Eaten Alive (Part 2)
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
I had no idea what was going on with me and that made it even scarier. Every day, I wanted to just fade away and become a shadow. At least then I wouldn't have to worry about any shame or embarrassment. Being a shadow was my comfort zone. I wanted to remain unseen and unheard. I had gotten so used to being a shadow that it consumed me. I became that girl that drifted from one day to the next in a black oversized jacket that I rarely parted ways with the hopes of being ignored. I eventually saw that it only made my anxiety worse.
When people did notice me, I would spiral out of control. I found myself crying over everything. My throat would get dry and feel like it was about to close up. I couldn't focus. Everything around me would all mesh together and become a big blur. I felt like there was this pressure constantly building inside me and I had no way of releasing it.
That was when I started experiencing full blown anxiety attacks. I just wanted to scream. I thought that was the only thing that could make me feel numb. I'd let it all build up for a while until I got worked up enough to grab a pillow, curl up by myself (usually while everyone in my house was sleeping), and I would scream as loud as I possibly could. I did that almost every night, sometimes for 3 or 4 hours at a time. I wasn't coping with the stress that comes with anxiety in a positive way and it just continued getting worse. But at least I was numb. I was 100% satisfied with being just an emotionless shadow that didn't have the energy to care about anything.
It escalated to me becoming one of those individuals you hear about that contemplates suicide. Then I made an attempt. Twice. Depression and anxiety were attacking me so viciously that I actually felt like there was this raw, gaping hole in the middle of my chest that was slowly but surely getting larger and larger. My attacks would just make the pain worse. At one point, I didn't even feel numb anymore. My body was beginning to breakdown because I wasn't eating and I wasn't sleeping. The only thing I could do was think of when my next attack would be or what would cause it or how intense would it be. I never really figured that out. The smallest things would set me off and send me over the edge.
Things didn't get easier until I started bonding with my dad and his family. Having so much in common with my sister Alexis gave me the courage to open up and the attacks started dwindling down to maybe 1 or 2 a week. They even knew how I felt when it came to depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. I didn't feel alone anymore and I was thankful that I survived my suicide attempts (that was the only thing that I was proud of back then).
Here I am, 10 years later, and in the last year, I've had maybe 3 or 4 anxiety attacks. I'm still grateful and amazed that I made it through all of that. But these diseases really eat you alive and it's a pain that you struggle to describe. Sometimes I can't even believe that I was strong enough to push through something that rough, and I'll always be there for anyone struggling with this illness. I've been there and I never thought I would make it this far in life, but I'm here and I can finally say that I'm happy.