I sometimes get these panic attacks.

Triggers come in multiple, various forms. Sometimes it is because I am asked about what college I want to go to. Sometimes it is because I am asked about what career I would like to pursue. Sometimes it is because of needles, whether they’re just being viewed or actually punctured into my arm. Sometimes it is because I have read a story or sentence that is emotionally relevant. And sometimes, like right now, they just happen out of the blue with no particular spark or warning sign.

When these panic attacks occur, suffocation is my only coherent sensation. My lungs take in considerable amounts of air, but this only exaggerates my distress. Each conscious breath that I take is calculated and forced. My heart pounds a pattern of irregular beats that are too rapid and changing. This detrimental organ is pumping blood at the same pace of a hummingbird’s fluttering wings. My breaths are not in sync with my heartbeat and pulse. This is phase one: hyperventilation.

My thoughts are a complete and utterly jumbled, chaotic catastrophe by this point. Whatever was the triggering component is now on a constant, never-ceasing cycle in the forefront of my thinking. No matter how I try to distract myself, I’m unable to make my mind quiet down. My thoughts are demanding and debilitating.

There are several different avenues that I go about in trying to conclude these anxiety-ridden, mental episodes. When I first started experiencing them, back when I was twelve, my parents would give me some Benadryl and a can of Mountain Dew. That little, pink pill is still a reliable option for calming my nerves and stifling my brain, due to its drowsiness-inducing nature. But because I get these attacks so frequently, my parents made me cut back on my medicinal assistance out of fear that I could develop a resistance and addiction to the drug. Taking a warm bubble bath has proved to be a viable solution, as well. I also swear by essential oils! A few drops of lavender oil on my wrists to breathe in while laying in bed is very tranquilizing.

Through the enduring of other harmful, unmentionable acts in hope of putting an end to my anxiety, I found that writing is a very enjoyable and satisfying outlet for me. I began this post while at the peak of an intense, emotional attack. In between sips of soothing lemon-ginger tea and typing, relief has overwhelmed.

I’m back to normal now.

Departed infinity.

Time scares me. It is becoming a seemingly incurable, daunting, triggering cause for anxiety in my life. There are so many places I wish to travel, so many sights I long to see. There are so many foods that I would like to sample and savor. There are so many sounds that I would love to hear: waves crashing in the surf or a newborn child inhaling his first breath of life. There are so many people that I desire to become acquainted with. Numerous, extraordinary occasions have already been achieved during my short dwelling in this world, but I am burdened with the worry that I will not have enough, or that too much will be regretted.

My great Aunt died last night. She lived in the same general geographical area for her entire existence. She never married. She never had children. She died alone.

She ran out of time.

I fear that life speeds past with a velocity too powerful. Lovely moments are gone too soon. I fear that too much time is wasted in accomplishing mundane tasks and lounging in useless monotony. I fear that I will not live to participate in certain experiences, and that withstanding, lasting memories will fall short in being created.

But rather than being dominated with trepidation, I am going to make an effort to cherish my time, and sincerely make it matter.

Aha.

Cyclothymia is the mood disorder I just diagnosed myself with.

I honestly fear that I suffer from it. All of the symptoms and signs are problems that I endure. My dad has an undiagnosed, severe case of bipolar. All of my relatives on my dad’s side have a history of mental illness. So it is perfectly plausible that I’m not clinically normal.

I should probably seek the opinion and diagnosis of a medical professional. Honestly, I’m relieved to learn about this disorder. This discovery of mine comforts my mind and relieves my heart knowing that there’s a possible explanation for my constant kaleidoscope of feelings, roller-coaster of emotions.

Maybe cyclothymia is the reason I am a chronic bitch.