I remember the night like it was just yesterday. I was working a night shift at a retail job where the environment was fast-paced, so you can imagine how overwhelming it must have been experiencing anxiety and all. That day I was already having symptoms of anxiety (e.g. sweaty palms, shortness of breath, irritability, dizziness) I even felt that I was experiencing “depersonalization,” where everything felt surreal, almost like a dream, that would eventually turn into a nightmare for me.
I remember asking one of my supervisors if I could leave early, but it was out of the question since I was the only one on the sales floor. I felt like I wanted to escape because I thought that I was going insane. I could not tell my supervisor what was going on because I didn’t think she would understand. Of course no one knew what was going on inside. Customers would even look at me wondering what was wrong with me, I just couldn’t find a way to tell people what I was going through. I didn’t even know what I was going through myself.
When I got off of work I got into my car wondering what coworkers were thinking about me, then I broke down feeling alone and scared. What I felt in that moment was hopelessness and actual physical pain. I somehow knew that I had been depressed for a while. It’s like all of my emotions were bottled up for so long that I exploded to the point of no return. I couldn’t stop crying. I hardly ever had a history of self-harm, but everything became so overwhelming that I started having thoughts of hurting myself because I hated myself at the time. I felt guilt and shame of being alive because I didn’t feel support from anyone. This was a huge breaking point for me, so I did what I thought was best which was take myself to the nearest ER to have myself evaluated. I was seen by various doctors and one therapist who were giving me words of encouragement to help me get by. I felt calmer when my mom came to see me and all I could see was pain in her face for seeing me in the condition that I was. I thought that by the end of the of the night I would get to go home. Unfortunately, I was taken to another hospital where they specialize with mental patients. I spent nearly three days there.
After going through the evaluations and feeling homesick, I left the hospital feeling hopeful and optimistic but things did not end there. After months of struggling with my anxiety disorder along with other episodes of intrusive thoughts, it has been a long battle for me. Thankfully, the intrusive thoughts have stopped. However, anxiety is not like catching the cold where you take medicine and it goes away. It is a disorder in the brain. A disorder that takes months even years to recover from. People on the outside who don’t have these disorders are not aware of them because they are not visible like scars. I feel that most of us would rather have scars than a debilitating disorder that doesn’t let us live normal lives. I feel that everything happens for a reason and that reason is that I was meant to find this wonderful website and tell my story to others who are going through the same thing.