Category Archives: Depression

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.

Three days.

It’s been three days since I’ve slept. Three torturous days since I’ve been able to sleep peacefully. I can’t stop my mind from racing. Every time I try to close my eyes, your image flashes back at me, and they pop open again. I  can’t stop seeing your smile in my head. The sound of your laughter keeps me up at night. I toss and turn, but the minute I feel sleepy, the minute my eyelids shut, your face zaps into my head.

I hate it. I hate every minute I lay there thinking of you.

People are starting to see that something is wrong with me. My eyes are bloodshot, there are bags under my eyes, my hair that was once so shiny is now dull and stringy. I think I even lost weight. I don’t know how much longer I can last without seeing you. I can feel my mind slowly deteriorating again.

I feel like I’m starting to dream while I am awake. I am starting to see you even when I don’t close my eyes. Something happens and I turn to tell it to you. I try to text you, but it won’t go through. I forget that I’ve blocked your number. It’s for my own good, I know, but it doesn’t help. I search for you in all the social media. I look for you on every website I can think of, but your name doesn’t come up. It’s like you never existed. Like you were never a part of my life.

Dammit I know you were there! I cried to you about my family, I was at your house, I ate dinner with you, gossiped with you, I loved you.

But it wasn’t enough for you and I know that now. It’s why I blocked you in my phone, why I erased your name from existence. My head remembers it’s for my own good, that I did this only to myself, but my heart screams out that I didn’t do it, someone else must have. Because you love me and I love you.

But it’s not true.

It’s the middle of the night and all I can do is lay here and hope that tonight I will finally sleep. It’s been three days since I’ve slept.

Better Than This.

Alex sat on the floor, trying to figure out what to do. On the left, sat a bottle of prescription meds. She could take them now, and end it all. End all the pain, end the suffering, the yelling, the crying. She could end the indifference. Sometimes she was so sad, in so much pain, she couldn’t breathe. Then, she would feel nothing. She knew a joke was supposed to be funny, but she didn’t feel it. She knew a movie was sad, hell she was sad most of the time she knew that feeling, but couldn’t experience it. It was an odd thing, to not feel anything. But then the pain would come back, and breathing became harder and harder to do.

Worse, she had to fake it. Her parents said “No one is happy all the time.” God, she would take being happy sometimes. But she was never happy. Ever. Her friends were worse. “I know exactly what you’re feeling! I’m so depressed too!” or  “What do you have to be sad about?” or her favorite “Just get over it! You’re fine.” Alex wanted to scream at them. Get over it? She wished she could. She wished she could wake up one day and just be fine. She would suddenly know what it felt like to be happy, to laugh at a joke that was funny, to smile because she just felt like smiling. They knew how she felt? What bull. She saw them, smiling for no reason, laughing with everyone. They were sad sometimes, they were not depressed. But “depression” and other neurological disorders had become a thing. Everyone had OCD, depression, anxiety, or bipolar. It was sickening.

People were suffering. Suffering! And nobody cared. Everyone over used the words to diagnose people with mental conditions and chemical imbalances in their brains to describe being sad, or neat, or scared to do something they probably shouldn’t anyway.

Just one more reason for her to swallow the whole bottle in front of her. Her mother told her she’d go to hell if she committed suicide, but almost anything was better than this. She would rather go to hell then go to her piece of crap therapist who nodded his head and prescribed more medicine that made her tired and sluggish. It didn’t make her better. But did he care? No. She hated him. She hated herself more. She couldn’t even tell him the pills weren’t working. She couldn’t tell her mother that her therapist was terrible. God, how she hated this life.

On the right side was a suitcase with clothes in it. Everything she would need was in that suitcase, including $12,000 she had saved up by dropping out of high school and working 50 hours a week for the last year. She never bought anything, she never did anything, so saving was easy. If she took the suitcase, she was leaving and never coming back. All her important documents were in there, she could get a new job, get a new life. She could try, one more time to be happy, to love her self, love the world, love someone else.

It was a long shot, but almost anything was better than this.

“Alex! You better clean up after yourself! I’m tired of picking up your shit!” Her mother yelled from the living room.

Right, she couldn’t leave a mess…

“Don’t worry mom,” she whispered. “You’ll never clean up after me again.”

Alexandra Jane grabbed her suitcase, left the bottle of the pills on the floor, and left the house she had lived in for the last 17 years. She never turned back again.

Note from the author: All those living and suffering with depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar, or any other mental illness, know there is help out there for you. You are loved, you are appreciated, and you can overcome whatever you set your mind to. Please, get help if you need it. 

– 1 (800) 273-8255 The National Suicide Hotline Number

Please call if you need anything. Do not let your battle win. It’s a daily fight, but you can do it.