Mind Games


“The bravest thing I’ve ever done is continuing to live when I wanted to die”

~ JULIETTE LEWIS

I sat on the couch watching television with my best friend, her boyfriend and his best friend. Everyone was laughing and discussing the show’s shenanigans and how reality tv was so unrealistic. All of a sudden out of nowhere I started hearing loud sirens and my heart started beating so loud and so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. Panicking because I thought I was dying I looked around the room at everyone else who appeared to be unfazed but the loud sirens.

“Do y’all hear that?”I asked clearly frightened. 

“Hear what?” my friend asked clearly concerned. 

That’s when it hit me I was the only person that could hear the sirens because the sirens weren’t real. The sirens were in my head. 

Then I couldn’t breathe. My shortness of breath was so bad I could barely grasp for air. I’m definitely having a heart attack I thought to myself. I started holding my chest trying to catch my breath. 

“Are you ok?” My friend asked.

“Yea I just can’t breathe” I said trying to stand up. 

My friend called 911 out of concern. Now the sirens were real. When the ambulance arrived to her apartment 20 mintiest later I was fine the moment passed. My heart rate went back to normal and I was able to breath. I went to the emergency room and got a X-ray and the doctor told me I was fine.  He said my lungs were clear and I was free to go after about two hours. 

I didn’t know it then, but I just experienced my first panic attack. It was so weird to me because I wasn’t stressed or upset. It just happened out of the blue with no warning and for no rhyme or reason. 

Then three months later I woke up out of my sleep shaking because I was so scared. That’s when I heard footsteps in my living room, and then I heard the door handle jiggle. I was so scared I just started  screaming and called 911. Once I screamed I heard the footsteps run towards the window and then I heard what I thought was someone climbing out the window down the building walls.

The 911 operator was so nice and agreed to stay on the phone with me until the police arrived. I would say 15 minutes passed before the police arrive, but the 911 operator kept me calm the whole time. Once the police knocked on the door I was too scared to leave my room to open the door. I didn’t know what or who waited for me on the other side of the door, but after a minute or so I gained enough courage to open the door.

Once I stood in the living room I realized everything was all in my head. No one had ever been in my apartment and not even Spider-Man himself could have climbed up and down the walls of my third floor apartment. 

The officer was very compassionate and understanding even though I clearly wasted his time and tax payer dollars. He walked through my apartment and made sure no one was there. He opened all the cabinets, closet doors even the oven.

“Your just scared no one is here” he said.

“I’m sorry” I said clearly embarrassed.

The officer left and I went back to my bed were my son was laying sleep. He never woke up through any of the nights events. Not from me screaming bloody murder when I thought I under attack or from the police pounding on the door. He never woke up he just slept peacefully and unbothered. 

I just sat straight up in my bed and cried. I cried because I felt like I was loosing my mind. I felt crazy and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. Not having control over my own mind or my feelings was extremely scary and disheartening. “Janay you really are crazy” I repeated to myself as I sobbed. I pride myself on being a strong woman, but at that moment I felt weak.

The next day I contacted a therapist. I decided I could no longer suffer in silence. I could no longer be a hostage to my own mind. I’ve been going to therapy faithfully for the last year and a half trying to work through my issues. My therapist explained to me that I shouldn’t feel weak. She explained how strong I am for taking the steps to get help. She said I’m strong for not allowing myself to suffer in silence. I still have panics attacks, but I now know how to breathe through them. I’ve been diagnosed with chronic depression and PTSD. I refuse to let those titles define me and I’m working on being the best version of myself I can be. It sounds corny but I may currently have depression, but depression doesn’t have me. Depression does not define me or who I am as a person. I will not be a slave to depression. 

If your reading this and suffering from depression, anxiety, paranoia or any other mental illness do not allow yourself to suffer in silence. Reach out to a therapist, a friend, or a counselor. Get help and understand that you are not in this fight alone. 

