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What Happened When I Reached Out to the Crisis Text Line About My Anxiety Attack


When I first reached out to the crisis text line, I thought it was just going to be a simple chat. The person on the other side of the phone would ask me my issue, I would tell them, they would say “you’ll be OK,” then we would part ways.

I was very wrong.

I never thought I would have to result to texting this number. At the time, I wasn’t having an suicidal thoughts. It was a very bad anxiety attack that I couldn’t escape.

Usually I’m able to find a way to control my attacks, but this one seemed different. It started off with my typical “hard to breathe moment” with a little muscle tension thrown in. After a few minutes, I could tell it wasn’t going away. Then I started to panic even more at the thought of it never ending.

So, I did what anyone else would do and looked up help centers. At that moment, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be the one that could stop myself. I needed someone else to help me.

My finger trembled over the send button for a few moments because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Thoughts popped into my head left and right. I kept thinking, “What if I’m just being overdramatic?” “I don’t think I need to text a crisis number to help me.” “What if they tell me to go away?” My anxiety just kept jumping to the worst case scenario. So I did what I never thought I would do.

I pressed send.

Right now, as I’m reading our conversation over again, I realized how amazing it was to actually reach out and ask for help. You (the person on the other end of the phone) were so helpful in trying to get me from my “hot moment to a cooler moment.” Your texts allowed me to feel better about myself. While doing this, you sent me links to websites that helped give me more information on anxiety and some places that could help me if I ever needed it again.

These days, it’s hard to feel great about myself when anxiety just drags me down all the time. The constant worrying just always makes me feel mentally exhausted. Some days I really just need someone to talk to. So as I write this, I encourage anyone who is going through the same thing I am to just reach out. At first you might feel ashamed — I did — but that’s OK because you know someone is there on the other side for you.

This was my first step toward asking for help. In the past I was always afraid to ask for help because I found it hard. I never wanted to make a fuss or upset anyone else with the way I feel. I was fearful that I would never get the chance to get the help I needed, or wouldn’t allow them the opportunity to help. In the end, I’m glad I reached out.

So, to my crisis counselor John, thank you.

Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you getting me from my hot moment to a cooler moment.

Thank you for letting me know that my illness doesn’t define me.

Sincerely,

The girl who is stronger now

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Getty image via Blackzheep


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