At face value, she is a drama queen.
Cowering in the corner, she is a shattered dream.
Like anyone else, I have bad days. Unlike everybody else, I have extremely dark bad days. This is not to say I’m the only one. This is to say, there are normal people who don’t think their light is snuffed out because of hard times.
And yet, this is how my brain works. A small stress is just an ember, growing on a dry patch of grass, engulfing trees and landscape, wreaking havoc upon every possible dream and stamping a big fat, emblazoned failure sign in the darkness. One worry is stacked along with many until a house of cards comes tumbling down and I feel like I’m drowning. Drowning in a pool of confusion, self-annihilation and full blown panic attacks.
I cant remember the first time I had one. I thought everyone felt the way I felt when they were scared. Until these attacks happened when I was not in danger, when things weren’t so bad, when no harm was close. Palms sweating, my heart racing, tears overflowing, head spinning, and the inability to breathe…I am a wreck. I can only describe it as an emotional ocean that sucks you under and you suddenly forgot how to swim against the tide. That part of you gets stuck on stupid and you’re helpless physically, though mentally you’re screaming bloody fucking murder because you don’t want to lay down and die.
Before yesterday, the last time I’d had one was the day my father died. And that shit was expected…the attack..not the death. Yesterday, on the other hand – was just a wave of sudden grief. Everything looks bleak, the sun isn’t going to shine and I’ve plummeted to my lowest low. There really is no rescuing me in this dark space. Because my brain has all of the answers…even though it’s wrong.
In that panic, I am the ugliest, poorest, most worthless excuse of a mother. I am a sorry excuse of a woman. I am a failure as a human being. A waste of space.
And then I am on land again. And I recognize that I still feel those dark feelings but I have the strength to battle each demon like a knight with a sword…sent to slay the unslayable dragon. I don’t think unslayable is a word…I don’t give two shits, quite frankly. It is now.
The panic steals my air. The dragon rests its unforgiving claws against my windpipes and I struggle, with tears in my eyes and my sons name at my lips. Because he’s my reason to fight the beasts. The darkness. The demons. The hell that lay in the corners of my mind.
I probably sound like I’m batty as all hell. I’m not. I’m living proof that ignoring things for a sense of pride, in childhood, is pointless. Because some of us are just born differently, mentally. Some of us have distorted images of ourselves. Some of us struggle to feel less alien and more like the world. Some of us pop a pill and talk out our problems and still fear the dark. Some of us fight attacks and episodes. Some of us cringe when people make bi-polar jokes. Because we know you’d only laugh. Because you think we are fucking nuts. Because you think we want to be this way. And some of us just don’t give a fuck anymore who understands us. Not all of us want empathy, sympathy, pity.
Some of us just want to slay the dragon. To protect our kin from the demons that danced with our limp bodies. To negate the cycle from repeating itself. To stop pretending that if we don’t talk about it, it will go away. Because it won’t. It is the bear that hibernates. It is the beast the lurks with patience. It is the monster that we continuously turn our heads to look out for. It is the scar upon our souls. It is the damage that was done…the wound that will not heal…no matter how many band-aids the world wants to slap on the hideous reminder.
The panic attacks used to scare me. Now, they just remind me that I’m still alive. I will push away those who I feel will not understand. I hide from those who will shun me. I fake the smile for those I hope wont. I used to say I wished my battle was like Cancer because then people would understand and not assume it was all an exaggeration. But I don’t need people to understand in order to fight the good fight. I just need to remind myself that I now have the best damned reason to continue the battle – my boy.
My son keeps me alive.