The no good very bad day

Image by SvenKirsch from Pixabay

Everyone gets anxious, sure. But most people aren’t afraid to leave home in case there’s a zombie uprising.

Most of the time I can be funny about it. I can find the humour in being terrified in the frozen food section. Who knows what damage a fish finger could do?

But, some days, like today, I can’t find anything funny about it.

Today is a ‘no good very bad day’.

Tomorrow, will be an ‘I’ve got this day’.

I’ll pick myself up from the pit of self-inflicted misery, put on my big girl panties, straighten my tiara and slay my day or whatever stupid inspirational shit works.

But today, my anxiety is packing a punch to the gut.

If you ask me, “How are you doing?” I’ll say, “I’m good thanks.” I don’t think you really want to know the answer, but here it is anyway…  

There’s a restlessness in my legs I cannot control. They dance steps to some hidden beat.

There’s a swarming knot of serpents in my belly. They writhe and undulate ceaselessly whispering, a susurration of nameless fears.

There are crows trapped behind my ribs. Flapping and clawing they rake their talons down my breast trying to escape.

There’s a fire in my throat. A volcano of liquid lava erupting and burning a path to the outside. My personal Vesuvius.

There are voices in my head feeding the paranoia. Someone always watching. Something always going terribly, irrevocably wrong.

I hear death stalking in the shadows. I plan for it constantly. How and when and why. And what songs I want to play at the funeral and if anyone will come.

I have a body that I live in, but it is not me. It is some uncomfortable suit that does fit quite right. Like a six-foot six behemoth in a compact car.

I’m getting fired today. I know that’s not true but I can’t stop the vomit from rising. If I’m unemployed and homeless by 5pm where will I get a trolley and do I have enough cash for a shelter?

I’m going to the doctor. It’s routine. Nothing to worry about. But what if I die? What if it’s something serious? What if it’s nothing but a physical symptom of my degrading mind? What then? What’s worse?

The lights are blinding me and I can’t see through the static. I want to cover my eyes and cower away, but I hold my head up and I count. How many steps to the exit? How many pens on my desk? How many flowers on her dress? How many?

I am so very tired. It’s exhausting when I don’t whether to turn and run or stand and fight some non-existent hydra.

None of it is real. There is no zombie uprising. Coronavirus is not a bioweapon unleashed to destroy 90% of the world’s population. I’m not losing my job. I’m not going to die today. Probably. Maybe.

If you want to find out more about living with anxiety, have a read of these…

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/living-with-anxiety_b_8452658

https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/women-anxiety-disorders/

Panic at the Pep Parade

Panic illustration
From Ravishly with thanks to Jenni Berrett for her brilliant article on panic attacks.

 

I was really adulting like a bozza today!

I had my power suit on.

My boots were walking.

I was killing it.

Until, I wasn’t.

 

Until a pigeon pooped on my pep parade.

 

A clammy hand fastened its grip around my throat.

Another clenched around my heart.

My breath was stolen by some invisible ghoul.

My eyes began blinking like a possessed strobe light.

I wanted to vomit.

I wanted to cry.

I wanted to curl up and die.

 

I wanted someone to notice.

To just tell me things were going to be alright.

To just breathe.

That it would pass.

That I had this.

 

I wanted no-one to notice.

I wanted no-one to see how hard I was pretending.

I wanted to disappear.

 

And then came the crushing guilt.

Who the hell am I to be anxious, to panic?

I have a wonderful, privileged life.

I have a great job, a wonderful family, a beautiful house.

Who the hell do I think I am?

Millions of people deal with huge stresses every day, make life and death choices.

My husband calmly negotiates multinational deals on top of dealing with all the minutiae of our household – bond payments, school meetings, car repairs and all the other stuff.

 

I can’t buy groceries.

Let’s put that into perspective.

 

Living with anxiety is a silent nightmare.

Think Pennywise in every storm drain, around every corner, in every shadow waiting to make you come and play.

It makes no sense.

It is not rational.

It is desperately lonely and isolating.

I whisper over and over, “I am not alone in this. I am not alone.”

 

So, if you, like me survive living with some form of anxiety or panic disorder, repeat after me: “I am not alone.”