Anxiety: My Experience

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is how anxiety has a grip on my life. I wish I could figure out how to loosen the reigns

Anxiety: My Experience
I want to begin by giving a disclaimer: There will be cursing on my part in an attempt to emphasize just the sheer amount of terror I feel. I will keep the cursing to a minimum though.
Hello, my name is Kaleb, I am a 26 year old male who lives in a small town in Oklahoma. I have mental health problems. Anxiety and depression are a constant theme of my life. I am writing this in hopes to get some feedback from others that can relate on some level. I have been wanting to do this for quite some time, but have been too scared. I am a fairly thin-skinned person and I have been hesitant to share my experiences for fear of getting comments such as "get over it" "grow up" "Stop being a bitch" etc. Rude stuff like that would only make me feel worse about myself more than I already do. With that being said, I am going to begin to share my story with whoever took the time out of their day to read this. 
I would like to start back to my Junior year of high school. I will not talk too long about these times, but I feel it can be important for how my life turned out. I was a big marijuana smoker my Junior and Senior year. I would smoke copious amounts of weed, it was ridiculous. They were pretty good times, but those are over now for what I am about to tell you.
Fast forward to late August 2013, almost 1 month after I graduated high school. I was hanging out with my friend Anthony and we were watching TV and smoking weed as we normally would. Sometime during that day, our friend Luke wanted to come over, we agreed that it was a good idea. It was fun when all of us spent time together. Without too much extraneous details (I don't want to type too much until we get to 2018-2019) Luke broke up some weed that we smoked and I had an absolutely terrible reaction to it. Part of me thinks it was laced, but my current panic attacks feel a LOT like this did. My body got extremely hot, my hands/palms were clammy. I couldn't hardly breathe. My mind was going 1000 mph. I was shaking. I was stuttering. The most important frightening part was my heart. It was beating at over 240 bpm for 5 hours during this night. The rapid heart beat is commonplace in my panic attacks today as a 26 year old. I believe this bad experience really set the stage for my anxiety as a whole. I tried to take a hit of some other weed the next day and I had the same reaction. Maybe it was PTSD from my bad experience, but to this day I can't smell, taste, and most definitely not smoke marijuana without going into a panic attack. This could be mostly in my head, but I absolutely despise weed now. I've figured out that weed is a big no no for me after that terrible night. Seriously, I can't be around someone if they are smoking. Contact high is very real for me, it fucks me up. 
I thought that I would only feel this way while being affected by weed. I found out my freshman year of college that I was sorely and unfortunately mistaken. I was living a good life for the most part. Haven't had any panic attacks ever (except for the night I tripped on the weed) this all changed one night when I was sitting in my Science class. I felt the symptoms of the clammy hands, hot body, and rapid heartbeat. I thought "No, no, no, no way.... I'm sober, i have been for over a year, why is this happening?"  I bolted up from my desk, grabbed my backpack, and ran to the bathroom. I hunched over the toilet trying to calm myself down. I didn't know what to do (I have methods to help calm down now, but back then I had NO idea how to cope) I ended up making the agonizing 15 minute drive home with my racing heart. I was distraught. These attacks would happen every once in a while from that point on. Talk about heartbreaking.
Now we are going to jump to October 2018. This is one of the most important periods of my life. I started my first serious relationship where I fell in love with this girl, Jessica. To preface what I'm about to say, at this point in my life I had developed fear of travel (I know there's a word for it, but I can't think of it) I hated driving and was scared to be too far away from my house. I still feel this way currently at 26 and it's worse now. I don't want to leave my house at all. Anyways, I had never had much luck dating girls around my area, so I used an online dating app called Plenty of Fish. I was talking to her for a good month or so and then she asked me if I would like to come see her. I was excited, but deep down sad because I knew I couldn't mentally handle driving that far to see her. Yeah, she lived 3 hours away after I looked up the location. Good news though, she got a wild hair and decided to drive down and see me! It was absolutely wonderful. We began officially dating the second time she came down. I believed that I loved this girl, which if I'm being honest, I did. I had never had a girl give me this type of attention before and I was grateful. I do have a bad habit of opening up too much too quickly to females, but it is what it is. I told her I loved her the second time we met in person. A lot of you are probably thinking something along the line of "yikes" and I don't blame you at all. Would this relationship last though? My inability to drive 3 hours would surely be a hindrance, right?
