I am 31 and I have been doing therapy for a long time now.
I ‘started with Xanax when I first experienced a panic attack. Almost ten years ago people didn’t talk about panic attacks and the psychiatrist just wrote me a prescription. She didn’t ask me much to find the cause, she just wanted to treat the effect and go home to her life.
I was scared and didn’t understand what the hell was happening to me. I took the prescription and became a body that wandered around like a ghost. All my emotions, fears and reactions were annihilated. I wasn’t cured of panic attacks but I was cured of feeling alive. I liked the numbness. In a way…
But I had my inner survivor that didn’t like the image in the mirror. And wanted to come back to the real self and started the fight and I turned to therapy when I wanted to stop taking Xanax. I had panic attacks for several years and I couldn’t explain what I felt to anybody. My mother, my lover, my friends. They were looking at me and I was incapable of putting into words that I felt I was dying every second of my waking hours. And I was suffering from severe insomnia.
The only humans that can understand the impact of this disease are those who experience it.
I still have panic attacks.
When I find myself in a crowded place, elevators, at the theatre, on airplanes etc. But now I can control them. Now I can do it. I just breathe and let it happen. And connect to my body. And accept this is me, I am weak and vulnerable and I need to love this part of myself. I don’t throw up anymore and I can be the master of my emotions.
But this is not an article about panic attacks and mental issues. Not about complaining, pain, suffering, past, lovers and anxiety.
It’s about something that happened to me during my last therapy session…
I woke up one day understanding that my life is me.
I’ve always had the feeling that I am not part of this world. I didn’t feel I was part of Earth, my family, my life. I was upset that mom had decided to bring me here. I didn’t want this. This ‘miracle’ called life. To me, she was just another selfish human being who had decided to give me this ‘gift’.
I was a sad kid. Always running around in my imaginary world. My parents loved me in their own way and took care of me. It wasn’t enough. I felt alienated and sad all the time, or at least these are the memories I have about my childhood.
My therapist and I discussed this theme once again. I remember that when I was born I just sprinted into this world and the doctor caught me just in time lest I should have fallen into a bucket. Everybody was celebrating 1st of May and nobody wanted to deliver any baby that day. But I was the stubborn one and said that my time had come and I need to pop out.
After that I had some near death experiences. I think we all have them but when we are young we don’t know death and the concept and we don’t feel the danger. I had one recently, as an adult. Having almost passed out, while floating in the white mist, I seemed to be getting closer to my father, but then I came back. I don’t know why I did that, as I had at last felt at peace with everything.
So then my therapist looked at me thorough the skype camera and said, maybe you wanted to live. Maybe you, as a baby, fought to come into this world and after that your inner strength and life fought to survive.
I was shocked.
It was a fresh new perspective that I had never ever tried. Maybe it was me all the time. Not my mom, not God, not the Universe. It was me fighting for my life, wanting to be here, coming back from that peaceful place. It was me all the time!
Written by Roxana Andrei