For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from some kind of anxiety disorder. At times I thought it was only social. Then I realized it was more generalized. I was eventually diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Ever since I’ve tried to use this curse to educate others that don’t understand or think they are alone. One day while having a bout of anxiety, I wrote a story I called “Girl vs Panic.” At this time in my life, I was refusing medication and therapy. And this is how I felt my story was being told at that moment. I saw the individual in the story as a girl because, for most of my life, that is how I identified until I realized there were other ways to identify and I found my tribe, so to speak, in the non-binary community. I’d like to share that story with you now, so without further adieu, here is my Facebook story, “Girl vs Panic.”
A voice pierces through the air… “You’re alone. Completely and totally alone.”
A girl shivers and curls herself up into a ball on the floor. Deep down she knows the voice is right. She is alone. Alone and fighting to remember why she should keep pushing forward. Alone and trying to keep her thoughts on a positive path.
Her fear of the voice paralyzes her. She can’t move. Her body feels like there is a weight keeping her from moving. Holding her in a tight ball and forcing the tears from her eyes.
The voice whispers to her again… “Better just end it now. No one is coming to help you.”
Again, the girl knows this to be true. No one even knows she’s hurting because she is too paralyzed to scream for help. Her strength against the voice is waning and she doesn’t know how much more she can take.
Her phone is within reach. If she could move just enough, she could call for help. She could reach out and break the bonds of loneliness that the voice has locked her into. No. It’s too hard. She can’t move. She can barely breathe…
“No!” she yells in her head. “I’m safe. I’m loved. I’m strong.” she repeats it over and over through her tears. “I’m safe. I’m loved. I’M STRONG.” If she can’t silence the voice that is keeping her down, she will drown it out with her own.
“I’M SAFE. I’M LOVED. I’M STRONG.”
The voice tries to control her, but she can’t hear it anymore over her own.
“I’M SAFE. I’M LOVED. I’M STRONG!!”
The paralyzing fear she felt before starts to back away. The voice realizes it’s losing its hold on its victim.
“You’re fooling yourself. I’ll remind you…”
“NO!” she shouts. “I won’t allow you to use my memories against me. They’re the past. They can’t hurt me now. I’m in control. YOU ARE NOTHING!”
Finally feeling the strength move, the girl reaches for her phone and gets ready to send a message to a friend for help.
“They’ll never help you. They’ll think you’re crazy. Do you really want people to laugh at you?”
The girl pauses. She had the strength to pick up the phone, but it takes even more strength to actually use it. She opens up her messaging app but hesitates… scared… “What if they don’t want to be bothered? What if they have their own problems and I’m just adding to it?”
The feeling overtakes her and she goes to put the phone down when a new voice, a kind voice, appears in her head tells her to pick it back up. “You need help. Reach out for help.”
The girl picks up the phone again and slowly, but without hesitation, reaches out. Thankfully, someone answers and within minutes she is no longer fighting this battle alone.
The other voice backs away, knowing he’s lost this time but knows there will be another when he can try to work his evil again. “As long as you refuse to do what is necessary to get better, I will always be around to hurt you.”