I was in love, smitten, head over heels for this girl. I decided to try the best I could to hop in my car and drive 3 hours to see her. Oh my goodness, that trip was rough to say the least. I had to call her about 20 minutes in so I had someone to talk to so I wouldn't freak out and have an attack. I made it there in one piece though. I practically lived with her after going to her house for the first time. I was in awe. I was very proud of myself for doing it. I mean I came home after a few days of visiting her, but I was at her house 4 days a week and at my own home 3 days a week. We took turns, I went to her house one week, then she came down to mine. The only reason I even came home was because I had a good paying job in my town. I thought about moving up there with her (Not right away, surprisingly, but 5-6 months into our relationship) I never discussed this, but it sounded like a nice idea. Everything seemed to be going great!
There's your keyword... "Seemed"  It WAS going great until my mental health fucked me over. I got to a point where I could not make myself drive to go see her anymore. I don't know what happened. I wasn't loving her any less, we weren't fighting, things were wonderful. My mind just shut down on me and basically said I didn't deserve to be happy. Man, this absolutely kills me. Even to this day, it frustrates the hell out of me. I will give her all the credit in the world though, she came to see me every weekend for 4-5 straight months. Every time she would leave I would start crying because I felt so guilty about her having to be the one to drive to come see me. It still hurts. I told her every now and then that if she ever got sick of it and I became too much of a burden or hassle to let me know and I wouldn't be mad, I'd understand. This definitely happened.
Sometime in September 2019 was the last time we saw each other. I thought everything was okay, there was no indication that we were going to break up. She stayed 2 nights at my house. The first night was amazing as it usually was with her. When we woke up though, she was just breaking down in tears and trembling. She would not tell me what was wrong. It concerned me, but I went and got her a glass of water and whatever else she needed to feel better. I felt so bad for her, I couldn't do anything to help. I never figured out what was bothering her until later that night when she returned to her house. It was typical that we would call each other when we returned to our respective houses to let each other know we got home safely. This phone call was different. There was no "Hey babe, I made it home" she said very directly "Where do you see us going?" I asked "What do you mean?"  "Like our future, are you going to move down here, because I can't leave my family, I don't want to move down there"  I was taken aback, but I replied "Well babe I love you very much, but lets take it one day at a time and we'll cross that bridge when we get there"  That didn't do much to appease her. She says back "Kaleb, I don't think this is going to work, I still love you, but I'm not in love with you anymore"  That shattered me. I didn't have really anything to say back to argue with her about because I called this shit. I told her to let me know if she got sick of our one sided relationship. I was hoping for a heads up, but she let me know that she didn't want to do this anymore and I don't blame her. I tried to reach out to her a couple times after that, but it was too hard for me. Knowing I will never see my first love again stings, and talking to her on the phone is just torture. I don't want to do it. Oh and to make things worse, that morning when she was crying and shaking. She was wanting to break up with me in person, but couldn't make herself tell me. She told me that on the phone. I also found where she had taken off a copy my house key I made her and she placed it in my night stand while I was out of the room getting her a glass of water. I wasn't even mad, I was just hurt, but not surprised. I ended up mailing her house key back to her a few days later.
Let's jump ahead to, gosh it's hard to say, I think around June 2020. I decided to try dating apps again and began talking to this girl named Summer. We were hitting it off great. Then I realized where she was from...  THE SAME CITY JESSICA was from.  Are you kidding me??!!  Of all places, I couldn't believe it. In a 3 hour radius, it had to be the same town I was unable to drive to in my previous relationship!  Aint that something, ooooh I was so mad and just annoyed in general. Well I guess that isn't gonna work out.
