Anonymous, Literary Journalist

Everything started when there was a situation that made me think I wasn’t good enough.  Someone I had cared a lot about had told me things that really hurt me in a way that was hard to accept from them.  My head was hanging low.  I started thinking down on myself and comparing myself to other people. It wasn’t helping me at all and it was bad to do those things.  But I didn’t stop, every time I looked at myself in the mirror I would stare at every detail that anyone has ever commented on. I would look at my teeth and say to myself “I have a horrible looking gap”.  I would look at my eyebrows and say, “They are too close together.” I would look at my lips and say, “They are too small.” Thoughts like these would affect me and it would make the problem even bigger.

I continued thinking bad thoughts towards myself and that made me very insecure.  Since I was so insecure about my appearance, I got nervous and a lot of anxiety when I went outside or to school because I didn’t want people looking at me and saying things like “She is so ugly, why is she so skinny?” 

Then one day I was in my Humanities class in the second period and I started to think about the day before.  “I just can’t shake the memory of yesterday out of my head.” I continued repeating thoughts that aren’t okay for someone to even think.  “This isn’t okay.” 

During my class period, I wasn’t paying attention to my work because of an event that occupied my mind.  On top of me being distracted, I was feeling overwhelmed. “There’s too much going on in my head right now.”  I was fanning myself trying not to turn into a tomato.  I tried to do something else like when I shake my leg up and down, it helps me focus on something else.  It didn’t help.  I also wasn’t sure why somebody’s comments on me would affect me.  It was probably because I started to have care for the person who would.

I was very emotional and wasn’t sure if I would see them again.  It was hard for me to realize that another person was leaving my life like if they were never even a part of it.  My head was spinning from all feelings and thoughts.  I was fidgeting with my hair or shaking my leg.  My heart was pounding when I remembered that I might see them again.  I was feeling all these things but I didn’t show it, so I guess I was numb to the pain in the eyes of my friends and other people.

Then all of a sudden my leg started to shake up and down, then I was having trouble breathing. After that my friend had noticed and got up and took me to the hallway.  She asked me “What’s going on, are you okay?”

I explained to her what I thought it was. “I’m having a panic attack,” I said.  

She got me water and tried to calm me down. It seemed as if I was drowning. It seemed as if I was drowning because I couldn’t swim through the feelings.

My friend walked with me so I could take a deep breath of fresh air.  That calmed me down a bit, but my leg and my hands were shaking, I was sweating and had clammy palms.  

“I’m so hot,” I said. 

I couldn’t stop my heavy breathing.  I could imagine myself in the middle of the ocean, nowhere to swim to, and me just drowning there. It was a feeling where my body felt weak and that it was like I could barely move.

I talked about what had caused the panic attack and that helped me.  A lesson I learned was that  “I have to learn how to relax my thoughts when I’m having many feelings,” I said.  

My guidance counselor asked me questions like: “How do you feel? Is this your first time?”.

“Yes it is,” I said.  

“Something that helps is to drink water, try to take deep breaths, and to do them slowly.  Do you have a journal where you can write what you feel?” she said.  

“No I don’t but writing does help me,” I said.  

She gave me a notebook and said I can write what I feel and when things happen that can affect me.  

I thanked her for her help and was grateful for her thoughts on what I had told her.  After that, I’ve been writing in my journal and it has helped me a lot since then.