Yesterday was one of those days when I wish I hadn’t of gotten out of bed – and not just because of the election in America.
It started off okay – by which I mean, I got up and felt a range of emotions about the election results that were all over the news, but although they will have an impact on the world, it wasn’t directly affecting me as I was having breakfast.
Then I got to uni and was most of the way through my journalism lecture when the speaker casually mentioned an incident in Croydon where “some people died”. My stomach dropped. Croydon is where I’m from.
In a haze, I whipped out my phone and looked it up – a tram had derailed and although the photos didn’t show anyone involved they did show the amount of ambulances and paramedics on scene. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like a toy train a toddler had thrown to the ground – trams shouldn’t be able to do that.
All I could think about was my mum.
I needed to get out. Ice filled my veins as I thought about what had happened. What if she was there? What if it was her? What if…? Everything was rushing through my head so fast it was making me feel sick. I was choking on air. I made it to the bathroom before my legs gave out and the sick wasn’t just a feeling.
This wasn’t my first panic attack, but it was one of the worst.
After 10 minutes of pure panic, I stopped shaking enough to call her and I thought my heart was going to jump straight out of my chest. She answered. She was okay – but I wasn’t.
The thing about anxiety is that I have no control over it.
She was okay. She wasn’t even anywhere near the accident. She was driving to work anyway. But to my anxiety, she could have been. I broke all over again trying to explain it. I’m still crying thinking about it.
Yesterday was rough. Today is still bad, but tomorrow will be better.
There’s a lot of healing to be done after yesterday. For the people who were there, for their friends and family, for anyone out there hurting because the world has become a scary and uncertain place. No one can tell what’s going to happen next week, next month, next year, but I do know that whatever it is, I am so lucky to be surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about me. I’m grateful for the people who dedicate their life to saving other people’s. I know that there are people out there doing good things, making the world a little better even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Life is precious. Even when times are tough, there is still love. There will always be love.