Dealing With Panic Attacks
By: Svenja (@GalaxyPayno93)
Content warning: Anxiety, death
When I was younger, I used to be a euphoric child, full of life and love. I was always very popular, so school wasn't a problem. I had a loving family who made sure I had everything I needed and more. You could say I was living a somewhat perfect live. That lasted until I was eight years old when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. For the first time in my life, I realized how vulnerable and fragile life itself is. It takes one single second to change everything. I should have been enjoying my life, but suddenly, I had to grow up faster.
I spent more time than usual at my grandma's due to my mom having appointments all the time. This wasn't a problem, as my grandma is the most important person in my life. She wasn't just my grandma; she was almost like my mom for me. She practically raised me because my parents used to work all the time. She was like a big sister and a best friend. I fully trusted her. She was my everything. A year after my mom's diagnosis, she passed away. Suddenly, I didn't have someone I trust anymore. The worst thing is that I had no one who I could open up to about my grandma's death. My dad was still busy, working pretty much 24/7. My mom was busy with her treatment, and my sister and I never had a deep relationship. There was no one who I could just go to and cry and tell how much I miss her. I was alone with my pain and sadness.
Two years passed and I kept distancing myself. I wasn't the happy and carefree girl anymore; I was the quiet girl who was afraid to lose everyone who meant something to me. My circle of friends became smaller and smaller. When the walls I built during these two years broke down, I was left with no friends because no one could handle what happened to me. When those walls gave out, I started having panic attacks. At first, it was only one or two in a week, but it didn't take long until they got worse and more. After a few weeks, I couldn't go to school anymore because when I went, all I did was stand outside the classroom. I would hide somewhere because I was too afraid to go to class or I would call and text my mom several times until she finally picked me up.
Shortly after that, I also stopped going to dance class. There was no point in keep going to dance because I was way too distracted by my panic attacks actually to focus on dance. And after quitting going to school and dance class, I also quit going out in general. I was in my room 24/7, too afraid to leave; I couldn't sleep anymore. I was a 12-year-old girl who was scared of sleeping. The only way to get me to sleep was in my mom's bed, and she would hold me until I finally was too tired to stay awake.
I then became afraid of eating. I always had this weird feeling in my throat, which made it so hard to swallow. My mom took me to a therapist, but she didn't help me at all. All she did was feed me all kinds of medication, hoping that one would help. Of course, nothing helped. After a few more weeks, my doctor sent me to the hospital. I was in there for about a half year, slowly fighting my way back into life. And it helped. But I keep relapsing. It's an active circle. I get panic attacks; then I learn why I get them and how to deal with them. I slowly get better until I finally feel good again, and of course, they come back.
It's like drowning, learning how to swim, then being pulled back under until you learn how to swim again, just to be pulled back under. It goes on and on and on and on, and there's nothing that can stop this. Right now, I'm drowning again. My panic attacks have been getting worse lately. I can't help but grow more tired and exhausted every time my panic attacks get worse. My biggest fear is that one day, I'll be so tired and exhausted that I can't hold on anymore. The worst thing is that I have no one who is there to support me, who cares about me and loves me.
I used to have two very close friends but just like my old friends; they also left me when the panic attacks got to worse, and I needed them the most. I do have a few people I talk to on a regular basis; I just miss having a close friend, someone I can open up to without being judged. I want someone who cares about me and doesn't just throw me away when I'm complicated because everything is just getting too much for me. I just miss having someone who makes me want to keep fighting, keep holding on.