That’s the first question that pops into my mind every time I feel a panic attack coming on. Notice, I didn’t say “every time I have a panic attack” because really you know it’s for sure going to happen at some point the minute you wake up that morning; you just have to go through your daily motions trying to convince yourself otherwise.
Today, there were several signs. First, on my way to work, I had the urge to listen to Kesha’s song “Praying”. I think the theme of the previous nights’ Golden Globe awards started it in motion. See, I listen to that song when I need to speak to my past. I find the song’s lyrics to be so truthful and honest, as well as forgiving and hopeful, which is usually exactly what I need to move my thoughts out of that gutter of people who chose to seek self-gratification at no concern for the price I’d pay learning how to deal with their choices. Those are more stories I have yet to tell and can only hope I find the courage to write them out one day.
Next, there was the dread of walking into a room not once, not twice, but three times knowing that the people talking in that room didn’t want you to hear what they had to say. Well, I say “knowing” but therapy teaches you to review the facts of what you’re feeling in order to discern if they are feelings with a substantial claim. So, I’ll edit my previous statement and say that I think they didn’t want me to hear.
I did every thing I could to prevent this from happening. Tonight is an important night for rest; students come back tomorrow and a smiling face waiting to hear all about their holiday festivities is what they deserve to have tomorrow. But yet, here I am at 11:47, writing to you through tear-soaked, swollen eyes as I bundle up in covers to combat the chills I am experiencing.
And they say mental health issues aren’t real.
I left work on time today. I had a conversation about how strong I have been this school year: letting things go, embracing imperfections, being what I call “lazy”. I went for a jog outdoors before the sun went down. I cooked myself a nice meal and cleaned the dishes right away. I watched my favorite show’s newest episode. I didn’t drink alcohol. I lit candles all around my house. I relaxed in a hot bath with lavender soak. I stayed off social media. I got my coffee ready for the morning.
So, why? Why did it happen? Can someone please tell me why the fuck it happened anyways?
Is it because she didn’t call me even though I told her not to? Is it because I’m pretty sure she already used the excuse of helping her brother meal prep for the “first time ever” before? Or, is it because I can’t afford to buy a house even though I work 2 jobs? Is it because I can’t figure out if I’m cool or a complete loser?
I wanted to tell her about the first panic attack. But, anxiety is so loud. It’s voice can speak louder than any other that dares to speak to you. I can’t decide if the delete button on my phone is a life saver or a crutch. If only I was brave enough to hit send before tailoring the message to meet some sane criteria or to become an acceptable communication to the person you’ve only been dating for 3 months. My cowardly approach and uncertainty if the person I am falling for will ever accept a life with an anxious person took a toll on me, for a mere 2 hours after overcoming the first attack, I was succumbed to another.
While I can not go back in time and stop tonight from happening, I can in fact finish this blog knowing I did everything I could to help, and that makes me feel a little calm, and courageous, and cool.