Take a deep breath.
Let it out.
Still the shaking leg.
Stop the counting.
You're going to be fine.
When the panic hits, that's what I have to tell myself. Trying to calm the raging storm that's just below the surface, making me feel like my skin won't be able to hold me together. Like I'm suffocating, dying internally with so many emotions burning through me that I can't even grab hold of the ashes.
It always starts with something that knocks me emotionally at my feet. Some days the little things don't bother me at all. Other times its like a physical blow, shattering everything that I try to hold on to with everything I have. The depression sets in, and I build up my walls more, trying to cope with it. I tell myself everything will be okay eventually, because it has too, right? Things never stay the same. The world is constantly changing, and the most you can do is either move with it, or fight against it.
After I feel somewhat calmer, then my manic side kicks in. The uncontrollable anger, the rage. Snapping at the simplest comments. It gets to the point where I just want to hit things, throw things. Have the most epic of temper tantrums that would put even my kids to shame. But I don't, even though I want too. I bottle it up, keeping it inside and try to breathe through it. It won't stay forever. Just a temporary set back. I have to remind myself of that, and I have to push through it.
Now, I'm setting into the panic mode, where everything that has happened or could happen hits me at once, completely destroying the facade of calm that I present to even myself. It builds and builds to where I start shaking with it. My leg bounces without me even paying attention. Automatically my hand starts tapping on any surface near me, and I count mentally in my head. Then it becomes overwhelming. The panic. The fear. The drowning sadness. Your body starts to curl into itself, as if placing itself in the fetal position can keep your mind from attacking itself. As if it can stop the memories, the flood of past pain that mixes with current ones until you're deaf to your own screaming.
For those of you who think that depression, anxiety, PTSD, bi-polar or anything else is just a figment of your mind, its just a call for attention or being weak, then I hope that you never have to live with it. I hope that you never have to face the complete horror that has become your own mind, something that you can never escape from.
And to those like me and so many others who are struggling everyday just to stay above the waterline, I want you to do something for me. Just breathe. This too shall pass, and we'll live to fight another day, and over time it will become easier, even if it never does go away.
With love, Always.