One could describe this as an air raid, but to me this is normal. For a couple of years this has been the norm. They have become a part of everyday life. When the bombs hit, most flee while a few join the battles with me. What these people probably do not realize is that they cannot fight these battles with me. I must face these bombs alone. Of course no one realizes that this is all internal and only I can control this.
I cannot tell you the countless times I have heard that anxiety is “all in my head.” Of
course when someone says this they mean it is a made of mental disease. From all of the experiences I have had with anxiety I can tell you this, it is very real.
For the most part I feel like I am a part of this world like everyone else. When I have an anxiety attack I all of the sudden detach myself from everything. Every part of me seems to shut down, starting with my mind. Everything goes black as I lose sight of where I am. My heart becomes fearful, so it responds with palpitations. My eyes become glossy as the attack proceeds to take my body captive. I am now under the command of the attack.
I am the target and the bombs are the anxiety attack. I cannot do anything to help myself. I cannot even remember where I am or who is around me. Everything is strange to me, and until I can bring myself back I am stuck with unfamiliarity.
This is just a glimpse into my mental illness, a more extreme glimpse. I used to think this was a normal thing, so I got used to this. Now that I understand this is an illness I strive to get well. I do not want crisis in my life, especially when I do not know when it will happen.
I encourage anyone who has a mental illness to strive to get better. No one deserves to feel like they are under attack 24/7. Also remember that you are not alone, 40 million people are affected in the US alone.
For those who do not have a mental illness, do some research on mental illnesses. I guarantee you know at least one person in your life who has one, whether they are upfront about it or not. I know when I was first diagnosed I wanted to keep it a secret, so have some grace on them. This is not an easy thing to live with.
(Featured image is of 1945 air raid on Japan. I could not find who took this photo.)