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This week I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I was torn between writing about my experience with starting the process of getting on anxiety meds, discussing my thoughts on Euphoria, or the emotionally draining aspects of filling out a job application. That all went out the window the moment my car tire popped on my commute home from school on the day that I was supposed to write this article. What was scary was the fact that I was on a busy street, and in a panic I veered into the bicycle lane before screeching to a halt, nearly hitting a sign and rear-ending other vehicles. 

Luckily, no one was hurt, but I was a few seconds away from having an anxiety attack as I shakily reached for my phone to call my parents and a tow truck. I felt myself emotionally checking out the entire time, talking to nearby pedestrians and police that came by to redirect traffic as my car was partially stuck in one of the lanes. This was also my first personal encounter with the law enforcement in my city, and I felt on-edge knowing they were now involved. In hindsight, I realized that I went into a traumatic shock to cope with what happened, as many things were going on at once. 

Everything seemed to come crashing back to reality when my dad was able to put on my spare tire and told me that I can drive my car home. The damage wasn’t as bad as I thought, yet I would still need to replace a couple of parts.  Because I was able to remain calm and collected throughout the entire ordeal, I assumed that I would maintain that composure. I was dead wrong and clutched the steering wheel, bawling my eyes out and hyperventilating as my mom watched me slowly drive home. All the past events seemed to sink in leading up to that moment and I felt paralyzed, terrified that something else was going to make the day worse.

I’m telling this story not only three hours after the initial incident to cope, but also to convey how trauma can impact people in different forms. People may argue that my story does not compare to what others face and that I am overreacting. However, this was the first time car trouble took place where I was alone. I desperately needed to control my anxiety to make sure that I could even get home, let alone talk to authority figures, reassure my parents, and call off the tow truck. That in itself took an insane amount of control and responsibility and emotionally exhausted me to the point where I feel anxious about getting behind the wheel.

Like many things, I know this takes time. I know that I am capable of moving forward and that the only thing stopping me from doing better is myself. This is why I’m now opting to take the time to write about this, talk to friends, and look to seek help if my own anxiety gets a little too out of control after this. I would recommend doing the same for those who are struggling like I am right now! 

Kayla Batchelor

UC Riverside '23

I'm an English major that is dedicated to writing about mental health, entertainment, relationships, politics, LGBTQIA+ issues, and literature.
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