Join Me in the Void

Dominic Savana, Cactus Editor

I’m pacing again, in a pitch black room, with the whir of my beat up laptop providing a convenient, ceaseless buzz to keep me from thoughts as dark as night. Thump, thump. My dog’s tail hits the door has he walks by my room, jarring me. I need to sit. I need to go outside for a walk. I need to sleep this off. I need to hide from this. I need to face this. I need to breathe.

I’m going to pass out…

I’m going to die…

I want to die…





…How is it possible that after all this time I find myself crippled by panic attacks? This is not my first, and it certainly will not be my last. And I’m sorry for describing this in morbid detail, but that’s what I tend to do. You see, I don’t have your common sensibilities to withhold details of depression because I’ve been taught that it is unhealthy and dangerous. It’s important to stay true to what is going on and let others know… just in case.

“I’m sorry” is a phrase that comes up a lot for anxious people like me, even when we shouldn’t be. Sorry. Perhaps we should take a step back? I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) when I was 17, though I’ve probably been anxious for a lot longer. Who knows? I’m a big guy, so I didn’t get bullied that much in high school, thank God, but I know this condition is harder for others, especially concerning bullying.

After six years of fighting anxiety and depression, I’ve learned to trust others more. It’s not easy to decipher reality when you’re in perpetual panic. It used to be harder to trust; getting to this point, to somewhat normal, has isolated me from friends and family throughout the years. Music is my constant confidant. Incessant foot tapping is my instrument. A psychiatrist in Italy once told me this was a way of tampering down feelings of dread. All of my finger tapping that earned me detentions in elementary school; if only the teachers knew? But would they react any differently? After six years, I’ve also learned that people don’t necessarily see anxiety as a legitimate ailment. Weak people have anxiety, or so those really strong people say. But you and I know how much strength it takes to live with this. Those people don’t know anything.

My dearest reader, I hesitantly ask you to join me here, down in the void, because you and I are kindred spirits. How long have I lived in a perpetual state of loneliness? How long have you? Now I’m six years older that when this all started. A lot has changed because even when I feel alone, my friends, family, and mentors are a call away, a drive away, or a text away. Whenever I’ve needed help, the hands I needed to grab on to were already there. Now I’m putting my hand out for you, for whenever you are ready.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);