Helpful resources: 

Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. (BCRI)410-433-5175

https://bcresponse.org/index.html

Sheppard Pratt Urgent Assessment Line410-938-HELP (4357)

https://www.sheppardpratt.org/patient-care-and-services/crisis-services/

National Suicide Prevention Line:

1-800-273-8255

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66 thoughts on “Mind Games

  1. You are not alone in this fight. We are here. WE,as black women are supposed to be superhuman. Nothing is suppose to get to us.
    But that’s not reality! Good for you for making that first step! That is the hardest step,believe it or not. Keep going and know that your sisters are here for support and encouraging 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words 💚

      Like

  2. Definitely needs to be read by alot of people

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Robert. Hopefully someone can read this and relate: I hope my words can help someone struggling with depression or anxiety.

      Like

  3. laughlovelivelearnblog February 19, 2019 — 12:11 am

    It takes courage to share such a personal story. You are not alone in this fight, and that is a message that needs to be spread to othera.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I hope sharing my storing can help someone else. 💚

      Like

  4. So many suffer in silence. Thank you so much for being brave emotion share your story. You’re helping so many people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I understand how you feel! Everyone goes through moments, similar to your experience. Though to different extents and intensity.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Raising awareness is so important. Thank you for being so open and honest.

    Like

  7. Telling about oneself is never easy, but often what most afflicts us can become a real inspiration for others. Good girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are not alone in this fight… many people should read this post… you are very brave to post your personal story 👍🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing your story! You are so, so strong for seeking help! Never feel ashamed or embarrassed for it. We’re with you 100%!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You, Me and Benny March 1, 2019 — 4:52 pm

    wow I am so glad you shared this!! This is definitely something that needs to be heard by everyone because so many people deal with this and it needs to be seen just HOW many people actually do! Everyone always feels like we’re alone in this and we’re not – and it’s nice to know that!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I must say, you made my day with an article on mind games

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lauragetsrichinhealth March 1, 2019 — 5:16 pm

    Its so true…you don’t notice from the way someone looks or acts. I had similar experiences with panic attacks and luckily I haven’t had one in a while, but probably because I notice them coming on and can control them better. Good job for getting help and using your experience to help others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! Hopefully I can get to a place where I know when they are coming so I can stop them!

      Like

  13. Wow this is intense, thanks for being so open and sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. many people are going through the same thing. they should definitely read this

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So brave and courageous to share this. I enjoyed reading your story

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Andrew McKoscielecky March 1, 2019 — 9:16 pm

    Hello Girl! You are not alone ! You can make it! Look how many people are supporting you here! Probably more you have also outside blog ! 🙂
    Just do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for having the courage to share your experience. It sounds very scary and overwhelming. I hope you are doing better now. Anxiety can hit anyone at anytime so i think it’s important to be aware.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You are not alone. I’m so proud that you are getting help and working through it. Your story is inspiring and it will inspire others to know that they are no alone either.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love the way you explained that you have PTSD and depression but basically the dont have you. You’re determined to keep your mental health strong and that is awesome

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Neil Alvin Nicerio March 2, 2019 — 10:57 am

    Oh… That brings out a new perspective of depression. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  21. This broke my heart! I’m glad you are alright. I’ve experienced this before so you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for sharing. It must have been terrifying to be hearing things, you’d never know what was real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is extremely scary. Thanks for reading 💚

      Like

  23. This is so powerful and I am glad that you shared your story. You are so strong! My coworker has had panic attacks lately and I been supporting her the best I can. I feel like anyone can get an attack at any time.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I hate when I have panic attacks, they are so scary and seem to come out of nowhere for no reason at times. I get severe panic attacks that mimic a lot of stroke symptoms, My vision gets messed up and my speech gets messed up as well along with a few other things but after a little bit or a nap they all go away. There isn’t much that I’ve found to help prevent panic attacks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. O wow I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Do you drink caffeine? Maybe lowering the amount you drink can help. However I still have bad panic attacks too and I try everything to prevent them. I try stress relief everything. Hopefully one day we will be get rid of these awful panic attacks💚

