When the Anxiety Hits

I have tried to explain it many times before.  To others and to myself.  I can’t seem to get the words out correctly.  I can’t seem to articulate what happens to my body.  Maybe that’s because I’m in a world far away from reality or maybe it’s because I can’t admit how I behave when the paralysis hits.

It starts with the jolt in the pit of your stomach.  The jolt that’s kind of frightening but exhilarating too. It’s the spark in the engine that ignites the adrenaline.  And you’re off…

You feel your heart deflating like a balloon because you know what this means.  You know it like the wrinkles on Nan’s face.  You know it better than your lover’s curves.  And you’re fucking scared because now there is no way out.

The adrenaline pulses like heroin, infecting your optimism and turning the world dark. It hits your heart which starts pounding aggressively in your chest cavity, desperately attempting to flee your body.  Your body becomes a prison, trapping the organ that you rely on for survival.  It is desperately beating its wings to escape the metal bars of your rib cage.

At this stage your brain is clouded.  Reality becomes blurred and there is nothing to think of but the emptiness overwhelming your body.  A plug has been pulled and like water drained from a bath you are emptying.  Slowly at first, then faster and faster.

You think you might vomit but even that seems impossible. You are paralysed by what is happening.

You know there’s no way out now.  Your brain knows it, your heart knows it and it begins to hammer faster and harder.  It’s frantic because it knows what’s coming next.

The tears are uncontrollable.  First they roll from the corners of your eyes then they stream down your cheeks.  The tears make their way down your face hoping to cool your heart which is burning feverishly in your chest.  Your heart is bursting with flames.  The fumes expelled are making it harder for you to breathe.  Everything is chaos and you think you may suffocate.

The sobs combine with the tears.  Water is streaming everywhere, snot is congealing on your face but you are so paralysed by what’s happening that there is no time to comprehend what you look like or what state you’re in.  There’s no time or space to think of anything but the immense pain you’re feeling.  There’s no time to consider a way out because you’re too far gone now.

You have vomit coating your arteries, your organs, your every move but you don’t have the energy or the time to expel it.  All you have time for is the sobbing.  That’s all you’re allowed to do.

The sobbing intensifies and you crawl into yourself.  You crawl into your own being to be alone with your tears and your sadness and your anger.  You feel everything at once yet you feel nothing at all.  There is no time to pull yourself out because fuck it you’re in this until the curtain call.  All you know is the heaviness consuming your entire body.  It’s as if someone has injected lead into your bloodstream. The lead begins to coat every piece of skin, every cell, every movement.  You are paralysed in one position. You are paralysed in one spot, in one moment with nothing to pull you out but Father Time.  Because you’re in until it pulls you out itself.

Nobody around you has a clue how to help and to be honest in that moment you have no clue what to tell them.  You have no way to explain that you hardly have the energy to raise your head.  You have no way to explain why your body is curled into a ball like you’ve just been expelled from the womb.  You are as vulnerable in that moment as a newborn.  You have no perception of the world around you or the people around you.

All you know in that moment is the emptiness.


One thought on “When the Anxiety Hits

  1. This is so beautifully written. It’s hard to put that feeling into words but that really hit the nail on the head. As awful as it is, it’s a relief to know I’m not alone.


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