I remember the details like it happened yesterday even though it happened over ten years ago. It’s crazy how we remember these events in such detail; I didn’t think about it in a while then all of a sudden the memory came centre stage.
I decided to leave about two hours earlier than I usually would for my graduation practice. I had to travel for an hour to get to school, so I thought it was best to beat the rush hour. When I entered the bus, it was empty, but as I got closer to my destination, the bus became full. I started feeling uncomfortable being on a crowded bus. This was a new feeling for me; I’m not sure if it was the addition of the speed, but I took in strides and bared through it.
While distracting myself, I realised that the window wasn’t open. I figured that this feeling came about from the lack of breeze. I always preferred to feel the wind on my face when travelling long distances to relax me. When I tried to open the window, I couldn’t. I tried again, and I fail. I tried one last time, and I just couldn’t budge the window. At this point, I started experiencing so much; dizzy, hot, hyperventilating, discomfort, chills.
I couldn’t control myself as the tears started running down my face while it became hard to breathe. The person next to me tried to calm me down, but my focus was on opening that window. All I could think about was why couldn’t I open the window? Other joined in to help, and the bus stopped to assess the situation thoroughly. The bus conductor told me the window couldn’t open and that calmed me just a bit, but this had open the gate to let whatever this thing out. The driver decided to continue this journey, but to get me to the hospital. When we got closer to the hospital, the driver informed as passing police about my case, and they drove me to the hospital.
I waited in the emergency room for the nurse. I was so cold; tears streamed down my face. I felt I was a visitor to this reality. I couldn’t understand this feeling, and I was genuinely scared. I didn’t know how long I waited but being in a trance calmed me. The nurse asked me the regular questions and all the answers were negative.
Then she asked about the events happening in my life. I told her about my grandmother transitioning, and it was the first time I experienced death so intimately. I told her about my graduation and the pursuit of a job. After I told her the major events, she told me I was overwhelmed and had a panic attack.
I was stunned; I never heard the term, let alone know someone who experienced it. Even if there were people who suffer from anxiety attacks, I can’t say as it wasn’t openly discussed. It would be nice to talk to someone with experience, but going around asking questions wouldn’t get me answers.
Here at 18, the beginning stage of adulthood, I now face this dilemma. I am figuring out how I would deal with this in my life. Now that I know it exists, I have to take the time to figure out my triggers and what I can do to reduce the effects.
Nomadic Free Spirit