Guess what, it kinda worked out. I was so determined and ashamed of letting Jessica down that I wanted to go see this new girl. This trip was hell. It was WAY harder than the first time I went to see Jessica as my anxiety was progressively getting worse over time. I made it though. I felt very welcomed. Of course I told this girl I loved her, this time the FIRST time we met in person. I don't know why I do this. Maybe I'm so relieved to accomplish something go grueling for me as a 3 hours trip that I'm just so elated that I wanna...  heck I don't know I'm rambling. Anywho, she was very friendly, but things ended up not working out due to me. I only went to see her twice and I couldn't do it anymore after that. The car ride was killing me mentally. I'm not so hung up about this experience though, I went through it with Jessica, so this wasn't a big shocker to me. I figured I wouldn't be able to date Summer long term.
Let's jump to October 2020 now. My anxiety is getting very, very bad, but not TOO bad to where I can't keep working at the grocery store I worked at. The anxiety didn't affect my job too much, I did have to leave 2 shifts though because of a bad panic attack, but that's an aside, that's not even what I was wanting to talk about in this paragraph. 
My cousin wanted me to talk to this girl named Natasha. I was single again and at this point I really wasn't looking to date because I had enough problems on my own. I didn't want to let another girl down again or disappoint them, but against my better judgment. I agreed to meet this girl. Guess what guys... I didn't tell her I loved her the instant I met her, even though I had those feelings!!!!  I waited 4 whole months. We are still dating today. I'm glad I agreed to meet her. She has been very good for me. She's one of the kindest, most genuine souls I have ever met. I truly don't deserve her (teared up typing that) she is sticking with me through easily the worst part of my life so far... big props to her. I love her so much! She supports me financially, not like paying bills, but she gave me $100 to do whatever I wanted with. Gosh that makes me feel so bad though because I'm not doing anything to earn that. I tell her she doesn't have to do that, she might need it for something, but she insists I take it and I know better than to argue with her too much haha! I want to get back to a point in my life where I can feel confident and comfortable holding a job so I can do nice things for her for a change!  But yeah, I feel bad accepting the money, but I try to get stuff we can both enjoy with it. I bought this board game the other day off Amazon. I'm hoping we will have a good time with it. Natasha is just an amazing woman, I could go on and on, believe me! We live SO close too, that's a welcome relief. Now instead of driving 3 hours to argue, I only have to drive 3 minutes!!  Haha, I'm joking, that's a line a like to use though. This has been my most healthy relationship. She is very compassionate and understanding with what I am dealing with. We had a period when we first got together, like the first 2-3 months where we would stay at each others houses every night. This of course had to change because of me. Before I get to why I stopped staying the night with her though, I need to talk about why I quit my job.
In January 2021 I quit my job at the local grocery store. This was predominately due to my mental health. That place was a joke, very poor management and too family members working there. Gee, I wonder if favoritism was a thing there??  Stop Kaleb, this writing is not supposed to be a rant about the farce of a grocery store you worked at, but we are going to rant anyway! It serves a point to my mental health. Ranting about the environment aside, I couldn't work there anymore for the reasons explained in just a second. My panic attacks were weighing me down at this point. Day to day life was a struggle. I dreaded going into work every day because I didn't know if I could handle it. My last 3-4 months working there were like that. Just overwhelming fear of not feeling safe and knowing I had to be stuck somewhere for 8 hours with no freedom to go home in case I had a panic attack. Oh as a note, the phrase "panic attack" tends to make me uneasy. I usually refer to it as an "episode" but for simplicity purposes, I will call them what they are, panic attacks.
When I could really tell things were going downhill at work was this one night where I ended up taking my shirt off in the back lot where our delivery truck would pull in and leaning my back against our dumpster. Keep in mind it is winter time and very cold outside. I had a routine every night. I would take all the trash by the registers, office, bathroom, breakroom, etc. out at 6:30 PM (We closed at 8 PM). I was doing the trashes one night and started to feel hot, clammy, nervous, and my heart was racing of course. I thought "Oh great again" I've had them often at work before, but not quite this bad. I could NOT seem to calm myself down. I tried splashing water on my face, cool rag on my neck, deep breaths, talking my coworker's ear off, etc. Nothing was working. So in a desperation move, I went out back to the dumpster and laid against it for a good 5-10 minutes. We have an intercom system, so if my cashier needed help, they could call for me and I would be able to hear it where I was at. Yeah, I looked like a drug addict. Shirt off, leaning against a dumpster, but I didn't care what I looked like. Slowing my heart rate and lowering my body temperature was all I cared about.
