Monday, April 18, 2016

New Spring Breeze

We were cleaning up the kitchen together--- or rather, I was cleaning up the kitchen and he was kind of just standing in the middle of the kitchen, eating an apple and being generally bothersome, and it just made me really happy. Like, it just feels... right to have him in the kitchen with me while I'm washing things up, making me laugh while I'm washing my mug labeled "Dad" (Dad is me... we joke in my apartment that I'm the dad 'cuz I'm always making bad jokes and fixing the toilets and putting together the electronics). It kind of just feels right to have him sitting across the room reading a book while I'm writing, him in a giant easy chair with his shoes kicked off onto the floor and me curled up in a worn-out old couch. It feels right to have the new spring breeze blow in, the breeze that smells like people should be falling in love. It feels right to briefly lean up against his leg as I turn on the light for him so he can see what he's reading better. It feels right to have him across the room making stupid noises and humming taps so that his voice cracks and I am literally laughing so hard my body hurts. He's weird and stupid and... right. He makes the thing inside me that usually panics and freaks out and is a very sad part of me... he makes it okay. He makes it not so dark. And I'll be more logical in a bit, and I'll get a better handle on my emotions, but right now I'm just really happy with him sitting across the room making weird faces at me and making strange noises and making me smile.


Monday, April 11, 2016

A Very Long Facebook Post at Three in the Morning

I was recently diagnosed with severe anxiety stemming from PTSD, evident in the fact that I started having panic attacks after silly things, like if I would flirt with a cute guy and he would seem interested as well. And then the panic attacks started getting steadily worse and worse, until on the Sunday before Christmas of last year, I had a severe anxiety attack that lasted about two hours, nonstop, followed by three or four consecutively over Christmas break. They usually take a couple days to completely recover from, and they've happened at every time of day, from in the middle of a casual dinner, to the middle of the night. I think I've even had a couple while I was sleeping. I've started to go to a psychologist since then, which is why I know solidly that what I'm dealing with IS severe anxiety, and here is a little bit about what I have learned:

1) I have been dealing with anxiety for a very long time, even though I didn't know it. I didn't realize that rapid heart palpitations, major overanalyzing and sweating at random times wasn't normal (that last one is kind of gross... but it explains my constantly sweaty hands... sorry :/)

2) Anxiety takes everything good inside you and turns it against you. I am someone who has naturally been blessed with healthy self-esteem. But with this anxiety, I might not hate my outside, but I hate my insides sometimes, and I have a really hard time accepting or believing that people accept me and love me regardless of my freakouts. And the frustrating thing is, I'm usually a pretty level-headed person when it comes to relationships, so when the anxiety kicks in and I start freaking out, I get pretty ticked off at my interactive inadequacies. I've started to learn that I'm a pretty needy person, and sometimes people can't give me the verbal assurance or clarity that I sometime emotionally need, but at the same time, it's not necessarily fair for me to ask certain people to take on my baggage, and just because they are a little overwhelmed by the fact that sometimes I randomly start shaking and crying and gasping for air (i get overwhelmed by it too), it doesn't mean that they love me any less.

3) Anxiety makes it hard to make friendship/romantic relationships. I tend to get a little too clingy or a little too standoffish in relationships, because I love it when people make me feel special and needed, but if I get rejected too many times, or I feel like the amount that I am needed is a fluctuating variable, I'll just automatically assume that you don't want me in your life, and I will quietly remove myself to avoid being hurt again.

4) Anxiety is not me. I am not someone who becomes afraid easily. Anxiety is a completely different species than fear or stress. I don't freak out because I work too hard. Anxiety is a paralyzing kind of thing, and when it takes over, the only thing that you can focus on is breathing and shaking, and trying to keep your nose above the waves of anxiety so it doesn't end you.

I'm not really sure what I was trying to accomplish here, but I think that maybe if I stay as open as I can through fighting this thing, maybe I can help someone else recognize it in themselves before they get to the point of panic attacks, or at least voice some of the pain that people with really excruciating anxiety are too suffocated to express.


Lost-Tooth Feeling

I'm waiting on a phone call that will let me know whether or not I'm about to become a published author. So I'm going to try and write something to distract myself.

I started packing up a little today to get ready to move to a different spot on campus for the summer. Yup, I'm staying here in Colorado to work and roll in dough. Not really. I'm just kind of hoping that I won't be as desperately poor as this year. I've gotten really good at moving lately. My "pack up and go" skills have gotten so streamlined, I can pack up all of my belongings, or at least 95% of them, into two large suitcases. Talk about minimalism. I started thinking about how when you first start packing, you have to take down all of the Post-its and photos and cards and doodles off of the walls, and put them into some box to rattle around. And the room starts to lose its' personality. Like, the walls become bland and beige again, the blankness of the space starts to swallow you up instead of being the perfect backdrop for the explosion of images that my room often becomes.

In my room in Wisconsin, I had photos all over my closet door, and I saved every single picture that people drew for me over the four years of high school, taping them all to the wall. But when I had to move out, suddenly any vivacity from my personality in the room was sucked out of the space. It just felt really weird. It was kind of like the feeling that you get when you are little and lose a tooth. Your tongue just keeps running over the spot where the tooth used to be, and it doesn't hurt or cause you distress, but you just keep running over the empty space over and over again. Or it's kind of like the feeling you get when you get a significant haircut and hop in the shower, and you run your hands along the length of your hair, but an inch or two is missing, prefaced by blunt, soft, straight ends.

The actual process of moving day is different. On the actual day, you just focus on the hassle that is getting your stuff all gathered and shoved on a truck and shipped to another place. The pain-in-the-butt-ness of moving is so irritating, you can't think about the fact that the place you lived in and the place that held your personality is now stripped of anything that resembled you and holds no personality. But when you first start, when the pictures come down and the winter clothes and little unnecessary baubles get packed up and and the walls and shelves are bare, that's the weirdest feeling, the lost-tooth part of part of moving to a new place.

She still hasn't called. Gah.