Am I Dying?

It feels like there’s an elephant sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe. I am actively reminding my self to breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

Over and over again, I keep repeating this to myself, hoping I can get through the fog in my head. But it is like I am whispering this mantra. While I am actively making myself breathe, there’s another voice in my head that’s louder, that’s reminding me that I cannot breathe. My lungs don’t work. And then I start panicking all over again because I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe. I cannot physically breathe. 

I can see people around me, moving and talking. I think I know them. I think they’re my friends, but I can’t remember. I am too busy whispering to my body that I can breathe and that my lungs do work. But if these people moving around the room are my friends, why aren’t they helping me? Why aren’t they calling an ambulance?

My lungs aren’t working!

I want to scream and yell, but that requires breathing, and I can’t do that. So instead, I stand in the corner, not focusing on what is happening in the room. I’m not focused on who is moving around me, or who is bumping into me with a mumbled apology. I hold the red solo cup in my hand, but I don’t drink it. If I drink it, will it get into my lungs while I struggle to breathe?

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

“God, Rey, you’re so freaking anti-social. Go talk to someone!” Someone says next to me. I look to see, I think, my best friend Alessia, but I can’t be sure. My vision is starting to blur from the lack of oxygen. “Seriously, you look like such a bitch standing over here, alone, in the corner. And you’ve got RBF!”

I think I made a sound.

“Yeah, resting-bitch-face! You look so unapproachable. This is why people complain about you. Sometimes I don’t even know why you come out to these things.” She flips her brown hair over her shoulder and walks away from me.

She thinks I am purposely standing in a corner, with a drink in my hand, looking like an anti-social, unapproachable, person. I’m just trying to take a deep breath. Get some oxygen into my lungs. Something.

Anything.

I look around the room again, but my vision is starting to go black. Blindly, I stumble towards the door, where I think the door is, down the stairs and onto the street. I sit down on a curb somewhere, anywhere. I put my head in between my knees trying to breathe. Trying to get air into my lungs. Trying to get my lungs to work.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

My jeans are suddenly too tight, my hair is too long and it is helping suffocate me. My shirt is starting to stick to my skin as I sweat. The sweat is beading across my forehead. It drips down my arms. I am drowning in a pool of my own sweat, and I can’t breathe. My mind cannot get past that I cannot breathe.

Why can’t I breathe? Am I dying?

No. This is anxiety. I know this is anxiety. My lungs work, I know this. I know this. But it’s so hard to make my brain remember this. It’s so hard to make my heart remember this. I don’t know why my anxiety comes. It starts slow.

A crowd of people; a knot in my throat.
A date with a new guy; butterflies eating at the inside of my stomach.
My friends telling me I’m not social enough; I can’t breathe.

Tonight it was all three. My friends invited me to a house party. There were so many people there, and the knot in my throat made it so I couldn’t talk. They wanted me to meet a new guy, so the butterflies ate at my stomach lining. I couldn’t tell anybody what was wrong. And then the complaints started. How I don’t talk enough, I’m not social enough, and then I can’t breathe.

But nobody cares.

Nobody can tell.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s