Today I had a panic attack. Doctors, counsellors and just general health care professionals claim that it takes one little thing to trigger one of these. But we, the one experiencing it, knows that it's not as simple as that because we sat up all night thinking about all these anxieties; we got sick over it; we became trapped by it.
Anxiety is like being in a bare, white room, with no contact from the outside world; except for one person who gives us information. The information we are given is what we choose to believe because we have no other way of questioning it as we locked away from the truth. We're not able to pinpoint what is real, and what isn't, because the information we are given is just that; nothing more and nothing less. That absurd idea terrifies us because we feel like we're isolated from the rest of the world and that we are doomed to spend the rest of our lives unable to form relationships with others and to form our own factual decisions.
I sat on a bench today, in the faint breeze, and just watched everyone that went past me, or people around my centre of attention. I saw an array of different people: of different races; ages; genders; height; size, yet they all had the same thing in common - I will never know their stories. Why was the woman looking after her kids alone since she had no wedding ring? Is she alone? Who's that woman texting on her phone so she's not paying attention to her surroundings? Her boyfriend? Her girlfriend? Her mum? Her friend? How long has that couple, holding hands, been together? Have they been together for years? Or have they just got together? You see, asking the questions is the easy bit; it's getting the answer that's hard. Being amongst people who are going through their daily lives, with their own unique problems, in a way grounds you because just like them, you have your own problems that they will never know. The reality is you don't want to know because when you take a moment for yourself, you are able to decide what you want to know, to get the facts and you search for what is real instead of what is given to you.
Am I disgrace to women because I allowed a man to pursue me for the sole purpose for him to have his wicked way with me? Am I bad friend because I felt smug over the attention I was getting? Am I horrible daughter because I lie to my parents about what's really going on in my life? Am I a terrible sister because I don't reply to her texts as much as I should? Am I weak failure because I had a panic attack today after a year without one? No. Just like them, I am human. I'm not above, or below anyone else. Who here has ever told a lie and regretted it instantly? Who here has ever kissed someone, hooked up with someone they knew they shouldn't have? Who here has fallen for someone who didn't fall for them back? Who here has ever wished they said something sooner, or wished they never said anything at all? Who here has ever taken something to mask the internal pain inside? But who here has never felt fear?
We are all the same when you strip it all back. We all experience the same things in our lives, just at different times and with different scenarios. I said this morning that 'the human existence that we call life is weird.' It is. But we like weird. We thrive off things that are unconventional. We enjoy basking in other's misfortunes because it makes us feel better, but really, we're the same as someone is doing it to another and the cycle continues. When life hands you a lemon, you're expected to make lemonade, but what if you don't like lemonade? Do we just take the information that we're given and live with that or do we make something else - something we know is right for us?
So, yes. I had a panic attack today. But with that moment of despair, I grew. I knew I needed help and that I am no different to any other person because we breathe the same air and we feel the same human emotions. The moment you step back and look around you start to realise that, and you no longer feel isolated and you can find the answers that you want to know; not what you're given.