I had become increasingly disgusted in my inability to focus on a single task, and a bit horrified that I couldn’t muster up enough energy to care.
How long had my skillset – the very things that made me worthy in my mind – been eroding away? All of my capabilities – they were all so suddenly and completely out of my grasp. I couldn’t see these losses as temporary symptoms of depression. I saw them as permanent fixtures of who I was becoming, and it scared the breath out of me.
Sitting at my desk, I felt frozen. Thought and action were elusive to me, and for what felt like a very long time I found myself stuck in a moment where the walls and world were burning and crashing down all around me. I couldn’t figure out what to do or what was happening. I tried again to reach for some kind of answer inside of me, but only blank space and panic greeted me. At my desk, in my office chair, I curled into a small and tight ball, and I broke. There you have it. My mind had slipped way, and I couldn’t help but wonder where it had gone and if it would ever come back.
For those of you who have experienced severe panic attacks, you might be well aware of the tingling that you experience in your toes, finger tips, and head. I was on the cusp of passing out from not being able to catch my breath, and my constricted chest burned fiercely.
The aftermath of my panic attack was strange. I can only liken it to the one time I went into shock. My body shook for a long time, and I felt freezing cold and empty exhaustion, almost like someone had scooped out all of my pain, emotions, thoughts, turning me into an empty shell. My head ached and I felt like the air around me was buzzing and electric.
I thought I was being resilient in my determination to keep moving forward, and I ignored all the warning signs that told me it was time for a rest. I kept going until my body and mind slammed on the brakes. Life was about to change. My body demanded it of me.
It was time to take the broken pieces and reconstruct my life, and more importantly it was time to get very well acquainted with my brain.