I never ever like to talk about panic. All because it brings not so good memories. It brings me to the days where I totally live my life being panicky. All those frustrations that resulted to decades of suffering from depression. However, that was time gone by; and experiences that had been lived and learned.
My panicky behavior started when I was sixteen years old. Before that I live the life of a fearful duckling. Just mention my name and my body’s alarm will immediately ring and would give me the choice between fight or flight.
Anyways, this was how it happened. Since I was one of the top students in our class my teacher chose me to be the class’ representative for the declamation contest. It was the foundation anniversary of our school. As is custom of every school, contest like this is common. That time there was no internet yet. No YouTube videos to serve as an example or explained how something is done. Everybody was not that expressive too. My teacher gave me my piece but did not work with me in the practice. I just practiced inside my room alone. Since I was not the expressive type, it did not occur to me to ask someone or even my teacher to practice with me and gave feedback on how I was doing.
When the contest arrived I was very nervous. I got even nervous before that. Just the thought of it, doubled my heartbeat. So then I climbed up the stage when my name was called. The stares of the audience alarmed me. I started to utter the words nervously. After uttering the two lines, my mind went blank. I groped for words. To my dismay I did not found any. The auditorium was then filled with deafening silence. That silence seemed to last for eternity. Then there was murmuring from the audience. The murmuring grew and I felt it was going to eat me until I surrendered myself in defeat. I dragged myself and embarrassingly returned the microphone to the emcee who happened to be my class adviser. She took off the microphone which was tied around my neck in irritation. I was an embarrassment to her.
Then and there everybody seemed to look at me as a loser. Nobody tried to tell me, hey it was okay. My world crumbled. Honestly, at that point I wished the earth would crack and eat me up. How I wished the people would not remember my face or even may forget my name.
Consequently, I lost my self-confidence. I became irritable and hot-tempered. A very nervous person to add. Worst, depression started to engulf my whole being.
For years, I have not won a goal at once. I started something and when the going gets rough I gave up. Then start all over again the next time. I stopped from my studies and entered in the nunnery. Because of depression I went out eventually. I was advised by the sisters to seek professional help. I did not. I carried my depression alone. My family even did not understand why I behaved the way I did and sometimes judged my poor character.
Through all those experiences there was one who never gave up on me. He was called God. Ever since I was a child I was a bit of prayerful. I prayed and prayed that God would take away the cross I was carrying. He led me to read certain books and met inspiring personalities through my reading. But my healing did not happen instantly. It took decades before I could finally say, I was healed. I did not even realized I was healed. I just woke up one day and realized life was beautiful and too precious to live it in fear.
My bout with panic, depression and everything made me fearless and bold. Fear still stares me in the face but my body is strong enough not to surrender to its whims. Acceptance and letting go were keys to my healing. However, without my God my life might have ended years ago; for the thought of giving up on life many times occurred to me.
Now I could say, I am a little braver and no longer the nervous duckling I used to be. That panicky little thing. In the grand scale of life I still have not found my right place. But finding a home in myself is the greatest achievement I could be proud of. All because my God did not let go of me; did not leave me floating in the air; loved me for everything that I am.
My message to “panic”? Your shadow may look gigantic; but at the voice of my enormous God you disappear quickly like bubbles in the air.
Life is beautiful. May we live it fully!