      Like

  25. Matija Antonić March 3, 2019 — 9:59 am

    I couldn’t imagine what you have been going through, but you are not alone, you have friends, family and people that care about you, and you can always ask them for help or just to be there for you, I have a few friends that had a panic attack and it’s bad when you feel powerless to help them but you hate to see them suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. You are the most courageous woman I’ve come across so far for even putting all of these in words!You are an inspiration and may your words be an encouragement to those who remain silent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 💚 I really hope my words can help at least one person!

      Like

  27. you are going through a lot of things and the depression is not good for health. I recommend you to do meditation. you can learn it on youtube or hire some professionals. Also, I would suggest you to join healing sessions. Reiki healing is best. Hope you will feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I have looked into meditation and I’ve started yoga.

      Like

  28. Very deep and honest post – thanks for being so open

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Wow what an honest and courageous post. I’m sure it took a lot of strength to share. Thank you so much for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading 💚 it absolutely took a lot of strength but I’m just hoping I can help one person in a similar situation! 😊

      Like

  30. Wow, what a personal post. Honestly, you are most definitely not along with stuff like this. It is something that more and more people are talking about and I know how hard this must have been to put out there for people. You are strong, brave and beautiful and you’re right. It does not define you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 💚 it’s definitely hard sharing stories like this but it so worth it to get people speaking about mental health.

      Like

  31. I am so glad you shared this story. It can help many others in this situation. Just know you are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Panic attacks sound awful. Many people suffer from them so you are not alone in this fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I love this text as it touches upon a really important topic. I also love the quote, as we often experience such feelings and the most important is to carry on and not to give up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 💚 I agree mental health is a really important topic!

      Like

  34. i remember my first panic attack like it was yesterday. so scary! i’ve learned to control them now, but it’s not always easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you have learned to control them. They are extremely scary! 💚

      Like

  35. Michael David Oyco March 20, 2019 — 1:18 am

    True, hard to notice but let us just try our best to be sensitive and encourage one another

    Liked by 1 person

  36. how courageous of you to share this! life will have its ups and downs and anytime we have to be constantly strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do agree we have to be constantly strong! Thank you 💚

      Like

  37. Good post to aware people. I had an unexpected panic attack due to stress in sleep and then after getting up the next 8 hours were difficult to breathe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The worst panic attack I ever had was at night! It’s awful I’m glad you are ok!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. You are courageous and an inspiration for all people who suffer from depression but stay silent because they are afraid of not getting any support from family. But with the right help one can stay ahead of these dibilitating issues and live a fruitful life. Thanks for sharing this helpful article that will no doubt help so many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope I can help someone speak out loud about their depression. Thank you 💚

      Like

  39. It’s amazing how platforms as great as this are here to share help and resources for mental health. This work is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. This is such an important post and it’s so important to bring it to light that Depression comes in all forms and avenues. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Fatima D Torres March 21, 2019 — 8:35 am

    Oh wow. You’re brave for taking action and for reassuring yourself that this wasn’t normal. Glad you got the help you needed. through all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Thank you for sharing this. I sometimes experience panic attack and I know how hard it is. It is really important to seek for help.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Hugs jaynaylee! I think you are brave for reaching out to a therapist. I used to have anxiety when my husband was working nights. We decided he should resign and work at home to help me with my anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you were able to compromise! I hope you don’t much better now 💚

      Like

  44. Suicide and depression are no joke. I’m really glad you were able to work through it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I feel like there is a big stigma sorrounding mental illness.As a result, many people don’t like to talk about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. I am so happy you were honest and share your story on your platform. I had panic attacks before they seem very real but they are triggered by extreme stress. I am happy you have a therapist and you are working through your problems.

    Liked by 1 person

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