I don’t even know where to start.
I guess the crippling panic attacks are a good start off?
So a little background information– after a huge hurricane decimated where I was living in 2017, I moved 2 hours away to move in with my dad. Life altering already, right? So I tried online classes since I obviously wasn’t going to school on campus anymore, and failed because I’m just not the online class type. I worked and worked and said I’d go back to school, but I was stuck in this bubble of fear, comfortable where I was. I didn’t want to go back to where I was living before. It was crazy, uncontrollable, and unstructured. I liked my peace and quiet working for $8/h at a coffee shop. I was engaged. Got a dog who I adore. I was happy.
Finally, a year and a half later, I found myself back at school because “it’s the right thing to do” and whatever. “It’ll be easy,” I thought, since I went there for 2 years already. *Record scratch* “Wow, I was fucking wrong,” I thought, 2 weeks later. Being in that hell hole away from the life I had started in my quiet little town was killing me. I was alone, stressed, and miserable. The only good thing about my dorm was that I didn’t have a roommate bothering me and I could decorate however I wanted to. I was taking 6 or 7 classes, wasn’t working so I didn’t have any money, and once again, was alone. I’m introverted and very picky, so reading this and being like, “Smh, dumb, why didn’t you just ~make friends~,” is pointless. I don’t wanna; that’s why.
So I think it was the first day of trigonometry that I got my first panic attack of the semester. I didn’t realize it at first because I thought my body was trying to make me faint, which in hindsight probably IS what was happening. Naturally, I called my mom: “Hey, I think I keep trying to faint. What do I do? Is that normal? I’m not dehydrated.” I don’t remember the whole conversation, but I ended up being fine, I think. Ah yes, I was shaken and called my old, local friend who I currently don’t speak to anymore, lol. So it was a great first day, right? It only got worse.
Pretty soon, I was textbook panic disorder. Emergency room with my heart rate at 150 in March, avoiding situations that would give me panic attacks (Sadly, class. *waves* Hi parents.), mild agoraphobia, etc. My first really bad panic attack happened in February and I was shaking– more like thrashing my body– uncontrollably and puking for three hours. I got extremely sick around April and my hypochondriac ass got panic attacks on top of that because obviously I’m fucking dying if I’m that sick. Not just sick, but sick and dying. For some reason I’m still avoiding therapy, too.
Flew to Vegas in the middle of this somehow, lol.
I don’t want to spill all the beans because I respect myself a liiittttttttle bit, but jeez I’m so stupid sometimes!!
Everybody: “No, Jaedyn.”
Jaedyn: *Loses hearing and judgement*
If it weren’t for my ONE friend, I probably would’ve died. I purposely have not looked up what the hell would’ve happened to me the day my heart rate was 150, but if I were truly all alone, truly friendless, maybe I would’ve died. I don’t know. I don’t wanna know. But- it’s a scary thought.
Usually I’m a straight-A student. Always have been, and I thought I always would be, but panic disorder has been one of the hardest blocks in my life so far. It’s truly crippling and terrifying. I bawl my eyes out in fear of it. I’m so scared to go back to school next semester. I’ve been crying more and more lately in preparation, I guess. Last semester I did alright, passed, but could’ve done better. “Hey at least you didn’t flunk out of school because of it,” yeah yeah but I have standards for myself. It’s hard to do amazing in a class when you avoid it.
Overall, this is a vent, a rant, and advice obviously doesn’t help me or I’d be fine. I guess I wanted to get this out for me, and also share this in case someone else with panic disorder reads this. It sucks, it really does, but I’m better than I was in the beginning.
Something that really helped me was joining the panic disorder subreddit. Knowing that there are other people that go through what I do, and that some of those people are almost “out” of it, made me feel less alone and more hopeful. If you’re going through this and need someone to relate to or, hopefully in the future lend advice, feel free to comment on this. According to a random Google search, panic disorder affects 2-3% of Americans. So while we’re few and far between, we should help each other when we can.
Alright, try not to judge me too harshly for this post.