Living Without Lighting
2021-03-17 08:08:51 (UTC)

Attack of the Panic

Over the course of an afternoon, I believe I've come to a shocking diagnosis.

If you were to ask middle-school me what a "panic attack" was, I'd probably give a snarky explanation about it being a more clever variation of the classic stomach-ache excuse, essentially feigning discomfort as a means to avoid unwanted tasks and situations. While I certainly came to grasp the concept of mental health issues, including my own while in high school, only years after have I revisited the concept of anxiety disorders out of the realization that I may have developed one.

It comes on as a convulsion, that of intense regret and what I guess you could call "panic". It usually happens while showering or doing other menial tasks, when my mind is allowed to wander on its own and prod at the things it truly cares about. For example, a long distance friend of mine had his birthday earlier this month, however I have never truly remembered what the actual day was. Afraid of being labelled as an asshole, and rightfully so, I've put off the necessity of calling him ever since out of fear of this judgement. Every time I remind myself of this, my body shivers and I let out a yelp of fright.

This reflex isn't limited to this one situation, however. It can be an embarrassing memory, a cringy phase from my past, anything that I'd frown upon in the present is met by this spasm and flash of mortal terror. It's like my body's physically trying to repress these thoughts, much like how one throws up bad shellfish or other toxins. These fits have been happening for well over half a year, however only today have I realized what it might be. I always knew it was probably anxiety related, but I took foolishly long to realize there's a name for these seizures: panic attacks.

I wonder if part of it has to do with my sobriety. I feel like I still had them while I was smoking, but they were certainly subdued compared to now. I should report this to my therapist this week and maybe he can give me some advice. I'd prefer to tackle this mentally however, I remember learning back in Psych class how a lot of anti-anxiety medications eat away at your brain overtime. No thanks.

Anyways I'm too tired to write anymore. I've been working on getting my sleep schedule back on track since daylight savings. Until next time.