Monthly Archives: February 2017

Not the War

I can’t breath. 

I can’t breath. 

This space is so small. 

Make it stop. 

The world is crushing me.

Everything, all the Earth’s energy, is closing in.

I can’t get out. This space is too small.

I can’t breath.

Please.

Make it stop.

Panic attacks. They’re not fun. If you’ve never had one count yourself lucky.

Today I had one for the first time in a long time. Well, a few months. For me that’s a success. It wasn’t a bad one. Well, they’re always bad… but I’ve seen much worse. 

It was one of those days where my anxiety was like a dog yanking on the leash to run ahead of the owner. All day I felt the edge ever present. It was what I call a 10 second day- a day where I use a trick I learned from Kimmy Schmidt. You break life down into more manageable time chunks… 10 seconds.

My will could only hold the leash for so long, because the anxiety dog was inevitably let loose at approximately 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time as I was shampooing my hair. 

The long day of feeling like I was screwing everything up had caught up to me. The day where I feared parts of the future would be off alignment with what I had planned (something that seems so much worse than it actually is to an OCD riddled mind) had done its toll. The day of feeling overwhelmed had finally reached its peak, and due to some wonky brain chemistry that left me with an anxiety disorder- my body unnecessarily went into flight or fight mode. I had a panic attack.

Now, as I lay in bed trying to calm myself down as I write this, I feel disappointed in myself. I’m upset that I let my anxiety make my day worse than it needed to be, and made me act strange. I’m upset I had a panic attack today, when I’ve survived far more nerve-wracking situations unscathed. I’m upset that I’m not over it as I type this. 

It won. My anxiety won. And that, above all else, is what upsets me.

But, the more significance I give this loss, the more that anxiety’s victory is worth. I’m only human, I’m not going to win all the time. No matter how hard I try, there is only so much I can combat with medicine and coping mechanisms. I’m human, and therefore flawed and cracked. Through those cracks my anxiety might find an edge.

However, those cracks can be subsequently repaired, lessening in number over time. So long as I keep my healthy characteristics, and actively repair the cracks, I can’t crumble. If I don’t crumble- I’ve won the war. Who cares how many itty bitty cracks in strength my anxiety exploits to win a battle if I’m still standing and still fighting. 

So to my anxiety I say this: You won the battle today, but you haven’t won the war. I’ll see you tomorrow.

An Open Letter To Those Who Feel Things More Deeply

Don’t let people pigeon hole you. You are so much more than an over thinker. So much more than a sensitive soul. So much more than a dramatic. You can be hilarious, deep, light-hearted, serious, profound, lively, and anything else simultaneously. Just like any other human, you are complex and layered. Even Shrek had layers.

You are not weak. It takes a great deal of strength to repeatedly open yourself up to the world around you. To not harden and build walls. Allowing your emotions to be powerfully raw and continue on in spite of their impact takes courage. You’re letting life affect you while you live it.

Take care of yourself. You should be proud of who you are, deep feelings and all, but don’t be afraid to withdraw when needed. Your abilities allow for extraordinary euphoria all the way to depressing despair. You need the latter to appreciate the former. Experiencing the scale is experiencing life. However, just experiencing despair is not. Do not allow the negatives to become so consuming you miss out on the positives.

Take a breath. What you’re feeling, no matter how encompassing, will pass.

You are passionate. Feeling connected and affected doesn’t have to bring you down, it can motivate you. You care. Use that care and concern as a catalyst to change your surroundings for the better. Your qualities can make you, and your world, better.

You are compassionate. Having felt deeply and truly,  you have experience and therefore an understanding of more emotions than the average person. This lends you to be more empathetic to those around you, as you can relate. Maybe not exactly, but to an amount that allows for true connection.

You experience more of life. The depth of your sentiments allows for you to see a greater range of the human experience. This lends itself to great thought on the matter. You’re in line with the poets and saints.

“EMILY: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

STAGE MANAGER: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”

Thornton Wilder, Our Town

You are you. Be proud.