Struggling to Breathe

An eerie sensation I can tell you. Staring into limitless horizons, surrounded by a bustling lively crowd. Yet still…struggling to breathe. Feeling your lungs begin to collapse, your muscles tense up, your body slip into overdrive. All these things happen to me on a daily, if not hourly basis. Anxiety is much more harmful and nullifying than most realize. For me, it optimizes my struggle. No matter how much I try to calm myself, dismiss my worries and think clearly; I am swallowed by a thick mist of angst – setting my whole being on edge. Lately, I won’t lie, this unwelcome closing of the walls in my chest has become a regular squatter in the deep depths my soul. I cannot help but fail to dismiss the negative feeling that there are some things you can’t shake, some habits and patterns of thoughts are ingrained in my very nature, intrinsic to my material makeup. This damaging thought, I know not to be true but so often it clouds my vision and creates havoc in my brain, alarm bells ringing, panic mode sets in.

Worries swallowing me whole. In that moment I feel completely dissipated into thin air, erased from existence, hollow inside and a mere puppet to the dark depressive demons pulling the strings on my soul – yanking it into an explosive lava pit, burning. Scorning any sense of self-esteem, obliterating any ounce of confidence. Anxiety completely consumes my life, I always have to check myself before getting carried away, too ambitious, too starstruck with possibilities. Why? Simple. I can’t control my nerves, my worries and my irrational instinct to self-destruct, sabotage and scupper any chances of complete fulfillment. I must admit I am pretty close now but that has been a long time coming; through pain, grief and quivering self-hatred, I can finally fully embrace me.

However, I must admit that even just trying to write this post is making my heart thump, my head spin and this sickening feeling stir in the pit of my stomach; causing such a simple act of breathing to become exhaustive, stressing and asphyxiating. The dizziness is dreaded with every thought, every action and every sentiment passing through me each day. Such tightness on my windpipe is honestly the worst feeling I have ever encountered. Nothing enhances this crippling, demeaning sensation as much as expectation. Expectation is the bane of my life. My biggest worry is letting people down. Not being good enough. Falling short. The walls of my lungs tighten, beginning to close in, trap me in a claustrophobic state of wheezy closeted panic, overdrive if you will – rushing to please, fix myself to fit the criteria of who ever is in front of me, rather than just relaxing and being un-apologetically Heather.

I wish I could be that free. That care free. Let my soul truly roam free. Be unleashed to accomplish whatever I put my mind to; not to please, to constantly second guess each action, movement, sentence or word choice. So, I think heading into 2020 I shall do my upmost to put the fear of letting loved ones down on the back burners and concentrate on pleasing me and letting that be enough. One day I aspire to be that strong woman that I know I am and brandish that empowering strength all women harbor within. But at the moment I know I am not quite there yet. Unfortunately, still feeling the wrongly-placed shame of being on antidepressant and anxiety meds, being self-deprecating and worrying others viewing it as a crutch. Nevertheless, racing into the new year I want us all to discard the stereotype and sometimes taboo nature of antidepressants. For me, I would not have made such transformative progress without them and I am truly in a much better place for them. So, I want people to increase awareness for the understanding of the place and importance of antidepressants.

If anything in this blog post or any previous posts has hit home and you are yet to have reached out, then please know there are people who love you, people who want to listen and your local GP is always a trusted point of call. This Christmas try to relax, break free from that struggle and loosen the chains grappled tight across your lungs. I am, so you should too!

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