I'm alive", be concerned for my well-being because I know it sounds funny when the saying leaves my mouth and usually the other person laughs, but little do that know, just moments earlier I thought about slitting my wrists in a bathtub. I want them to know that I am now blind to how beautiful the world once was. I know it's there as I can feel it, I can taste it, I can hear it, but I can no longer see it.
But I wasn't always like this. I was once happy, full of life and genuinely loved people and being around them gave me a reason to live. I used to see the world in color, in translucent, vibrant colors similar to that of a Douglas Sirk film. I'd go to parties, I'd live in the moment and was comfortable with myself. Not completely, but just enough to not give a damn if I wore a size 8 jean because to my mother, that's a fat girl's size. Now I'm constantly calculating everything. I can't leave my house without a full face of makeup. If I leave, will I scare people? What if I just do my eyebrows? Hah, like you could ever just do that. Is my belly to fat for this crop top? Are my eyeliner wings symmetrical? The silence is killing me. I should make a joke. Or is it silent because everyone hates me? Why haven't any of my friends responded to me? Do I even have any of those? I think about everything and when I do say or do something without thinking, I berate myself for doing so. I cry most nights and even some days when no one is home. I sit in the car after I leave a job I hate and think about my life and how it's going no where and then again I cry, right there in the parking lot.
These are the thoughts that I have now. They consume me and it hurts, like a vacuum sucking up everything inside of me until nothing is left. It sucks because I know this isn't me. These aren't my thoughts, but they live in my head, so they are, in fact a part of me. Depression and it's best friend, anxiety, are people who were invited to a party and guess what? I'm the party. But what happened to the girl who lived and loved life and laughed though? Is she at the party? Is she somewhere inside of me? Has she, too, gone blind to the beauty of the world and become hollow enough to no longer know what it means to feel anymore?
I don't know. I'm going to try and find out if I can bring her back. But can I? Or is there no going back? What has this illness done to me?
What am I going to do?