Tick-tock, tick-tock, I concentrate on the clock's steady, constant sound, trying to stay calm and breathe. I have many secrets; I will go ahead and tell this one. I have anxiety attacks…frequently. They have triggers and I don't always know what they are or what the trigger was that caused them. They happen because I bottle things up, ignoring the pain, hurt, and other feelings I have. Placing them in a box and storing them away, trying to hide, forget, and dispose of them.
In class I sit, listening to this clock's steady sound, trying to prevent breaking in front of all these people. The pain is tolerable at the moment, so if need be, I can smile and laugh like a normal person. I will be able to present myself as still intact, pain free, and act as if I am having a wonderful day. I would only be able to pull of that fake act for a few moments though because acting like that and going through those motions, would only cause my anxiety attack to increase.
Today, lucky for me, my teacher is talking an awful lot. All I have to do is listen and pay close attention. When my teacher is talking nobody else is having side conversations. No other conversations being made during the teacher's lecture means not having to put on a, "perfect, everything is ok" act. If the teacher was not giving us a lecture on frequencies, we would be writing down notes or working on a worksheet. This would result in my friends being in a chatty mood.
Four of my best friends share this class with me. Mary and Jana sit side by side, up front, in the first two rows. I sit in the second row with Alice on my left and Carmen on my right. Those two would be extremely curious of the reason for which I am keeping my mouth shut. I'm well known for being a talkative person after all.
Suddenly a sharp pain shoots through my chest and I clench my jaw. Damn anxiety attack. I try to breathe normal but I can't anymore do to the pain. During an anxiety attack, holding your breathe is the absolute worse thing you could do. I tend to do this a lot because breathing typically becomes one of the most painful things to experience while enduring an anxiety attack.
Alice looks at me funny and I respond by flashing a reassuring smile her way. Alice smiles back with eyes, full of uncertainty. This tells me she plans to confront me after class. By confronting me I mean she plans to ask me one of the questions I hate most. I need to get my anxiety attack to quit and get myself in a talkative mood.
I look at the clock and count the minutes until lunch. I look back at Alice, who is starring intently at me, and rub my tummy then hold up two fingers, then five. Alice nods her head thinking I just seem weird at the moment because I am hungry. I let her go on believing this as I zone out thinking.
That is one thing that triggers my anxiety attacks and also something that can help them decrease in size. All the time I am constantly thinking… of everything. I start to think about things, talking to myself to try and calm down, decreasing my anxiety attack to a more tolerable level.
The bell rings and I am feeling more myself. The anxiety attack is barely noticeable now. I move my stuff to the chair farthest from the front and the teacher's desk, my favorite chair. Mary moves next to me, Carmen next to her, and Austin, Carmen's boyfriend, next to her. My other two friends leave along with a few other classmates for there next class.
This class is our study hall period. I have no homework that I would like to work on so I read. I wish I had more time to read because nothing can make me feel better like reading does. I just absolutely, positively love reading. The smell of books themselves are comforting. I love the feel of opening a book and the awe feeling I get while reading.
When I read it's like I am the actual character, or I am actually there. One of the greatest and saddest moments is finishing a book.
I smile thinking of all of this as I pick my book up. "What's that grin about Opal?" Carmen says with a teasing tone. "Is someone thinking about a boy perhaps?"
The smile on my face falters for a millisecond, before I am able to put a smile of embarrassment in its place. "Maybe, what's it to you?" I say cunningly.
"Oh, who is it?" Carmen responds
"Just some guy." I say slowly
"Allen by any chance?" Carmen replies with a touch of excitement.
"No." I say simply as my smile disappears almost all together. Allen and I haven't talked in months. Not after I broke up with him. That was one of my biggest mistakes. Allen was and still is the only guy I truly fell for.
"Sorry, I didn't "
"No, no it's fine. Really." I respond in a reassuring, positive tone with a touch of sarcasm and a growl. I smile at her one last time before opening the cover of my book. Yes I know I lied to her and was asking for something like that to be thrown out there, but if I told her it was really because I was thinking of books and what I love about them, such as their smell, she would have thought I was being weirder than normal. I don't like that but that's how people I associate with describe me. They mostly describe me with that one simple word, weird.
The bell sounds announcing the end of the first lunch shift and study hall. I groan as its loud sound pulls me out of my story and places me back into reality. I pick up my things and join my friends at the door so we can head off to lunch together.
I absolutely hate stairs. They kill my knees making them ach with shooting pains as I walk. I make it laughable by seeming like an old, fat person walking up the stairs. Hey, might as well. It keeps people from feeling sorry for me and gives them a laugh. I love making people laugh. It makes me feel good and smile a bit.
After reaching the commons, we throw our stuff down and get our lunch cards. Then we go stand in line to get a tray of food that surprisingly hasn't caused a zombie apocalypse or everyone here who has eaten its death. This is a normal day at school. This is practically all I do. Go to class, eat diseased food, and go home to get up the next morning and repeat.
I know what you're thinking. This is the most boring, dragging on forever, story ever. Well, this is because we are just getting it started. There are plenty more details coming that will take this story in a whole new direction. For we have just begun this story.