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A Common Living Hell


By Caitlin FladagerPublished 6 months ago 2 min read

Having anxiety is not just feeling nervous.

It is a living hell.

Anxiety is ugly.

Anxiety is laying in my bed peacefully.

Almost ready to fall asleep.

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, my stomach starts to hurt a little.

“What’s wrong with me?”

“Why does my stomach hurt randomly?”

“Did I eat something bad?”

I feel the roof of my mouth with my tongue.

I realize it’s bone dry.

So, I get up to grab a glass of water.

Halfway to the kitchen, my stomach starts to hurt more. I realize my stomach is very upset.

I become more anxious.

As I go to the washroom, the diarrhea starts.

That’s how I know I’m about to have a really bad anxiety attack.

As I realize I won’t be sleeping anytime soon, I make my way to the couch.

As I sit on my couch, I start to shake uncontrollably.

I sit there, helpless, watching as my legs shake violently, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

I feel my heart rate increase.

It feels like it will beat right out of my chest.

I look at my clothes and notice I am starting to sweat through my t-shirt, in my usually freezing house.

I suddenly start to become very aware of the sounds around me.

Sounds are now amplified and I will jump if I hear a door shut.

I start to pick the skin on my forehead.

It starts to bleed a little, so I try to stop.

I try to say “I’m okay. I’m okay.” To myself.

Nothing is working.

I’m trapped in my own mind.

I start to feel nauseous.

“Am I dying?”

“What if I have food poisoning?”

“Ugh why did I eat that taco today?!”

“It probably wasn’t cooked!”

I realize suddenly that I now have a headache. I realize I have been violently clenching my teeth together this whole time.

As the shaking of body starts to slow down, the thoughts of losing control of my body start.

“What if I just go crazy??”

“I clearly have no control over my body right now, do I have control over my mind?”

As I think this, my stomach goes hot.

It feels like a pool of fire is sitting in my stomach.

That feeling right before that big drop off a huge roller coaster.

Except, I am sitting on my living room couch.

And I’m stuck with that awful feeling.

I start swallow a lot. I feel like something is in my throat.

I feel like I am about to choke.

So I keep swallowing.

I start to feel like I need to gag.

Which makes me scared, so I keep swallowing.

I do that until my throat is now dry too, from me over-swallowing.

I try to get a full breath, but I can’t.

It feels as if someone is sitting on my chest.

As I look out the window, I realize now that hours have passed.

The sun is up.

The birds are chirping.

I try to lay down and fall asleep.

I am exhausted.

Anxiety is a living hell.

Anxiety is ugly.

Anxiety isn’t just feeling nervous.

Anxiety is a living hell.


About the Creator

Caitlin Fladager

Mother | Wife | Mental Health Advocate

Telling my "Reel" truth about marriage & motherhood on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok & Vocal

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (1)

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  • Kim4 months ago

    You’re so strong 🖤

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