Hello and happy Thursday. There have been periods of my life when I haven’t had my shit together, and I’m very aware of that. There have been times when I’ve felt like everything is going wrong, and when I’ve just felt miserable 24/7.
The first time I realized something like this was going on was at the age of twenty, so over four years ago. You see, my guy best friend (whom I’ve never talked about in this blog before) had recently moved to Argentina. I had felt sad ever since the moment he’d told me about him moving away, and I don’t mean sad like “I’m going to miss him so much,” but like a vital part of my existence was taken away from me.
I’d always sort of had feelings for my best friend even though there was no chance in hell that something would ever happen between us. He was, after all, traveling all the way to the south of the continent to be with someone else. But this isn’t the story about a crush or my relationship with my best friend. This is the story of how I came to realize I was super close to being depressed.
For a while after my best friend left, everything sort of stopped making sense to me, and now, looking back I know that should’ve been a clear sign for me that something was wrong. I mean, yes, a very important person in my life had just moved far away, but everything else was still the same, and yet it didn’t feel that way.
One day I was on my way to work after university. I was giving private lessons to kids at their homes, and I got to experience for the first time what earning my own money feels like. I was on the bus and it was raining. To get to that afternoon’s students’ house I had to get off at a stop and then walk up this sort of hill. Not only was I going to arrive all wet, I was certain I’d be late because we all know how traffic gets when it rains.
Suddenly, I was overcome by anxiety. It was so overpowering that I rang the bell that announced I needed the bus to stop. I got off in a stop, not realizing until after I was in the middle of the street that it wasn’t my stop. And then it began.
I’m pretty sure not all panic attacks are the same, and I also think that if there’s any classification, mine could probably be in the “mild” category. I started crying right there. I cried for the rain and the traffic and the fact that I was going to be late for work. I cried for my best friend and the fact that I’d felt unhappy for weeks and I knew I couldn’t stay that way.
The rain forced me to moved to a location with a roof, so I ended up getting in a café and ordering the cheapest thing in the menu, just so I could sit down and have wi-fi access. I was texting my best friend. I worked on steadying my breathing and when the rain had subsided, I decided to start walking to my students’ house. I could still feel the effects of the attack: the need to cry, the pounding in my chest, but I willed myself to be as calm as possible and to try to carry on with my day.
I decided to tell you this story because up until a few weeks ago I thought it was a once in a lifetime thing for me, and after experiencing a second panic attack I feel that there are many people who suffer every day in silence and who should seek help. I am getting help right now because I’m pretty sure I have depression, and I deal with anxiety every second of my existence and it’s tough. But I’m done dealing with that by myself because even though the first time I was able to get things under control, I’m not sure about how many times I could tell the same story.
Love, Miss Camila