Health&Wellness Mental Health

A Heart That’s Pounding

February 23, 2017

There are some moments in my life when I can feel myself spiraling out of control. My heart beats faster and my hands start to shake and my breath gets short. And then it happens.

I couldn’t tell you if what I experience are panic or anxiety attacks, because honestly I don’t know the difference. And I’m not sure that it matters anyway–it won’t change the fact that they happen. I never know exactly what triggers them, but a common theme is being made to feel like I’m crazy, which leads me to feel like I’m not enough.

I’ve only tried to go to therapy once in my life. I made it through two sessions. My therapist listened to me and asked me questions and told me that I was definitely anxious and was on the “quirky” side of OCD. “You have strange habits and patterns and a level of stress, but you’re not going to hurt anyone,” he said with a chuckle. I did not laugh. He asked me no questions about depression. My anxiety levels were not high enough to require any kind of treatment, my OCD not bizarre enough to be deemed serious, and my possibility of depression not strong enough to deserve some kind of follow up when I cancelled my third session. So I floated on.

Depression was not something new to me. It was a common buzzword among people at my arts high school and huge in news as I grew up. When I was 16 someone I loved mentioned how he had days of feeling as if he could not get out of bed. When I was 18, one of my best friends left the continental US in the hopes that the change would pull him out of a deep sadness. I know more than a handful of people on antidepressants. And even Alex, my boyfriend, has had more than a few struggles with being depressed. But where do I fall?

I don’t know what I have or what I am or where my levels fall, and I honestly don’t know that I want to. There is something to be said for self care that I hold tightly to my chest. So until I am ready to find out where I stand, I will take care of myself. My hands will shake and I will sob, unable to take a full breath. And once that has passed my body will go weak and I will feel nothing until my headache sets in. And then I will breathe. I will breathe into my stomach as I have been told to my entire life. I will breathe and let myself be. So I will continue to keep 4 different journals as well as this blog. I will continue to use de-stressing lotion on my entire body. I will continue to take anti-stress vitamins and drink hot tea and work out every single day. And I will continue to plan my own future and look towards tomorrow, because sometimes that’s the only thing that gets me through the day.

Xo, Willa

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