It’s been a while. It’s sad for me to update my blog exposing this weak and embarrassing side of me, but hey, it feels good to exhale.
Before I begin, I’d like you to know that this blog post is quite personal for me to share. This post is mostly for my own peace of mind and relief, but if you are going through the same hardship, then I guess this is for you, too.
P.S. This blog is going to be all over the place because I’m just going to spew out words here.
A lot of people don’t know that I have been dealing with an anxiety disorder since I was in high school. I only have one cousin and few very close friends who know and fully understand my mental illness. Though I don’t run to anyone for help or support, I’m glad to have these people who can make me feel understood.
I have been overthinking about my future over the past few months (tbh, over a year now). I guess you cannot blame a woman who’s in her early twenties to overthink her future. Plus the fact that it’s my nature to overthink. Studying abroad, finding a new job, traveling, pursuing my dreams, overcoming my fears and stepping out of my comfort zone.
Three weeks ago, I remember I was having my dinner when I suddenly felt very anxious. I don’t even know what I was anxious about that moment– my heartbeat accelerated, my stomach ached, I felt nauseous, and I almost wanted to cry on the way to work. Throughout that week I was riddled with anxiety. All I wanted was to lock myself in our house,
Until Tuesday evening I woke up with a high fever, I was feeling nauseous, I started having severe stomach pain, headache, and diarrhea. I had to endure physical pain, but I was glad because finally, I have an explainable excuse to just stay at home.
On the third day, I went to see a doctor with my mom who accompanied me. After some lab test and a little explanation about my illness, the doctor advised me to be admitted to the hospital. But as a hard headed patient who doesn’t want to be confined in the hospital — I signed a waiver. But I think my body forgave me after four days of medication and bed rest.
Monday when I came back to work everything was going fine…
until Thursday came.
We had to permanently move from 4th-floor office to 2nd. The place looks exactly the same but it’s smaller and looks crowded for me. It’s no big deal, though.
While I was busy working, I suddenly began to feel strange. After a little while, I started to feel very nervous, I was worrying about unknown reasons. My heart suddenly started pounding so fast and my throat started to dry. I can’t explain but I just want to cry and run away from everyone and go somewhere I will feel safe.
I thought I’ll feel relief when my supervisor called me but I was too disoriented to follow what she was saying. She noticed it in my voice, and my struggle got worse. My legs and hands were shaking. My breathing was really hard and too many uninvited thoughts running in my head.
I thought I made it through after I was able to accomplish my task. I ran to the comfort room to ease myself. I drank a lot of water. I thought I’ll be fine when I went back inside the office my supervisor called me once again along with other two leaders for a meeting. They heard me and saw me trying to calm and relax. I tried to put on a brave face and act like nothing would happen. I tried to tell myself it was all in my head and I’m just perfectly fine.
However, the awful feeling never stops there. I was still feeling lightheaded. My chest was heavy. I can’t participate in the meeting without looking weird and strange just because my mind wasn’t operating the way it should. I have to speak and share ideas while I’m fighting off my panic attack. I felt very choked up. I felt out of breath. It’s difficult to explain what happened to me on that day but that time, that very moment, I’ve felt so small and stupid.
After our meeting, I burst out into tears uncontrollably in front of my supervisor. Everyone thought my supervisor made me cry. But no. I told them that I’m just fine and it was not her fault. I don’t think my supervisor and co-workers understand what I was going through that very moment, but in all fairness, they were nice to me, they even tried to make me laugh and comfort me.
Luckily, it was my lunch break. I was able to rest in the sleeping area and just cried out to God silently. What just happened was horribly embarrassing and scary for me. That was my 2nd panic attack this year, first in front of my friends and second, in front of my co-workers.
Though they may not know what was happening to me and what they saw was just a crying Jonine, they still witnessed the most embarrassing part of myself. My supervisor might be thinking I’m such an idiot others might be thinking I’m dramatic.
I hate how I always feel completely powerless to defend myself yet it is my choice to conceal my real situation. Partly due to my reserved personality and partly because I know that people won’t understand you unless you have wounds or bleeding to show proof that something is wrong.
For me, July has been the toughest month of 2017 so far. There were so many things I have to endure physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, but as I reflect back on my life, all I can see that help me make it through was the grace of God. I cannot stress how difficult it is to live with mental illness, but it’s so comforting to know that Jesus is with me through it all. He is not limited to continuously heal me.
July has reminded me how weak and fragile I am, how nothing I am apart from God. I can’t trust myself any longer, the only best thing I can do is to cling on to Him, entrust to Him my concerns and just trust Him.
“Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.” – Psalm 27:3
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 CORINTHIANS 12:8-10