When I was in high school, I used to have panic attacks. I'm not really sure why they happened or why I haven't had one for years now...but I do remember how horrible it felt when they occurred. Sometimes when the bell would ring and we'd have to leave class to go out into the hallway and walk to our next class, it took everything in me to force myself out the door. I remember walking slowly and having a hard time breathing...everything around me seemed to be on fast forward and I was stuck in this slow motion abyss...I could hear my own heart pounding in my ears...it felt like everyone was staring at me...I could hear voices off in the distance echoing laughter and chatter with friends. I could only focus on the sound of my own breath filling my lungs and making sure I put one foot in front of the other until I got to my next class and could sit down.
It's bizarre really...I'm positive no one was staring at me. I'm positive they were all just carrying on about their day. Just as quickly as the panic attacks would start...they would end. I could breathe normally again...my heart would stop pounding in my ears...and everything around me felt like it was at normal speed again.
You're probably wondering why I'm sharing this with you at this point, right? I mean it has nothing to do with Emma or her diabetes. To be honest, I'm not really sure why I decided to share it. I think really just to share that things aren't always what they seem. In high school...like now...I was a good kid. I had a lot of friends...I never really followed the crowd I guess. I was funny and weird and loyal to those I loved. The panic attacks didn't happen constantly...but they did happen.
Diabetes is sort of like that I suppose....you can't really see it per se...people who haven't known Emma for a while and don't know she has diabetes, would probably be surprised to find out she does. We all walk around going about our business everyday. We get so wrapped up in our own lives and our own obstacles...that sometimes I think we lose sight of everything else.
Sometimes when I'm out in public...standing in line at the grocery store or at the park or even eating at a restaurant, I look around and actually see the people around me. I wonder what they are feeling in that moment...what they are dealing with...what the day has brought them. I think it's important to see past your own bubble and your own moments...your own struggles.
Maybe I'm just babbling here...I don't know...it happens. Take a second next time your out though...look around you and actually SEE the people you pass by..it's pretty interesting to see how many of us wear our emotions all over our faces...and how many of us put on the mask.