When I was younger, I asked my mother to bring me to a psychiatrist because I believed that there’s something wrong with me. I had panic attacks and I got sick to my stomach I always wanted to skip school. It was during my first year in high school.

Every morning was like hell for me, I was wishing to get fever because that was the only reason my mother would allow me to miss school. I thought of putting garlic under my underarms to make my temperature rise because according to my mother, that’s what she did when she was younger. I chickened out and went to school every day.

I remember not being able to sleep on school nights because I was anticipating what will happen the following day in school. I knew then as a kid that it was panic attacks. I was sweating heavily, lost my appetite, and lost interest in school.

My mother reasoned with me and told me that I was just adjusting to my new school and I should give it some time. I came from a small school with only 14 of us in the graduating class and the new school had 60 students in one section. There was 5 sections total for the first year students. I believed my mother and stayed in school for 2 more weeks.

My panic attacks persisted and I already told my mother that I want to quit school or at least get me a doctor. I felt back then that the doctor can help me with my “condition”, with what I felt. She decided to move me to another school after two weeks with familiar faces. I transferred to a school near my house where I knew at least 10 people in the school.

I never talked about that “incident” with anyone ever again until few weeks ago when I opened up to my high school friend when I had another episode, another panic attack.

This is my normal. I was never diagnosed medically. My hospital here in New York has a program about depression and I would always answer questionnaires pertaining to being lonely, being depressed, or having suicidal thoughts. I always say NO to those questions. I don’t want to be labeled and I don’t want to take medications.

One thing I noticed about the health care system here in America is that they always prescribe medications in every single diagnosis. My doctor gave me 3 tablets for my blood pressure last year, if I said YES to those questions about depression, I’m sure they will give me another list of medication to take. I want none of that.

I have another episode this morning. I woke up really down for no reason at all. I felt helpless. I felt like there’s something I need to do but I have no idea what. My sadness turned to anger and I was mad at people for no apparent reason. I went to the gym to walk it off. That is what I do to make myself feel better. I walk.

Sometimes I talk. I talk with some friends that would understand. The problem with this kind of condition is that not everybody will understand. Not everybody will have the time to listen. I always find myself in that situation being an immigrant here in New York City, there’s no one to talk to. I left my closest friends in the Philippines and the 12-hour time difference doesn’t help as well.

This is why I started writing again. I feel like I have a lot of things on my chest, on my mind that I need to let out somehow. I’m not expecting a reply but knowing that I let it out in the universe eases my mind a bit.

I feel better now. Thank you for reading universe.


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