Better late than never

Despite the romance going on, I still knew the guy I had in front of me; I still knew he was the one who rushes and pushes himself into new experiences with surprising perseverance and then withdraws with even greater dullness, as soon as he smells the risk of a dream come true. But the explanation I had always given to myself for his behaviour was that he gave up that frequently and that easily, just when he realized he was going to fail. I had always deemed it a self-preservation thing, through which he protected himself from the pain…

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Fine tuning

By mid-June my relationship with brand-new boyfriend was already flying high, he quickly winded up to be my main priority throughout the days. He literally was my first thought as I opened my eyes in the morning and my last thought before I fell asleep. And the same was happening to him; “I’m thinking of you all the time” he told me one day, while I was driving in my car. I had never felt so positively irrational in all my life, but my fears were still there and, luckily enough, so was my therapist. “I’m afraid it’s not going…

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A lot of firsts

“How do you understand when anxiety is finally over?” I’ve asked myself this question many times and let me be frank: I have no answer to that.   Nevertheless few months ago I casually stumbled upon the following quote and I believe I couldn’t have found a better way to describe my feelings:   Once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be…

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Let the romance begin

Ok, the title may sound a bit mushy, I know. But, after all, what did you expect after last post? It all begins with a kiss, right? That’s what happened to me, to us, as well. It all began with that kiss. I was still pretty afraid of so many things, but confusion was dissolving. I told everything to my therapist, of course, as soon as we met. “I’m glad about what’s happening, but I still have so many fears.” “Which ones?” she asked. “Oh gosh, where do I start from?” “Let’s start from the biggest ones, for example”. I…

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A separation

By the beginning of June the date of my travel was getting scarily near. I was starting to feel better, that’s true, but the only idea of being in a plane for almost two hours, far from home for five days and four nights, then back on a plane again was freaking me out. I tried not to think much about it, but every time the idea of the travel brushed by my mind, the same known sensations got back powerfully: my stomach cringed, my head started spinning, nausea arose, nerves got tense. I was terrified at the idea of…

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Let down my guard

I was basically starting to let down my guard. Or more simply, I was just trying to stop fighting windmills. Life had just shown me that I am way weaker and more vulnerable than I have ever imagined or wanted to be. But, as time went by and I felt better, I got more and more used to the idea that my fragility is not something I should be ashamed of, that it is even something that makes me a better person. Borrowing a metaphor from literature, I was starting to feel like my character on the stage had just…

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It must be the meds

By mid May, I was actually starting to feel better. I had been going to work every day for the last month, my fears about my best friend and me were getting thinner, time to go to sleep was still a critical moment, but insomnia was no longer the huge problem it had been. One day, it was a Saturday afternoon, I was supposed to go shopping for groceries with my brother. He wound up having some other things to do in the end and, without even thinking about it that much, I heard myself saying: “Don’t worry, I’ll go…

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Comebacks

The second half of April was the time for comebacks. My friends had been patiently waiting for news from me, some of them had probably already given up hope to ever hearing from me again, and my sick leave was going to expire. I probably had the chance to have one more week off from work, if I just asked my GP and told her I wasn’t feeling ready. And I actually wasn’t feeling ready, at all. However I was willing to try to get back, maybe I was just curious to see how things were going to go, or,…

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The world keeps spinning around

"spinning top" by Creativity103

During mid-April, one month after my March breakdown, I was still at home on sick leave. Almost all of my days were looking alike: wake up, breakfast, paroxetine, yoga, lunch, walk, groceries, afternoon snack, reading, dinner, movie, xanax, bed. Sleep was slowly getting better, days were looking a bit brighter and, after all, spring was finally disclosing. Yet life out of my house was still limited to my afternoon walks, invariably accompanied by one of my parents. The idea of getting back to work or simply going out either alone or with friends still scared the hell out of me.…

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I am…

Cliche by Tom Newby

During one of my first sessions, it was the beginning of April, while trying to collect details about the background of my story, my therapist asked me: “Do you remember having felt this way, or in a similar way to this, in your past? Do you recall having felt some or all of these symptoms at some point in your past life?” Sure I did, never in such a strong way and for this long, but I’ve been feeling anxious all my life: before every test at school, every race on the track, every university exam, every job interview, every…

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