These bits of writing aren’t exactly about anything or for anything, but they’ve been floating in my head and I need to get them out. Here they are. A bit of what it’s like with anxiety and depression.
It’s hard when you have a bad day when you’re depressed. When other people have a bad day, they go home and they rant about the things that went wrong. But when I go home on the verge of tears and someone asks what happened, and if I want to talk, I have no words. Nothing happened. I woke up, a little tired as usual, I went in to work, did my usual things, had a therapy appointment, came home and took a nap. I purged. I had dinner. I went back to bed. That’s it. Nothing happened. But that doesn’t stop the weepiness from showing, that doesn’t stop the tightness in my chest, that doesn’t stop my hands from bunching into tight little fists whenever I stop moving. It doesn’t stop my thoughts from whirling around and around. It doesn’t make sense.
Last night, when I got home, I did all the appropriate Self Care actions. I let myself rest, I put on fuzzy pajamas, I watched a TV show I like. I finished an episode and something hit me all at once. The air went out of me, and it felt as though something was being pulled from my chest: my heart or my soul or some other unnamed bit. When it pulls, I can feel my jaw and my tongue aching downwards. Tears are pulled from my eyes and onto my chin. I shake and I don’t know why, but no matter how many times my face contorts into some disturbing silent grimace, I can’t still my heart or my mind. I won’t make a sound. No one needs to know because I won’t be able to explain, because it came from nowhere, because there is no reason or purpose except that everything is wrong and my ribcage is empty and my muscles can’t contain all the hatred and fear that’s inside of me. There’s a claustrophobia to it, as if there is not enough space for me, so I scrunch in on myself and hug my legs and rock, hoping that I can expand the world past my toes again. It never works. Somewhere in my mind, I notice that I’m having a panic attack, that there’s ways to deal with this, that I could go find some ice and put it on my face, but me, the me that feels and exists in the here and now has no time for that because breathing is taking all of my time and if I stop then my body might rip itself apart.
It hurts. There’s shooting pains down my chest and across my collarbone, cold like when you chug ice water too fast. My head is stuffed. I know it’s thanks to the mucus filling my sinuses, but it feels like all the thoughts have taken physical form and are now living below my eyes, tramping and stamping and pushing their way outwards. I am not vessel enough for them. They want their own life now.
I don’t know when it will stop. I don’t know if it will stop. If it does, there’s a hollowness to my face, filled to the brim with snot and pain and confusion. My mind has gone numb and I cannot come back. You are all very far away today. I try to smile though. That’s what I’m to do, isn’t it?
People are rough. They’ll rub you raw and then walk away with no further thoughts. Some of us blister and callous until the skin grows thick. The sharp edges no longer puncture. But my skin does not grow back. Every day I lose a layer of myself, and I’m down to scraps today. I’m trailing grated skin behind me: you can follow my path back to the party, to the first tear. It couldn’t be avoided. And since the first rip, each word has pulled and pricked and rubbed until I am left losing myself with every movement. How do I grow a new self?