I lost my mind last week.
Well, I didn’t, but I might as well have done. It felt like I did. It was one of the worst anxiety trips I’ve ever had, and it lasted for essentially an entire week. Normally when I have spells like that they’ll last a few days at a time, but this one was for an entire week. I felt like I had lost my mind. I felt like I had lost control of everything. I couldn’t breathe properly, couldn’t speak or form words, I kept stuttering and stumbling, getting tongue tied, kept losing track of what I was saying, my memory recall was really bad, I was having heart palpitations, couldn’t sleep – Monday and Tuesday were horrific. During those two days I really wanted to die. Not in a suicidal way, but I just wanted to basically not exist so I didn’t have to experience what I was feeling, because I literally could not cope.
On Wednesday the feeling changed, and everything became more ominous. I was sad, I was depressed, I was anxious, I felt sick, I was exhausted, I had a constant headache, I was scared, I was zoned out. It felt like something really big and bad was going to happen and I had absolutely no control over it, I was emotional and kept welling up for no reason. I didn’t know why I was feeling the way I was feeling because the whole thing just came out of nowhere, and I was terrified. Where had this feeling come from, why was it here and how long was it going to last? Was I ever going to feel okay again? At that time I didn’t think so. I felt so vulnerable and scared, and I was so emotional and anxious but the real Chloe inside me felt absolutely fine – I had no reason to feel like this but I had no control over myself, it was like I was trapped inside my own body trying to get out but couldn’t. It was terrifying, and then the thought of essentially feeling trapped and not understanding where my emotions had come from etc. panicked and scared me even more because everything felt so out of control and I was just thinking I am absolutely fine, so why don’t I feel it? It really just felt like I had lost control over myself. Someone said I hadn’t been myself for the entire week, I’d been quiet and emotional and I said I know, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
I’m still not out of it completely, I’d say I’m currently in the last dregs of it now – maybe the last 10%, thank God. I guess this is just a post to document what it was like and how I’ve essentially coped (I haven’t) / tried to deal with it. I spent a week letting it destroy and literally debilitate me, and now I’m fighting back. What I believe happened was I had an anxiety trip that would usually last for a few days, but because I was also due on, the PMS I was getting also merged into that anxiety trip and essentially prolonged it and made it 10x worse because the combination of the two just completely took me off my feet. I don’t think I breathed properly for an entire week and that is no exaggeration. I couldn’t breathe properly or form words, I felt angry, I felt sad, I couldn’t remember things, I was exhausted no matter how much sleep I got, my head was constantly pounding and I cried way, way too many times and kept welling up for no reason. I was scared.
Now I understand that it was an anxiety trip combined with bad PMS, but I didn’t realise that at the time because usually my PMS only occurs a few days before I’m due, and it’s never that bad (because normally it’s not combined with an anxiety trip) and so this is the first time I’ve ever experienced it like that. I also didn’t realise PMS could happen way further in advance of when you’re due as opposed to only a few days before – something that made me think it wasn’t PMS, because I thought it was too early to be anything related to that. I was wrong.
As I said, I’m now fighting back, because last week was horrific and God forbid if I have to experience that again. I felt like I was going insane. After a lot of Googling and reading, there’s a simple list of things you can do in order to ease these things / prepare your body for them, and I’ve been following them religiously ever since. Things like exercise, drinking more water, getting enough sleep, taking vitamins, meditating etc. – I’ve been taking vitamins, drinking 2+ litres of water a day, going on a 5 mile walk every day, going to the gym a couple of days a week and doing anxiety meditations at night before bed. Is it making me feel better? Yes, I think so. It must be. And even if it isn’t, the placebo effect is working wonderfully. Things I’ve learned from meditations are that feelings are not facts – just because I feel anxious doesn’t mean I’m in danger, it doesn’t mean something bad is going to happen. I cannot run away from myself and from my own thoughts, I have to face them and I have to fight them. I am the observer of my own thoughts. I’ve learned to breathe properly and ground myself – to physically feel my feet on the floor and to try and concentrate on one thing at a time. I’ve had anxiety my entire life but have always tried to just “cope” with it and push through rather than I guess treat it or try to cure it as such, but last week scared me so much I was adamant I never wanted to ever experience that again, and now it’s essentially scared me into doing all of these things that are supposed to ease it and help it and I’m very glad that I am, because I know it’s what I need. Putting your headphones in and just walking for miles, not having a constant headache because you’re dehydrated, realising that the world is so much bigger than your thoughts and what’s going on inside your own head, taking the time to just breathe – really breathe, to fill up your lungs with air and close your eyes. Most of all I’m just relieved, that I’m out of the feeling and that if God forbid it happens again, I know how to prepare for it. I feel like I am now myself again. As I said, I’m still in the last remaining dregs but soon enough everything will be fresh and clean again and I’m just glad to have myself back. Because last week I was not myself, at all, and I was scared and couldn’t understand what was happening to me or why. But now I’m back and I can feel it and everyone else can feel it and I missed myself, I forgot how much I enjoy being myself. We take it for granted sometimes. We take so many things for granted. Like being able to breathe properly, being able to go for time without intrusive thoughts and crippling anxiety or constant headaches – just being able to actually execute and perform your personality and just be yourself, because you’re not side-tracked and suffocated by the things going on inside your head. Writing is always a therapy that I use to treat and cope with my anxiety as such, so I’m forever journaling my thoughts and writing until I feel like I can breathe again, and this is just another way of doing that for me. It’s kind of like owning it. This is what’s going on in my head and I’m throwing it out into the world rather than letting it just sit inside my head and consume me, because I will not be owned and controlled by this anymore. I can’t be. It sounds silly but I always think to myself what a difference a day makes, because from one day to the next everything can change, which also proves that these feelings aren’t forever. In a way, I’m trying to find the positives – if this hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t be exercising, meditating and so on right now. Maybe it’s a change for the better. I just wish I hadn’t had to go through what I did in order to achieve it.
I lost my mind but I got it back, and now I’m fighting.