I Didn’t Know Where Else To Go

Watch faces

Image by cbcastro via Flickr

It’s late, I’m scared.

12:24AM, everyone is asleep right now. I tried reading a few chapters in some novel from the library, but I saw something from the corner of my vision and couldn’t focus any longer.

I didn’t know where else to go, so I came here. I keep feeling a specific moment of tension. Like a volume gauge, the fear starts very softly, and peaks so sharply I wince and quickly shut my eyes, willing, praying for it to stop. The moment feels like a moment of death – a certainty it is my final second on this earth. And it won’t stop. I’m getting a headache, there’s a ringing in my ears. The room feels stuffy, like the air has been replaced with cotton.

Why can’t I feel peace about dying? I know little about anything, but I know it shouldn’t be this way.

I’m at a loss for words at the moment, they won’t come to me. It feels so loud yet utterly silent in my mind right now, loud enough to not think straight but quiet enough to know I’ve discovered nothing new, that I’m thinking of nothing of value.

I have nowhere else to go but here. Should I call Olga? No, she’ll tell me something I want to hear but don’t need to, it wouldn’t be the truth. Besides, I’ve taken the pills she told me to for treatment for anxiety, and here I am. Heather wakes up early to make it to Fort Worth for her college classes, I’ll leave her be.

I’ve taken a moment to pause and breathe – it’s about 1:00AM now. As it usually goes, I’ll be alright. But I won’t be. It’s just life, so I say. But it can be miserable. I’m tired of saying I’m okay, the thought of saying something to brush it aside has the waterworks started up already. I will be okay, but won’t all of us? Back to reaching and climbing and crawling to get back to a state of semi-homeostasis? I reach halfway before hitting the bottom again and I tell everyone “I’m going to be okay.”

I’m tired, I’m scared, I want to be somewhere safe again.

I’ve let fear rule so much of my life. There are times when I want to be somewhere and do something and I feel an attack come on, and I’ll think about what all of those little panic attacks have stolen from me, and I get very angry. I stare down the fear and paranoia until it leaves me alone, only to lose my courage by the time the next one strikes. And then another, and another, until I get angry at the fear again and chase it away.

One of my favorite behavioral psychologists, Paul Ekman, said that fear and anger are often surprisingly hand-in-hand. I wonder if he even knows how this combination of fear and anger extends to panic attacks and tolerance being lost, little by little, by the patient.

Okay, I’ve started rambling, this is a good sign.

I’ll be alright.

-Hannah

P.S. I’m disabling comments for this post because you are my friends. Many of you think too highly of me and don’t seem to see how I don’t deserve any sympathy or encouragement you’ve always offered me 😉 I came here in a moment of high emotion – of distress, I don’t want a single one of you to feel obliged to say anything to me. And if not obliged to speak then obliged to speak well and say the right thing. I suppose it would feel wrong of me to do anything besides this. I hope you can understand.

I am profoundly grateful to know you all.

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