Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The fear of nothing

Those of you who don't really know me might not know this, but those who do know me do. I am quite easily stressed out. About minor things really, things which did not seem of much importance to anyone. And when those events were over, I was back to my old self and all was well and we lived happily ever after.

Yet the older I get, the more prone I become to panic attacks. I guess they first started when I took my driving test for the second time. My head filled with thoughts about miserable failure, I started sweating and was about to cry. Needless to say, I failed. It was the first time I experienced a panic attack and it worried me, but for a while after that it all seemed to be fine.

But it wasn't fine. As my last year of college drew nearer and the pressure was on me again, I became more and more stressed. For weeks my whole body ached, I could hardly breathe and suffered from hyperventilation attacks. I had too much to do and I wanted it to be perfect so badly that I forgot to think about myself. I didn't even know what it felt like to be relaxed.
One night, my body just couldn't handle it anymore. I was so tired of going through this pain both physically and mentally that I just started crying all of a sudden. My heart skipped beats. I panicked. I couldn't breathe. I panicked even more because I thought I was dying. My mother had to come and calm me down. That was the turning point for me. I decided to postpone a few things to give myself some peace of mind. I forgot to put my own happiness before other people's expectations of me and that was a mistake.

I didn't go to class the day after the attack, yet when I did return and my classmates asked about it, I heard the same thing many times: "I know exactly what you mean." It was a relief to me that I wasn't the only one. One of them even exactly described the feeling of having a hyperventilation attack and it made me feel less alone.

So, if anyone who is reading this knows the feeling, just know that it's okay. Yes it is annoying when people tell you to calm down because obviously you are trying hard to do so. But just take a deep breath and move on. There is no problem that can't be fixed and you shouldn't worry too much. There is a solution for everything. Don't strive for perfection because you're never going to reach that. Just do things at your pace and don't forget to relax and have fun.

I still have minor panic attacks at times for no reason at all, but I've learned to kick my own ass and calm myself so it's getting better. Just remember: every little thing is going to be alright.

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