I used to have panic attacks because I felt like my life was meaningless, or that the basis for my existence was flawed or incorrect. I still remember that sensation all too well. I would get short of breath, my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. My heart would be pounding out of my chest. Every single ounce of doubt or guilt I have ever had, rushing through my brain and overwhelming me. And the worst was the thoughts. Thoughts of pressing a blade against my wrists. How easy it would be to reach into my knife bag and take any of them out. I still remember the first panic attack I ever had. I was still in depression, and clipping my nails. And then I started thinking about what it would be like to use the clipper on my veins. Immediately, I was able to snap out of it, and I threw the clipper at the wall. It was terrifying. I was really scared.
After the whole suicide attempt, I had a lot of time to really reflect on why I came to this state. Most people think that it’s a waste of time to reflect or figure out the cause. But I know that isolating and better understanding the cause is key to moving forward and overcoming the fundamental reason for my anxiety. For me, these anxiety attacks started because I felt useless and helpless. In a previous post, I spoke about how for a while, I only gained confidence through being of value to others. That sort of validation from helping and caring about other people. Well, my roommate at the time, they were somebody I really cared for. But they were not necessarily the most receptive to my care. And in the face of that, I kept trying harder and harder, because I needed affirmation that I was being valued. And they did not make any effort to acknowledge that, and it hurt me. It caused my self-esteem to plummet.
My self-esteem being so low is one of the biggest reasons why I fell into depression. I did not feel comfortable in my own skin any more. I began to resent myself. On top of resenting myself, I doubted my own potential and capabilities. I started to think I was worthless and would amount to nothing. My anxiety attacks were these feelings manifesting themselves whenever a problem or obstacle arose and I just could not solve the issue. That frustration, mixed with panic, fear, and doubt, created these episodes where I basically resented myself and had to fight off the urge to slit my wrists or throat. Ultimately, the last time I had a panic attack was when I tried to kill myself. It was tough, but I managed to stop myself. I realized how much happiness there still is left in the world, and no matter how little I believe in myself, I as a human being have the potential to do a lot. When you are having panic attacks, you need to realize this as well. Life might not go as you planned, and that happens all the time. That’s because this world is so much bigger than our own needs and wants. Learn to go along with things when they don’t go your way, and stop thinking about what could have or should have been. So you wanted to be a firefighter, but wound up a cop? Then learn to be the best cop there is! Maybe things don’t go the way you want, but you can still make something out of the situation you have! Learn to believe in yourself. And I know it is hard, but you can do whatever you put your mind to. That’s something I will basically spam across how ever many posts I have already written.
It took me a long time to realize this, but I genuinely do love this world. Even though there are horrible people in it, and I am left confused or hurt a lot, being alive and being able to smile, laugh, and enjoy simple things like cooking, baking, nature, it’s honestly all I need to be happy. To be able to share my stories, and show that there is a brighter side to things, I am glad if even 1 person out there reads this post, and can realize that life does not always have to be about what went wrong or how we screwed up. We can embrace ourselves, regardless of the wrongs we committed, and learn to love both ourselves and those we hold dear. Anxiety is a bad thing, yes. And if you can’t handle it on your own, go see a psychiatrist. And don’t feel bad. We as human beings experience this all the time. It is perfectly normal and understandable. Accepting that a lot of things are beyond our control, it is important if we want to live a feather-light life.