The next night at work, the same thing happened. So I went through the same thing. I went into the office and poured a little water on the desk to lay my cheek in. I sat in there doing nothing but trying to calm down for about 15 minutes, then I had to go out and cashier because I let my coworker go outside to smoke a cigarette. Oh yeah, I was a night manager there, that couldn't manage his own body, let alone a store. Our store wasn't usually that busy thankfully, it was only 1 customer and his buddy that I had to ring up. I was shaking so bad and they were wondering what's wrong. I told them "Hold on just a sec guys and I'll explain"  Luckily it had been raining that night and water was dripping down the gutter. I had to run outside to soak my head with that water to cool down so I could help these people. I started crying because I was embarrassed and explained to them that I am freaking out and I don't know what to do. They told me to just take my time and breathe, they weren't in any hurry. I was just so embarrassed that I couldn't even do my job anymore. That night, I didn't really fill the dairy cooler like I was supposed to. I admit that, but calming myself down is more important than a few gallons of milk not being stocked, they can get fucked and stock it in the morning.
The next day I go into work, the dairy manager, who is also the boss's daughter go figure...  bitches at me in the most condescending tone "Are you aware that dairy was NOT filled last night?"  I couldn't help it, and if I known that I was going to quit later that day I would have told this bitch how I REALLY felt about her. I kinda snapped and said "Are you aware of how hard it is for me to even be here anymore working with y'all in addition to how messed up I am?"  I could have went on about how bad my anxiety was, but it would have fell on deaf ears. So I said "I'm gonna talk to our boss and see if I can't be demoted to part time or something, this is too much"  Then she said, in her shrill valley girl,  pompous tone of voice that irked me to no end "Well, are you going to be here tomorrow?"  "If you can't handle it tonight, you need to tell me because it's my job to make sure it's covered" 
I do want to say this, if you're looking for a job... DO NOT work somewhere where most of the staff are related.
Yeah, this bitch promoted herself to assistant manager LMFAO in actuality I had been there longer and was told numerous times that I'm 2nd in command when boss is on vacation. I did all the bookwork, ordering, opening store, etc when she was gone. That rubbed me the wrong way, so I said "Yeah, I'm leaving, and I will be here tomorrow because I'm the only one that knows how to do the paperwork right... YOU don't"  Then I walked out. 
I showed up the next morning at 8AM. I no longer care about the future of this cesspool. I made sure the paperwork was done right. I was scheduled 8-5, but I left at 1 as soon as my coworker got there. I told her, "it's been fun working with you, but fuck this place" She completely understood, we hugged, and then I left. I was going to call my boss and tell her I quit, but I had enough of the toxicity so I just texted her instead. I gave her the rest of the day to reply, she didn't, then I blocked everyone's number that worked there. I want no further association with that business. I've only been back inside that place once and that was to pick up my last pay stub for my records.
It was a good place to work at first, but then more family was getting hired on. I was already having problems working efficiently because of my mental health, and then to add on people starting rumors about you and singling you out, complaining, etc. It got REAL old. Here's an example: the boss's grandaughter (Yeah she worked there too, surprised???) tried to say that I was hitting a weed vape pen in the back. I've already explained earlier in this declaration how I hate weed. Little girl was just trying to start something. Well if their ultimate goal was to make me quit, then I guess they won. I was a VERY good employee when my mind allowed me too. I had a good relationship with my regular customers. Hell, I became great friends with one of them. He would come in the store and sit on our bench out front and smoke cigarettes, one day I joined him. I smoked cigs in high school, quit for a few years, then picked it up again when I start the job. We hit it off well. I have his number in my cell phone and we talk every day. Not texting. Talking. He is a 70 some-odd year old man. He reminds me a lot of my grandpa. My grandpa died in 2013. So maybe I'm trying to fill a void with this man. His name is RB. I don't have a working car anymore, and he gives me rides around town every other day or so.  So yeah, I know how to handle the public. I just could not do my duties at work anymore so it was best to quit. It sucked too, because I made a good wage for such a small town, I got paid about $240 a week. That's good for a small town of 1,000 people in Oklahoma. Missing that money hurts me, but I just couldn't function in the workplace anymore.
