My family has raised me with the belief that mental illness is just a phase or bad attitude. Because of this, I cannot say for certain that I have some kind of anxiety disorder. I have not seen a doctor, nor do I have the funding to do so. So let me tell you what I know:
When I was no older that 5 or 6, my mom took my little brother and I to McDonalds to play on the playground and I saw him pushing another kid. This made me uncomfortable to the point where I returned to the table and started to silently cry to myself. My mom asked me what was wrong and I angrily said “nothing”. I couldn’t have been more than 6 years old, and yet that memory has burned into my mind.
When I was a little older, my family went to Skateland Roller Derby. It was really fun. We zipped around the rink as cheesy late 90’s early 2000’s music blared overhead. I left the rink, talked with the parents, and decided to go back into the rink. I swung my hand back too far. A little girl with a massive blue icee was standing behind me and my hand hit it, causing it to erupt all over her. She screamed and cried and I sped away. I hid in the bathroom, bawled my eyes out, took of my skates, and started having trouble breathing. Eventually, I calmed down, snuck out, told my parents (who told me to apologize and gave me money to buy a new icee). I found the girl sitting with her parents and I set the slushie on the table… I didn’t have the heart to look them in the eye, but I saw their faces change from angry, to confused. My face was red, snot dripping from my nose, my eyes swollen and wet. I said I was sorry before I marched back into the bathroom. The room was spinning. I felt dizzy and then I threw up into one of the toilets. I hid in that stall for a good twenty or so minutes. I sat in there, still as stone, tears running down my face, thinking I was a horrible person.
Nowadays, when I look back at the things I’ve done that are embarrassing, I can laugh a little. These two memories, though, are just two of the many that make me so sick that I cringe. I feel nauseous just thinking about them. My heart skips a beat, my mind enters fight or flight mode and tries to think and find things to distract me. I stop breathing. I stop being me.
When I tried telling my parents about this, they told me I was being dramatic. To be fair, I’ve been known to add unnecessary flair to my life. But somehow, I think this might be more than that. Last Tuesday, my sister and her friends and I gathered for our weekly dinners. I told a long and drawn out joke that left them confused. The silence shredded my soul into pieces. After dinner, I left and had some kind of panic attack where I had to curl up in the passenger seat of my friend’s car and wait for over half an hour before I felt I could trust myself to drive home. Today, I was supposed to do an event with these same people, but yesterday (Monday), I started feeling uncomfortable. I dreampt a bad dream and tried not to let it get to me. I went the whole day through work without much of a problem. But then I got home and everything came rushing forward. I don’t have a good job, I have no money, these people aren’t interested in this event I thought of, even my friends are ducking out, I have no where to move to at the end of the month, my car is falling apart. All these things seemed to rush in at me for no reason, causing me to cancel tonight’s plans and go into hiding.
I am a laid-back person. I love hanging out with people I don’t know. I love being random and laughing at myself and my foibles and follies. I love being me and not giving a crap about what other people think. But for some reason, I failed to do that two weeks in a row. This has never happened so frequently, but it has happened. It’s rough. I apologize for my lack of posts, updates, and general improvement.
All this being said, I am excited to move out. I am excited to find a new job. I am grateful for all these wonderful new people in my life. I am thrilled to be a part of their lives. I love to laugh with and at my own expense. I love to be with them. And I love all of you. Your support, your enthusiasm, your love has seen me through thick and thin. I am so proud of my peoples. You guys are powerful and you’re going to great places. Many blessings upon all of you. Thank you for your continued patience and support. You mean the world to me.