When faced with challenges in life, we all have ways we cope. But what happens when you suffer from anxiety? Things can seem ten times worse and it’s easy to get lost in negativity. For those of you who suffer from anxiety, I hope this short story helps. And if I can leave you with one thought: always remember there are rainbows after a storm.
I have tried to fight it off but I can feel it coming, slowly brewing deep inside. The darkness is forming and moving closer, taking on its threatening shape. I’ve seen darkness like this before but I convince myself this time is different. This time is worse. This time it won’t work out. I feel my breaths come in shorter intervals and the air is being locked out of my lungs; it’s nothing short of feeling like I’m suffocating.
I’ve tried for an hour to find the silver lining but it’s hidden in the darkness. And now I am losing control.
“Everything will be okay,” Brandon says from behind me and I feel his hands on my shoulders.
I want to believe him but the overbearing storm is upon me. It has finally taken over my mind and negative voices scream inside me. This time it’s going to be bad. I just know it. This time we won’t be okay. This time I won’t hold on. I will quit.
“You know there’s no way we could have predicted this,” Brandon says as he turns my face to him, his eyes searching. “It sucks that nothing seems to be going right. But just because it’s something different this time doesn’t mean we haven’t seen this storm before.”
I know he’s right. I turn from him and sit on the couch, hands in my lap, fidgeting. “What are we going to do when the money runs out?”
“We’ll figure it out.”
And what if we don’t? I grab Brandon’s hand and squeeze, holding on. If you had just… I shake my head, trying to get the thoughts to go away but they dig their claws in and hold on tight. It’s been one thing after another and I’ve hit the threshold..
Before I know it, tears are falling from my eyes and I’m blubbering like a two-year old throwing a temper tantrum, rage building inside, hot and debilitating. My mind will win this time. It always does. It always unravels me. I cannot think straight. And more than anything, I cannot breathe. It’s terrifying, every time it happens. My chest pounds and hurts and I wonder for a fleeting moment, Is this what a major heart attack feels like?
I grab handfuls of my hair, the pressure at my scalp offering comfort from the negativity and madness swirling in my mind. “This cannot keep happening. Something’s got to give,” I say.
Brandon puts his hands on mine, pressing gently, trying to get me to let go but I refuse. I try to take a breath, but my lungs continue to lock out the air. I feel the room closing in on me. I’m getting dizzy.
“You’ve got to breathe.” Brandon says.
I look up and see the fear in his eyes. I see myself reflected in his eyes, a monster losing control. He wraps his arms around me and my rigid body stays there a few seconds before collapsing against him. I force myself to take deep breaths. I focus my mind on this one moment as I take in the smell of his aftershave and allow the warmth of his body to calm me. After two long breaths I feel the storm start to slow. The pains in my chest are slowly going away. Gaining control once more, I take deep breaths and feel myself return to the here and now.
My mind is starting to give up; it knows it’s defeated. With Brandon by my side it cannot win. And I know when I finally regain logical thinking, the negativity will slither away. I know the storm will come again at some point, but I will make it through, even if my mind tries to convince me otherwise and make it worse than the last time.
I will be prepared next time. Because every time it happens I become stronger. I refuse to quit. I refuse to give in. I refuse to let it win.
No material on this website can be used without permission. All Rights Reserved. Christy Zigweid - 2022
**I am not a licensed counselor nor a medical doctor and the views on this website are solely mine. **
If you are in crisis and need immediate medical assistance, call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- (TALK) 8255 or text "Start" to 741-741
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