Hello APC fam! My name is Ankita Sen and here is a piece I wrote about my mental health journey.
I’ve been on the verge of having a panic attack for the last three weeks.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s overcome me.
Every so often I’m stopped in my tracks and it feels like the world is spinning on a different axis and I’m somehow left behind spinning all alone.
I can’t shake the feeling that something, anything will go horribly wrong at any second.
I have to brace myself for when it does. Will I ever be good enough? Will I ever be the person I envision myself as?
All these expectations feel like a fist around my throat, leaving me floundering for a breath, but I never can seem to catch one.
Everywhere I look there’s always a reminder. Nowhere feels safe. There are a thousand thoughts forcing themselves through my brain all at once, the most disturbing chorus that has ever existed, full of yelling and anger and fear. I sit struggling through my work, heart racing against time.
Piles and piles of tests and papers tower above me and block my view of the outside.
I’m stuck in a chamber with everything that makes me hurt. Fickle people and fairweather friends come and go, taking a piece of me with every gut-wrenching gesture.
Every lopsided smile is a blow to my soul, every dismissive word a weapon of mass destruction. All good things bring bad things in their wake. They knock me down, one after the other, like waves in an ocean that keeps coming and keep coming forever and ever with no end.
I hide myself, curled under the sheets holding back tears that are pushing against the backs of my eyes like crowds trying to run from a burning building. I hold my dog like a vice, clinging to him because he’s the only one that keeps me still.
I open a book that smells like old knowledge and I smile for the first time in a long time. My heart slows and the anxious crowd and the chorus in my head disappear. I’m finally alone to think the thoughts I like thinking. It’s fine for now, but I know it’ll all come flooding back again.