There isn’t a Magical Ending to This Story

The sun was bright and bothered my eyes as I walked across the parking lot to the college where I had been a student for only a few weeks. My anxiety was high because of the sunny day, something I connected with my epilepsy (controlled for only a little while at the time) and only having seizures on sunny days, and I could feel the crippling ties of fear begin to wind around my throat as I walked.

Suddenly the world felt smaller, I began to feel sick to my stomach, the edges of my sight dotted, and I could feel the panic overwhelming me.

School could wait today.

Soon even the rainy days began to bother me and the panic wasn’t tolerable. The thought of going out in the daytime made me shake with fear and I only made plans to go out at night.

The school nurse told me I had the flu.

So began a semester of my life spent inside a dorm room, curtains drawn, and classes missed, and ending in my moving home to attend college in my community.

The diagnosis was anxiety disorder.

Panic attacks would strike often and in places I wouldn’t expect them. Grocery stores, elevators, my home, my car, walking down the street. Always making me feel as though I was unable to breathe, closing my airways, tightening my chest, leaving me unable to move, shaking on the floor with my family over top of me soothing me with voices that made things worse.

I was certain, ever time, that I was dying.

Every place I visited I began to look for the exit, counting to see how fast it would take me to get there, I began to park closest to the doors so that I could get to my car fast, I opted out of functions, and I avoided social situations.

Anything to stop an anxiety attack.

17 years later I am still struggling with an anxiety that keeps me from social functions, stops me in my tracks when I’m in a store, makes me question myself on a regular basis, swells my throat on sunny days, and throws me to the floor with panic.

It’s a struggle each day.

There isn’t a magical ending to this story.

There’s just a fighter who keeps fighting.

There’s just me.

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2 Responses to There isn’t a Magical Ending to This Story
  1. Carrie Baughcum
    May 25, 2015 | 8:23 am

    Your stories are always so beautiful, capturing and powerful. You pull me in and take me there. Then you share with me you and your strength and you struggle and I know more about you and the mental illness you fight. XOXXOXO

  2. Mom
    May 27, 2015 | 2:04 pm

    Carrie said the key message: You pull me in and take me there. I learn more about you every time you share a part of you.

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