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What It's Like Inside My Brain During an Anxiety Attack


I’m having trouble right now. This is hard. It hurts in my chest. Sometimes, I have really scary thoughts. I’m trying to do the next “right” thing, because everything is scary. I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying. Stop trying? Stop trying! But I’m trying to stop. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. I don’t need to tell everyone about this. I don’t need them. People don’t ask for help because they try. I try to write it out, but it’s not perfect, so I stop. I don’t want my daughter to feel that way. Can I be OK with that? It’s OK that I’m not OK with it. I’m not OK with it. I’m not OK with it not being right. What is right? Breathe in. Breathe out. Let. The. Earth. Support. You. Like an ocean. Breathe. The waves come in. I hate that song. The waves go out. Feel my teeth. My tongue. My toes. I did it, I did it! Look at me! Aren’t I great for doing it? I don’t need to help other people right now. The way I help them is if I help me. I’m scared to type certain things. I don’t want people to worry. I don’t want people to lie to me and tell me everything is OK. Breathe in. I don’t want a Band-Aid. Breathe out. I have a mental illness? I shouldn’t sugarcoat it.

I have a mental illness.

They are just words. I get why people with mental illness sometimes want to die, want to crawl in a hole. Want to write. Want to get it out! Want to get out. I have an illness. It’s not my fault. It’s not my birth mom’s fault. It’s not my mom’s fault. It’s not my husband’s fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s OK that I didn’t understand. It’s OK that I didn’t understand. It’s OK that I didn’t understand. It’s OK that I didn’t understand.

God of mercy. Sweet love of mine. I have surrendered to the divine. This is why people write. This is why writing is beautiful. This is why they say, “bare your soul.” I don’t need to tell everyone all the time that they’re doing it right. It helps. But I need to mean it. That’s mean. I’m trying to mean it. Breathe.

In. Out. Relax your jaw. Feel your tongue. They were just words before. I get it now. Are people worried? It doesn’t matter. It matters that you get better. I’m getting better. I need to do this. I need to do this. I need to do this. It helps to see it written out. I’m not writing a book. It doesn’t need to “sound good.” It doesn’t need to look good.

Come back. I missed you. It’s OK. You’re here now. And that’s all that matters. You’re OK. You’re OK. You’re OK. You’re OK. Breathe in. Breathe out.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Olarty.


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