Francesca Skoda
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I Had No Idea

How having a panic attack made me realize how completely and utterly unfair I was being.

I'll start off by saying that I had to grow up early in life, and for some absolutely obscene reason this made me believe that I knew more than other people my age. That's because of my experiences and the decisions that I've already made, decisions that people should not have to make at my age, or any age for that matter. I knew what the heck was going on in, well, life. 

Let me just tell you that I was wrong. Totally and completely, never could I have ever been right, wrong. 

I never gave a second thought to panic attacks, or anxiety attacks, or depression, or anything. I mean, I knew of people who had been struggling with these disorders, but I didn't actually know, you know? 

I didn't know that you feel like you can't breathe. I didn't know that you start freaking out about everything and anything, and you start thinking about what this person is going to think, and how this is gonna make you look, and all of a sudden you're in the bathroom in the club trying to figure out what the heck is going on with you and if it would be possible for your mom to come pick you up, because all you want is for her to tell you everything is going to be alright. That you're not going to die. That this shit is normal and real and does not make you weak. 

I know what you're probably thinking, I mean why should I care about what other people think, who are they that their opinions matter so much to me? But in that moment, in that grungy bathroom with a floor to ceiling window that looked out into a courtyard that had one small, sad little bush, it was all I could think about. 

The best part (in my opinion, that is), is the fact that I had no idea what was happening. I mean, was I dying? Was it bad food? Maybe someone put something in my drink because I had never felt this way before. Never even occurred to me to think about an attack. 

Now, was it a panic attack or an anxiety attack? I think, after my extensive diagnosis based on many google searches, that it was incidentally a panic attack. But the thing is now, every time I think of that grungy bathroom with the ridiculous window I start to feel the same thing that I felt then, and then I start thinking about that feeling, and then I start freaking out. Am I gonna have another panic attack the next time I'm out or walking down the street or w-h-e-n-e-v-e-r, because it was so random before why not have it happen randomly again? So basically, I'm terrified. 

The worst part about all of this, is that I never really understood panic attacks or depression or how someone could have so much anxiety that you literally can't leave your room, and I still don't, not really anyway. But I got a taste, and I cannot believe how ignorant I was, and still am. I didn't understand and I can't even describe to you my lack of understanding because I can't even comprehend it myself. I thought that it was all a joke, until it happened to me. Funniest part is that its only really happened to me once and I'm terrified. I cannot even imagine what everyday people who have had to deal with this for years feel. 

All I can say is that I've realized that you can never know enough, that you can try as hard as you want but can never really understand something until it happens to you. 

I still don't understand any of it, but I'm trying, and I just want to say that I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for not trying to understand, and for judging the strongest people I know — the people who deal with this Every. Single. Day. 

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I Had No Idea
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