Recently I’ve started to have panic attacks.

Not the little things where you get nervous and upset about something.

Not the sort of things that people speak disdainfully of trigger warnings and disgust for refusing to listen to opposing view points.

My muscles become tense. The next day my body feels as if I’ve been beaten with a steel bar. My shoulders ache, and my  legs feel like rubber. My arms tell me that I’ve lifted mountains, and I’ll pay for it.

My heart races. Not as if I have run laps, but as if it will burst from my chest and smother me with it’s beats. When it does that I’m reminded that my family has heart problems, and I try my best to slow it down with breathing and mental exercises. It doesn’t help.

While my heart races and my muscles tense, I start to shake. I keep my mouth slightly open and my tongue between my teeth to keep people from hearing my teeth chatter inside my skull. Usually it works, but they can still see my hands, unsteady and unable to properly write, or draw, or do anything really. While my body shakes beyond my control I try to keep myself curled into a ball. It helps me feel slightly more in control of myself. But not much.

My breath usually comes easy, except while I’m in the middle of an attack. During an attack, I have to remember how to breath, to tell my lungs to pull in air. To not let the fear keep me trapped.

Physically, panic attacks are a cake walk. My body reacting to something is much easier than my mind, convincing me that there is SOMETHING that is going to shatter me. I’m not afraid of dying, I’m not afraid of heights, I have no fear of spiders, or snakes, venomous or not. Darkness holds no problems for me. But this, this mind numbing terror, I’m afraid of this. Something in my mind will swallow me whole, and leave nothing but the shell of who I used to be.

After my attacks, my brain starts to disconnect from itself. I’m outside myself and my circumstances. I still am afraid, still can’t control my shaking, but I’m not longer me. I’m no longer the person I have built and become. I’ve found myself wandering the street outside my home, barefoot, in the dark.

I’m scared of what my brain is doing to me. I’m afraid that I’ll do something while I’m not myself, afraid that I’ll become something I don’t want to be.

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This morning I had a conversation that made me really think about relationships and marriage.

I was speaking to someone who doesn’t share my views regarding relationships about being committed to a partner. This person told my they feel that most people really consider their life with another person and feel committed to that future only after they marry.

It made me think about how much trouble I have with reconciling commitment and being poly, which is kind of silly because I know when I’m with a partner I consider myself totally committed.

But what does that mean?

I’m not promising them they’ll be the only one I love, but that when I’m with them I’ll love all of them.

When I’m committed to someone I’m promising I’ll be there through hard times and when things look bad.

What is commitment to other people though? How does a partner convey commitment without giving in to the relationship escalator?

 

Drugs are bad ‘mkay?

Except when they’re not.

Except when you need them.

Except when, without taking them, you’re not going to make it.

Then drugs aren’t bad.

Growing up, I was in therapy a lot. Apparently my childhood wouldn’t be considered ideal.  I know right? Who knew?

But in those years of therapy, off and on from about 5 to 15, I resisted medications. My parents discouraged me from medications. They wanted us to try other options first.

Let me say this right now, NO. NO NO NO NO NO.

If you’re depressed, and YOU feel like you need medication, please talk to a skilled professional. It took my dear cousin, when I was 12, saying that it WASN’T NORMAL to want to die. I reached out at that time to get counseling, but still didn’t start medication for my depression.

That’s what I have, depression.

Did you know it’s super, crazy, ridiculously common?

Over 3 MILLION cases in the US every year.

It doesn’t mean we’re bad people, it doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be happy. It means that we’re sick. It means that the chemicals in our brain aren’t working as they should.

If you amputated your legs would you just tell yourself to snap out of it and get better? Get mad because your non existent legs aren’t walking like they used to? No, that would be foolish. You get help, you have crutches, a wheel chair, prosthetics. Expecting yourself to just get better without help isn’t going to help anyone.

There is no shame in needing help, it’s not admitting defeat, it’s not being weak. People may say it’s a crutch but you know what? WHAT DO YOU THINK A CRUTCH IS? Something to HELP you walk when you’ve been hurt, when you’re not 100% and you still want to be strong and stand on your feet. If you need help, please know that it’s out there.

I feel as if I should write more often here on this blog, as opposed to my makeup/skin care blog. As if my serious writing is taking a back seat to my more shallow writing, and hey, I’m sure that I’m totally right! But honestly, there are so many great voices online that seem to say things so much more eloquently that I feel almost guilty in taking the time to write here.

But fuck it, I want to write.

At this moment, as I type this I have a dog with his head laying in my lap. The Child, is asleep (finally) in his bed, and my darling is showering the day away in our bathroom. My life is good. I am happy in my job, I am mostly happy in my skin. There may be some things that I would change about life, but right now… why?

So I take a writing prompt and begin to write.

My prompt is asking about what is a major moment that impacted my life, I could write about my heart breaking, or my family expanding. Both of those are probably the major defining moments in my life. But I want to write about something else. A moment that I don’t remember. Once that I’m not even sure happened. On Sunday night, as I lay in bed with my love, the dark enveloping us. I admitted to him just how insecure I am. We were discussing strip clubs earlier that day and I was telling him how they make me uncomfortable and insecure; he, being the darling that he is, tells me that he understands, and that he isn’t comfortable with his body either. I had to clarify, yes I’m not comfortable with how my body looks (or acts, damn you inability to run any length of time, I hope the zombies end up being the slow ones) but what I’m insecure about is my dear one’s love. Deep down I still feel unlovable, I still feel that one day every person who I love and treasure will wise up and walk away. My parents, grandparents, spouse, child, lovers, friends. Everyone.

Deep down I KNOW that one day they’ll leave me.

and I’m terrified by it.

I’ve searched my memory to try to give myself an idea of an event that would cause me to have this fear. I’ve found nothing. But there has to be something right?

Today I am 27.

This year is the year I will live big.

It will be my year of can.

My year of, fuck you I do what I want.

I will accomplish what I set out to do. I will live as only I can. I will do everything I’ve truly longed for.

 

Kids are assholes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid. I adore him. The little douche nugget hung the moon and the stars in my world. But he’s an asshole.

A big one.

He’s been rolling on the floor demanding ice cream for the last 45 minutes.

For some reason he seems to think this will get him his heart’s desire.

He would be wrong in that assumption. This tactic has never worked previously, I’m not sure why he keeps trying it. I’m sure he’ll try it again in the future.

And it won’t work then either.

 

It has been a long time since I’ve written anything other than brief notes so I hope you will bear with me as I relearn the medium of transferring my brain into words on a screen.

As I sit and type this my three year old is running around in a dress and princess crown, waving around a branch we found outside, informing me that he is casting spells like Harry Potter. At this moment I’m quite sure I’ve got this parenting thing down, give me another 30 seconds and I’m sure it will all come crashing down and once again there will be the crippling anxiety of screwing up another human being beyond repair.

Parenting is exciting isn’t it?