Her heart rate escalated, her hands were shaking and her whole world was spinning. This was the second time in her life she got an anxiety attack, however it was the first time she lost consciousness because of it. She woke up in a hospital bed, with barely any memory of what happened to her. The last thing she could remember was not being able to breath, hyperventilation and dizziness.
“Why am I here?” she asked.
“You passed out last night after having a panic attack. Your heart rate is still high; once it’s stable you will be discharged,” replied the doctor.
She closed her eyes and started remembering the previous day, or to be more accurate the previous week, to try and figure out what might have caused her anxiety attack. Her life had been relatively stable for a while. She had a steady job, which paid bills and basic essentials. She had a home and a supportive roommate, who also happened to be her best friend. However, she was in debt; a debt with an interest, which is accruing every month at an astounding rate. She had been working for six years to cover that debt, but no matter how hard or how long she works it doesn’t seem enough. By only working part-time for all those years she was only able to pay half her debt.
“How are you?” asked her friend.
“I want to go home,” she replied.
“The doctor said you can’t go home until tomorrow.”
“That’s not what I mean. I want to leave the country and go back to my family, whom I haven’t seen in two and a half years. I’m tired and exhausted. Every time I put one part of life together another falls apart. For years I’ve been getting by with the bare minimum, and saying to myself tomorrow is another day, a better day. But do you see anything in my life drastically improving? I’m strained by this debt to the extent that I literally collapsed,” she cried.
Her friend was unable to respond. She knew that all she said was true, and she understood the kind of pressure she was under, but she couldn’t conceive or even imagine the idea of her best friend leaving. She held her hand and tried to calm her down, and thought of how else she might be able to help her. However, to a great extent, they were both on the same sinking boat; therefore there was really nothing much she could do.
“Visiting hours are over. She needs to rest,” said the doctor.