About two and a half years ago I found myself at a LifeTeen (youth group) lock-in at my church. Before this point I had never been able to stay overnight at any activities because of my anxiety. This night I wanted to be different though but as everyone started getting ready for bed, I felt the panic attack coming on and all I wanted to do was leave.
After talking with some of the leaders and them calming me down, I returned to my sleeping bag, cried, and typed out a journal entry on my phone because I couldn’t fall asleep.
Even though I wrote this over two years ago, it is so fitting for what I am going through now. Looking back, I couldn’t believe everything I had typed. I never would have imagined that journaling then would bring me to where I am now…having a blog!
This is the journal entry from December 19th, 2014:
All I want to do is cry.
I don’t want to sleep because I know when I wake up things will be worse than they are now. I know all the fun, happiness, and love I felt today, will be forgotten. I will know it all happened but I won’t remember how I felt. I won’t remember the joy of dancing with Cassie. I won’t remember the unconditional love I felt as Ryan sang in church. I won’t remember the care I felt as Hannah placed her hand on my back and Nikolai wrapped his arm around me. It was all so wonderful and soon all the memories will be erased from my mind. I want to stay awake now to cry and hold onto those memories, in my mind and in my heart as long as I can. I don’t want to live this way, it sucks! Everything is so limited…joy, love, fun, happiness. The only thing that sticks with me is the pain.
The pain in my head and the pain in my heart. Although the pain in my head is getting easier to bear, the pain in my heart has only gotten stronger. As I lose friends, memories, control, and most of my life in general. Everything I do hits me hard. I’m either hit with the fact that I can’t do it or it hits me how I’m not like everyone else. I wish the pain would just go away…I’m tired of being strong. I just want to be me!
I can’t fight much longer. The pain and suffering has taken its’ toll on me. I’m getting tired and weak. I’m less motivated to fight back. Eventually the pain is going to take over me. The pain will crush me. The pain will make fun of me. The pain will win!
As I lay on the ground taking my last breath the pain will laugh. Why does pain have to be so mean? Why does it have to haunt you every day, hour, minute, second of your life? Why can’t pain help you when you have fallen? Why does it push you down every chance it gets? It’s not fair.
As we fight each other I give in but the pain won’t. It stays, loud and clear, screaming out its’ latest victory. If for just one time the pain would let my strength take over its’. But it won’t give in, it won’t hold back, it will keep fighting harder and harder, as I get weaker and weaker. Then after some time the pain will have its’ next victory, ME!
And it won’t be long, the pain is in the lead and gaining strength as I sit back and let it take over me. When can I stop fighting? When can I take a break? When can I just be me? Time is ticking away, year after year. 3 years of high school have passed. Many LifeTeen experiences have passed. AP classes have been left behind. Friends have been lost. Memories have faded. All I have is here and now…and if I lose that I have nothing. Absolutely nothing but pain, suffering, and sadness.
So as I sit here crying, I’m thankful I’m still awake, recalling the day’s joys. I’m thankful I can enjoy these moments right now, listening to music and knowing I have people around me who care about me. I’m thankful for the extreme cold I’m feeling because at least I’m feeling something other than the pain. I’m thankful my contact fell out and I got it back in because little triumphs are all I have at this point. As I continue to stay awake as everyone else sleeps, I’m grateful to have time to myself but still surrounded by friends. I’m grateful that no one else here has to endure what I do every day.
As the time of darkness grows shorter I feel as though my memories are coming to a close. Each one is getting harder to hold in my heart. I feel each one tearing away, pulling at my heart. And as each one leaves I become sadder, feel more hopeless, and more depressed. I continue to lose strength every minute. The pain is slowly creeping up on me and will be in full force by morning. But I’m stuck…I can’t go back in time…I can’t jump to the future.
So as for now I will live in each and every moment. I will focus on what I feel right now. I may cry, I may get angry, I may leap for joy but anyone of those would be good. Each one is something else I can feel besides the searing pain. Each one opens a new path for me. Each one gives me an insight on who I am. And even though when I look back at the memories I may not remember the feelings, I will know I experienced them. I will know I have something to look forward to. I will know there are other feelings besides simply constant pain.
My mind will be clear for new thoughts and my heart will be open for new feelings. Not all memories in life will be good and not all memories in life will be bad. Some will be ones you want to keep but can’t, while others you will want to get rid of but you won’t be able to. It’s simply a fact of life. But no matter what there will always be the here and now moments. The things you are currently thinking and feeling. Those are the feelings and thoughts you will always be able to experience. Although you may not remember them or you may regret they happened, if you live in each and every moment you will know it was the best you could have done. And by knowing that there will be nothing that can stop you from living.
Keep fighting to be okay!