Going back to something positive, my girlfriend Natasha. I would stay the night at her house regularly, but I hit a point where I can't anymore because I don't feel safe. I can't stand being away from my house. I feel insecure in my own mind if I'm not in a familiar area where I have various coping mechanisms in order to calm myself down. I feel bad about it, but she comes over and stays at my house. I live with my mom by the way in my grandpa's old house. No rent, just bills. She wants me to stay the night, but I just don't feel comfortable. Heck, I don't feel comfortable here half the time. She is an amazing girl, I could go on and on about her but I have already added too much back story to what this is supposed to be about. These last few paragraphs are going to be very scattered with my thoughts, but I want to do the best I can to put into words what my life is like on a daily basis. Let's do this!
My best friend Anthony is practically my brother, we have so much in common and I used to go up to his house and bring him to mine 2-3 times a week. He doesn't drive. My starter on my car is out so I can't go get him anymore. It's so ironic, I couldn't drive even if I wanted to now. My mom doesn't have a car either. That's why I have the aforementioned RB drive me around sometimes. Anthony's dad brings him down once, sometimes even twice a week though. It's crucial for me. I do NOT like being alone. My mom has a friend that recently moved back from California. He picks her up and they go to his house every weekend. Luckily Anthony is over most weekends though. Natasha has been busy with her friend Stacy helping her with college work, so we haven't got to spend much time together. 
Driving is arguably the biggest fear for me. I don't like the idea of it. I get so nervous to when I think back to how I drove 3 hours to Jessica's house. I can't imagine doing that now. I feel trapped when I'm driving. What if I have a panic attack and I'm far away from home?? My most effective calming/coping mechanisms would work. It scares me so much. I haven't been further than 10 miles in 4-5 months (Probably longer honestly) I can't drive man, its too hard for me.  My girlfriend always gets onto me for saying "Can't" too much. Babe, it's so difficult, I am a nervous wreck (wreck isn't a word you wanna use when describing driving HAHA) when I get behind the wheel. Anthony's house is only about 6-7 minutes away and even that scares me. I have to go to the doctor in about a week. That's about a 10 minute drive. I'm worried about that too. I haven't drove that far in a long time. I dropped out of college because I couldn't drive 45 minutes 3 days a week anymore. Driving is brutal for me. I have methods to help kinda calm me down, but they're shaky at best for driving. Because it's SO hard for me to relax while driving. It's the process of getting to a destination that makes me anxious. I don't like knowing that I'm so far away from home and it'll take me a certain amount of time to get back. I just don't like traveling at all. It didn't used to be this way. But it is now. Here are the items that are necessary for me to drive
Cold water and rags: Have 3-4 bottles of water with me, one of them being frozen solid for ice. Drink some, slobber a little so it runs down your chin. Pour some on your hands and wipe your face and neck area where you can feel your pulse. I have a rag with me too that I can wet and wipe myself with.
Roll Down Windows and take shirt off: When I feel my breathing getting heavy and I begin to feel warm, I take my shirt off and roll the driver side window down. The wind blowing will get air circulating and hopefully cool me down a little. I will also take the water we mentioned and pour it on my head to wet my hair and also down the back of my neck. I want it to get down to my back, as that is a sensitive area to the cold water. I will also hold the ice bottle to my neck to help bring down my pulse hopefully
Call Someone: I like to have someone to talk to if I can to help take my mind off things. When I saw one of the girl's that lived 3 hours away, I talked to her for over an hour to help keep me occupied. I had one headphone in with a mic. I didn't have to hold my cellphone.
