I stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. I couldn’t breathe, my machine gun heartbeat rapidly firing in my chest. My mouth was dry, why was it so dry? I stepped forward and grabbed the sink, and looked into the mirror. Keep it together, I thought. I took a small step towards the door, and stopped as I felt my brain swim around in my head. Dizziness is a rare byproduct of the anxiety that so often grapples at my chest. What often felt like an empty cavity now felt filled to the brim with smoke, choking me out.
Keep it together.
I sat for a second, pretending to fuss with my hair as a pair of ladies exited bathroom stalls.
I had already spent time with my hands clenched under the table, fingernails digging into my palms as the buzz of conversation swarmed around me, swallowing me whole like southern humidity. I escaped to the restroom only for time to ground myself before facing a seemingly overwhelming scenario, that would otherwise be joyous for me, but tonight left me with an ice cold feeling in my gut.
Keep it together..
This scenario outlines one of many episodes I have experienced over the past few days. Anxiety has held onto me, and gripped me tight.
I spoke of anxiety a few posts back, but I really felt it hit its peak these past few days, for the first time in a long time.
Though I felt on the verge of a panic attack almost constantly the past few days, but somehow I made it through. I didn’t freak out, I survived the sweaty palms and shallow breathing without letting it impede on my trip too much. I did not allow these overwhelming feelings to compromise my vacation. I did not stay in my hotel room, hide away from people, or remove myself from situations longer than a bathroom break to take a moment to breathe. I felt myself resort to coping methods such as viewing my anxiety waging a worry war against my brain, and myself as a quiet observer, separate from everything.
That night in the restaurant bathroom, I was actually proud. I was anxious, but proud. One of my earlier posts talked about acknowledging something is scary or difficult.. and doing it anyways. Even though this trip was scary, even though it was uncomfortable and stretched me to my limits, I did it anyways.
That night, I realized I had overcome. I may have struggled, I may had scraped knees and bruised elbows, but I did overcome. What felt impossible became possible, because I pushed myself to see it out to the end.
Friends, you can overcome. Whatever you’re struggling with in your life right now.. it may seem difficult or impossible, but you can overcome it.
When it feels scary, do it anyways.
You won’t regret it.