Sam and struggles with invalidation.
I can remember the first time I realized something wasn’t right. I couldn’t have been any older than seven or eight. I couldn’t sleep, and I was panicking and seething with guilt, though I don’t remember why.
What I do remember is that I’d gotten into a habit of holding my breath and counting when I felt stressed like this. More specifically, I’d hold my breath and count to ten. Sometimes it would help for a moment, until the anxiety started to pummel me again, my thoughts racing like a runaway train.
I’d repeat the process, then, until I fell asleep or couldn’t hold my breath anymore.
1… 2… 3… 4… 5…
6… 7… 8… 9… 10.
(I always loved the number five and multiples of five.)
I remember how it struck me that, no matter how many sets of ten that I cycled through, it never seemed to truly help me…
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