I don't know if I have panic attacks anymore. I think I live in a perpetual state of panic. I'm not sure if breathing easy is even possible anymore.
I look out into the world and feel like I'm watching a movie. People move, talk and continue living. Completely detached from me. I'm in a bubble. I have no effect on the story. But every atom of the story has an effect on me.
I'm afraid to leave the house. I'm afraid of what might happen outside. I'm afraid I'll give up. I don't even feel like getting out of bed and talking to my family. I'm afraid they'll say one thing wrong and I'll fall down. And I don't even know what that one thing will be beforehand.
It's ridiculous I know. It's ridiculous to be scared of living. Life is beautiful. I just wish I didn't feel everything.
I was on the street yesterday, waiting for the bus. A young woman in a wheelchair came up behind me. "Do I let her on first? Do I get on first? What is supposed to happen?" All these questions ran through my mind but I couldn't just ask her to find out. I wanted to solve it myself. So I stayed where I was.
She gets on first.
The bus driver told me to hold on. I stepped to the side. He put down the ramp. She got on and I watched her settle in, ashamed.
"Do they think I was unkind, inconsiderate, evil? Do they think I was oblivious? Am I selfish for thinking of getting on first? Does it matter that I forgot the procedure when I didn't offer to let her on?"
I got on the bus. And sat. Silently, lecturing myself for the whole bus ride. Wondering if anyone else saw. Wondering if they all hated me too.
I realized that no one saw it. And if they did, they weren't thinking about it anymore. It didn't matter.
But I need to make everyone's day better. I need them to have liked coming across me. I need them to be happy to have interacted with me.
I waved to the driver, desperately trying to make up for my blunder. I stepped off the bus and started the walk home. I wondered how everyone on the bus would end the day. I hoped it would be well. In spite of meeting me.
I walked past the people on the street. Listened to my music. And teared up. But I refused to cry. Just because I'm crazy doesn't mean I have to cry on the sidewalk. And I needed to get home and make my family's day better.
Now I'm at school. After being late to my doctor's appointment. Effectively ruining his day.
I tried to get everything across quickly. I tried to get out quickly. I tried to put his day back on track.
I got on the bus and tried to breathe. I debated which stop to get off at. I forced myself to stay on the bus until I get to school. Then, I forced myself get off so I wouldn't end up miles from schoool.
"Why do I have to convince myself to do things people do with no problem? Why do I have to remind myself of the rewards? Why do I still not want to do it after all that?"
Move on, move up
Do what you need to
Make others proud
Live life well
- CoJa Brown
So I got to my department and looked at the benches in the shade. I couldn't sit in the shade. I was cold and would have shriveled up. So I sat on the ground in the sun. And got some strength back.
I got odd looks but I couldn't care. What's socially acceptable wasn't what I needed. It wouldn't help. I did what I wanted to, needed to. Even though it was weird.
That's what I do. I care so much about what people think of me, until I reach a point where it's impossible to care. Until it hurts to care at all.
P.S. I know it's not healthy to be so on edge all the time. My therapist mentioned it could ruin my nerves. But it's really difficult to talk myself out of being upset.
Also this post was a bit chaotic. Sorry about that.