Cathy R., age 34. Brooklyn, NY
I am trying to make life simple again.
The panic is constantly taunting me.
Threatening to show itself to company.
This feeling is unbearable.
I haven't felt this way since I was 16, and then 22,
and then now,
and all of the times in between that I blamed it on life being difficult.
Circumstances forever changing. Relationships ending.
The day to day tasks and obligations that others seem to navigate,
but make me freeze.
The walking in circles.
Back tracking my steps.
Forgetting details as soon as I allow my mind to wander.
Trying to figure out why I am here and not there.
The constant worrying.
Is just time consuming.
My chest feels like it's going to cave in.
My stomach in knots.
The comfort of having water close by at all times soothes me.
And antacids in my bag.
And the ability to phone a friend.
It is difficult to grasp because the highs are so high.
And the lows are terrifying.
I am unsure if I should go on medication.
Psychiatrist thinks I should.
Therapist thinks there are other ways.
I just want to be uncomplicated.
Do I really need them?
I function, I create, I am a friend, a daughter, a coworker, I get through my days.
I also cry, panic, hoard, have rituals, and I am afraid.
It's all very confusing.
Everything is sitting on the surface and I feel naked and exposed.
When I'm not productive,
it makes me feel invisible.
I am wrapped with guilt.
All I hear is my head telling me that I'm not good enough,
Not strong enough,
Not talented enough to make this life.
And though I know different,
It makes everything black and makes me grip onto nothingness as if it defines me.
This weeks challenge is allowing the emotions to happen as they come,
instead of suppressing them until I cannot breathe.
The tears flow but they do not over power me this time.
It was not always like this.
This will pass, again.
It has to.