Podcasts/Music: Something with a story being told helps more. But this is not a very good one for me, but I thought it was worth sharing. It can help a little bit. Music can better in one respect. I can turn my stereo up and just scream Linkin Park or Slipknot lyrics. Because while I'm having a panic attack I am angry, so I can channel some of my anger into the music.
Cellphone Games: This is if you are a passenger. Puzzle games are the best. Something simple like solitaire, bejeweled, or any match 3 game. Something interactive to help your mind focus on a goal
Word Search: Same principle as playing a game, keeps your mind occupied
Food: Sometimes eating a snack (preferably something with a lot of pieces like chips) can help calm me down
Conversation: If you have a passenger, I like to have them ask me questions. Favorite color? movie? song? Would you rathers? etc.  Just fun little questions to relax you
Those are my tips for dealing with anxiety while driving. I'd like to move on to how I function on a daily basis now.
I wake up around 11 am, take .5 mg of Klonopin (Clonazepam) and go smoke a cigarette. Each of my pills are .5 mg. I typically take about 1-1.5 mg of Klonopin throughout the day. I hadn't taken them in a long time because it was going to be hard to get a refill without seeing a counselor that was about a 25 minute drive away... and we know how I feel about driving. Luckily I have about 30 left to get me through until I go to the doctor. I finally decided that my anxiety is only getting worse and I need to do something SOON. I am going to the Dr soon to get on a medicine in addition to that. I need something that will stabilize me more. The klonopin feels more like a Band-Aid. I used to smoke over a pack a day, but I have cut back the past month or so because I am paranoid about my mental health. I probably smoke about 4-5 a day now. I feel more comfortable smoking early in the day rather than late at night. I can't explain why. 
I like to hit golf balls around my yard. Mostly chipping and putting. It is fun to me. I get a little bit of exercise too. Today, I walked to the post office. It is about a 15-20 minute walk. That was good exercise. I also like playing video games, I mainly use them as a distraction from my racing/panicky mind, but I do think they are fun. I watch a lot of YouTube for the same reason, distraction. I also enjoy listing things on eBay. I look forward to when it is time to go to sleep. I take .3 mg of Melatonin to help me sleep. I used to take Sleeping pills 50 mg Diphenhydramine and I think that has helped lead to my worsened mental health. I abused these after further research I did recently. I was taking 100 mg a night for almost a year. That can NOT be good for me. I was reading the side effects and it was saying increased anxiety, irritability, uneasiness, heart palpitations, etc. All kinds of stuff I don't want. So i stopped taking those recently. I have insomnia too and those were (i thought) the only things that would help me sleep. The Melatonin seems to be working great so far, it's a much smaller dose and safer to take from what I understand. 
I feel like I am existing and not living. I enjoy aspects of my life, but the thought of the next panic attack and death consume me. They are always in the back of my mind. I don't exactly know what triggers my panic attacks, but they are absolutely horrible. I have a few ways I try to manage them at the house. 
Cold Shower: This is definitely the top on right here. Unlike a car, I can get my whole body wet here. I turn the shower on completely cold water (not a little bit of hot water mixed in... I'm talking straight cold) I ease my way into the shower and get my hair wet first, then my arms, chest, neck, and then my back. I stand in there until I start shivering, I know that's a good sign to me. When I get out, I wrap the towel around my waist and bend over the bathtub. I have a pitcher I keep by the tub for what I'm about to do. I fill the pitcher with cold water 3 times (more if needed) and dump it slowly, fastly, and then slowly over my head. I dry my bottom half off and usually just put on underwear. I dry my head off enough to where its not dripping everywhere, but I want some of the cold water to stay in there for what I do next.
Air Conditioner: This is effective after a cold shower. My air condition is right by my bed. I sit at the foot of my bed and will watch a familiar (has to be familiar, it can't be anything new) YouTube video, play a video game (probably bejeweled if the attack is really bad), and my piano. I've found that the piano has been the most effective recently. I like to play Linkin Park songs. I'm not very good, but I sing along to what I play and it can cheer me up
Pet: I like laying, petting, and playing with my dog when I am feeling anxious
Outside: Now that winter is here (or at least it's colder out) I bet going outside would be a great idea to cool yourself off. I could see myself going out in just my underwear and laying on the concrete to cool myself down.
