ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Imaginary Monsters - A Personal Essay

Updated on February 26, 2014

It’s similar to the fear you felt when the murderer crept across the movie screen, compelling you to check behind your shower curtain every time you enter the bathroom. It’s similar to the monster in the video game that haunts your mind with visions of terror, urging you to leave a lamp on during the night as you search for precious sleep.

Throughout my teenage years, I was oppressed – not by a person or organization or anything tangible that I could escape. Do not take this as to say my childhood was not spent with a carefree spirit, nor my teenage years lived without laughter. Both were filled with episodes of happiness. But sometimes, happiness seemed far away. I recall the first time this happened.

I was alone, sitting on my bed during the evening. A dark cloud settled over my mind. My heart pounded within my tightened chest. My breath quickened. I reached out my hand to grab anything within reach to clench it tight while I pressed my other hand against my chest in a desperate attempt to keep it still. My fingers found a blanket nearby. I ripped it off of whatever it was wrapped around and pulled it close to my abdomen. I panicked as I tried to slow my breath. But, my body had taken control and it would not relinquish it. My shoulders and arms buzzed as my veins flooded with an overabundance of oxygen. I yanked the blanket up to my mouth to cover it. The fuzzy micro spun fabric blocked most of the air, drastically reducing the oxygen entering my bloodstream. The buzz in my extremities gradually reduced as my breathing slowed and my chest stilled. My mind remained cloudy. I dropped the blanket and let my body fall to the side, overtaken with exhaustion. Only when I drifted off to sleep did I find peace.

When I woke, I recalled the event. I asked myself what had happened and why. I searched for answers. I perused my limited knowledge of medical conditions. “Could I have some sort of sickness?” I asked myself. “No, no, that’s not it.” I dismissed the notion and consoled myself with the thought that it was only a one-time occurrence. It was only after the fifth time that I pursued help.

In today’s technology and information-soaked world, my first reaction was to seek help through facts. I sifted through various articles online. They told me that I had experienced a panic attack.

“Panic attack?” I thought. “I panicked?” I resented the suggestion that I could be so mentally and emotionally weak. But, something inclined me to continue reading. One article noted that my body reacted the way it did because it sensed that I was in danger, activating its “fight-or-flight” response.

“In danger? In danger of what?” I recounted the events preceding the panic attacks. All of them included stress-inducing thoughts. Most notably was the thought of a career and finding a job after high school. One of my brothers was in the process of applying to colleges. I saw the stress in his face as he considered his skills, his likes and dislikes, and his options as a result. But, he never seemed to panic. He embarked on his quest for a career one step at a time. I began think that something was wrong with me, thus inducing another panic attack.

As the years progressed, I became wearied at how frequent the panic attacks were becoming. By the time my high school years were coming to an end, I now couldn’t control where my panic attacks would occur. They would happen at work, forcing me to seek refuge in the bathroom as I fruitlessly tried to calm myself. They would happen at school. They would happen in the car. I could not control them. But what scared me the most is that I didn’t know what caused my body to panic.

What frightened it so much that it forced me to hide away? I could point to certain things like college-preparation or studying for a test that produced vast amounts of stress. But, others were going through the exact same things. They weren’t panicking. Their bodies weren’t shutting down. What made these thoughts more lethal to my mind than theirs?

It wasn’t until years later while I was in the middle of my college years that it hit me like an ocean wave violently crashing down on my head: it wasn’t the thoughts or events that were causing my body to panic. It was my perception of them.

I had given those thoughts power by elevating their importance or placing my self-worth on their outcomes. Like a mad scientist feeding his diabolical creation, I fed my fears to make them become bigger. I gave them power. In return, they made me powerless. They sapped my strength. They reduced me to a cowering, trembling child.

At that moment, I had a solution: don’t give them power. But, then who do I give it to? We must give power to something. Giving it to other imperfect human beings will only produce the same results. Giving it to me might do the same, as I am no more capable of being perfect, trustworthy, or unwavering as anyone else. Who deserves this control?

Only one who is perfect. Only one who is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and steadfast. Who on earth perfectly possesses these qualities?

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis

Do you experience panic attacks?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)