Downward Spiral

The bell rings and Alex gives an annoyed sigh. We make our way into class and I try my best to concentrate.

Despite my best efforts, my day is a haze of anger, frustration, and desperation. I spend half of my time fighting back tears as the disconnected world ticks past me. I make several trips to the restroom just to be alone. I just want to get back to that place. That place were you can function without thinking about functioning, but I can’t seem to find it. Every thought is filled with self doubt. I watch every passing minute of the clock as if strapped to a bomb. I just want to get out of here before it goes off. I just want to be alone when the anxiety attack hits. I can’t bare the pressure of performing for all of these people: needy, greedy people who want, want, want. I stop myself in mid thought. I feel guilty. How can I blame others for what I feel? How can I blame others for what I am? I excuse myself five minutes before the final bell, “I’m sorry. I don’t feel well,” and I make my way to the parking lot.

Dad’s already there.

“Hey, you’re early,” he says as I open the passenger door.

“Yeah, I wasn’t feeling well.” I lean back in the seat and close my eyes. Don’t cry, Amber, Don’t cry. There is silence for a moment, and I suspect dad is watching me. I feel my lip tremble. Then his hand is on my knee. I open my eyes to see him looking at me.

“It’s ok, pumpkin. We’ll get through this.”

A single tear falls from my eye, and I swallow hard to push the rest back down. I take a deep breath and try to think of nothing. I desperately want to join the nothing.


* * *

If you or someone you know is depressed, despairing, going through a hard time, or just needs to talk, visit Lifeline Crisis Chat or call 1-800-273 TALK (8255).

You’re not alone . . . and you’re not crazy.

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