Get Busy: I cleaned my room the other day and it felt good to achieve something. I had a lot of work to do, it was super messy. I firmly believe there is a correlation between depression/anxiety and the cleanliness of a room. Seems like the better I am doing mentally, the cleaner my room is. It's kinda weird to explain. I have also done dishes, cleaned the bathtub, organized my closet, just anything that will have an end result
I'm gonna talk about a recent attack I had that sticks out.
This was about 2 weeks ago. Anthony was staying the weekend with me and we were having a good time. Saturday was fun, as usual. Sunday rolled around and we were watching a YouTube channel called Retro Rick. This guy goes to Flea Markets/Thrift Stores and looks for old DVD's, toys, video games, basically anything from the 90s. It's interesting to me because I can become more knowledgeable about the value of items. I think I mentioned eBay earlier, yeah, that's been my main source of income since January. I haven't made much, but luckily I still have a roof over my head. Back to what happened though. It was about 3 pm and I was packaging a Nintendo Gamecube Controller I sold. I was starting to feel uneasy, but I was trying to fight it. I couldn't anymore. I told Anthony "Hey man, I gotta go take a shower and play my PlayStation or something" I go in my shower and do the cold water method, it was cold, but I kept hyping myself up that it wasn't working fast enough and of course that made my heart go even faster. I grabbed a towel to cover my lower half and ran back into the front room and went right up to Anthony trembling uttering "I.. i.. i don't.. don't know what to do man... can you" I was SO close to asking him to call 911. Every panic attack feels like I'm going to have a heart attack. I then ran into the kitchen and grabbed a glass and ice cubes to make a glass of ice water to drink. I also had to take one of my .5 mg of Klonopin. I really didn't want to take one, but fuck... I felt like I had no choice. I was so scared. Anthony followed me, he knew something was wrong. I mustered up the words "Grab all the cold stuff and bring it to bathroom"  I was gulping my water and then got on my knees in the shower and started balling my eyes out. I also plugged the drain so water would fill up. I held my head underneath the cold water to get my entire face wet. When I came up I was so destroyed. "I'm sick of this shit man, I'm sick of it, I can't take this much longer, what the fuck is wrong with me man?"  All of this was being said while Anthony was sitting on the toilet pouring cold water over my back and holding frozen meat packages to my neck. I was completely exposed, but I didn't care. I wanted to calm down. We spent about 20 minutes in my bathroom trying to get me calmed. I was looking around confused and ashamed. 5 ice trays, 2 frozen water bottles, 2 rolls of taco meat in my bathtub, and me. 
I'm not sure what triggers them, but they are a regular thing now and I absolutely hate that. It makes me so depressed. I hate myself. I cry almost on a daily basis. Knowing I don't have the mental freedom right now that I used to have when I was younger breaks my heart, but I'm working on it. I'm going to the doctor in about 2 weeks and I'm going to tell him/her pretty much a lot of what I said in this manifesto.
I get an overwhelming sense of dread and fear. Like right now, I don't know what I want to do after I get done with this writing. Watch YouTube? Eat? Play a game? I'll figure it out. I am going to my friend Chance's house with his family for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I don't know if I have to walk or if he is coming to get me. Somedays I feel like I can make the walk (It'd be about 15 minutes like the post office) and others it scares me to no end. I'm hoping he will come get me.
Dealing with this for a while, you'd think I'd be used to it by now, but not even close. Each attack for me is just as unpredictable and scary as the last. I always fear I'm going to die. I work myself up so much, I know that's a part of the problem, but it's hard not to when I feel my heart getting faster and my body warming up. I always wonder mid attack if this is the end for me? Is this it? I won't commit suicide because if I wanted to die, I wouldn't try my coping mechanisms for calming my attacks down. 
I deeply appreciate anyone who took the time to read this and give any feedback. I deal with this every day. I would love to know if there are things you guys do that helps you deal with them. I've never posted anything so personal on the internet before, hopefully someone understands and can help.
Thank you

Submitted: November 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Kaleb Ferguson. All rights reserved.

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