Like a dead weight around my body, paralysing and pulling me down into a pit of self loathing and fear.
I smile and nod, attempt to mask the all encompassing fear of the world.
My head is filled with a thousand thoughts, all of them worries magnified beyond belief.
Logic and reason hover like a tiny, wafer thin thread holding me to the ground. The slightest rip and it will go, floating off in to the light and leaving me plunged into the darkness.
I have to get out of bed. I have to go to work. I have to blank my mind in order to function because the fear of telling people why I can’t is too great.
Where does it come from, this overwhelming sickness? I can trace it back and see the beginnings but I can’t see how to make it go away.
Go for a walk, get some fresh air, have a shower, get dressed. All these things will help, I’m told.
And they do. Sometimes. For a brief period. But it is too much and I can’t keep it at bay for long.
My head pounds with the effort of appearing sane. Of communicating, saying please and thank you, exchanging pleasantries with shop staff or colleagues.
Emails pile up, my mobile goes unanswered, the urgency escalating my heart rate so that I can barely breathe. My chest constricts with a tightness like a steel band, cutting off my airway and filling me with dread.
I force myself to interact, knowing that if I don’t I will have to explain.
Explaining means being honest and then there’s a judgement. Panic and anxiety attacks aren’t really an illness are they? It’s all abit self indulgent, just get on with things, some people have real problems.
So I stay silent, and it never goes away.