Lines, Crosswalks and Panic Attacks

It never warns you. You never hear a knock at the door, warning you that you’re about to have a heart attack. It just happens. The feeling of your heart being ripped from your chest, the force of tears pushing their way out of your eye sockets blurring your vision. Tremors shoot through your body making a simple task like holding a pen in your hand to sign your name impossible.

You feel like you’re dying. No, you know you are about to die.

Life is funny. Misunderstandings happen. Awkward words are said, lonely people reach out for that extra human contact in the most innocent of ways. No harm, no foul right?

Unfortunately, if you’ve experienced any kind of trauma, life can feel more like a big joke. That innocent misunderstanding, accidentally crossing a line, can send someone running across the street in mid-traffic to get to safety. Crosswalk or not. At any moment you can fall down an unexpected spiral, quickly losing control before you realize it. Panic-fear-anxiety-depression consumeĀ a person over something as simple as a touch… a sideways glance… a text message… a friend request.

My body doesn’t always ask permission to run across the street without using a crosswalk. Sometimes when a line is crossed, somewhere in my subconscious panic bubbles up before I understand what is happening and physically react before I can take a second breath.

I don’t always understand how or why this happens, because there isn’t always a rhyme or reason. To you it might seem like an overreaction, but for me, it’s survival.

 

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Get in My Head Series

This summer the first book of my series is coming out. It has been a lengthy process that has left me drained, wondering if I had completely lost my sanity. I’m excited and nervous to put out this work that is full of my insecurities.

I’m also really proud of it. Writing this series has been an act of therapy for me. Throughout the eight manuscripts, I have written my life into the pages, personal experiences and even some of my journal pages from growing up. Will I tell you what’s mine and what belongs to my fictional characters? Maybe some day, but not anytime soon.

I began writing this series after years of being gaslighted and finally being able to bring my head above the surface to breathe. It was that first breath that made me realize that I had been drowning that whole time. I didn’t know. I thought I was just losing my mind and everything was my fault.

When I stepped out of that situation, I still wasn’t free. Years of depression threatened to keep pushing me down. Anxiety and suicidal thoughts left me wishing that I would give up and drown. I wanted to give in, and there were many times I almost did, but something changed in me. I wanted to fight this time. I wanted a new life.

I started writing.

The first script I wrote was a fantasy, and it’s still a hot mess… but it got my blood flowing. I couldn’t stop writing after that. I tried pushing out the past but it kept coming back, harder and faster every time I pushed it away. That’s how this series was born.

It started out as a writing exercise, then I gave in and let the script dictate what I was supposed to write. Everything came to the surface. Not just from my gaslighting experience, but every childhood demon broke free and swam through my mind, every evil horror that haunted me in my young adult life, all of it came back to stare me in the face.

Now, if I was a wise individual, I would have sought counseling immediately. And I did for a while, but nothing worked out. That’s how this series was born. I was desperate. I screamed and cried my way through the whole first draft of the first book. Then another draft of another book.. then another.. and so on.. now I have eight scripts in this series.

Most people see me as a happy individual, I’m not afraid to get down right stupid to make someone else laugh. Their happiness is important to me. Putting these books into the real world is like putting a swinging door onto my soul, what you see is not always what you get…

Putting myself out there is going to be an exercise in self acceptance, because I know this series is not going to be accepted by everyone inside of my circle. Even outside of my circle. One thing I have learned through this process is: This is me. I might be shiny and pretty on the outside, always wearing a smile, always the first to ask how everyone else is doing, but on the inside, it looks like shit. It has taken me a long time to be okay with that. My books are the door to what’s on the inside.

Today ask yourself: Are you accepting of people because of their neat put together appearance? Because they seem happy and look like they have their lives in order? Or will you run in the other direction at the first sight of their shit coming to the surface?

It’s those individuals who have stayed by my side after they’ve seen my shit that I cherish the most.

Happy Monday y’all. Let’s keep it real.

 

Follow along to catch my next blog where I’ll be talking about some of the mental illnesses I will be covering in my Get in My Head series.

On the edge

I tend to only write in my blogs when I have an intense emotion or I feel overly passionate about something. Unfortunately this leads to a lazy blog. Like this one! If you’ve stuck it out this far, thank you.

Last night was rough, and I woke up feeling off this morning. I’m somewhere in-between real life and knowing that I can topple back down into the pit at any moment. If you have struggled with depression, you know the feeling.

Sometimes it just happens. One day you’re perfectly fine, then the next day you’re not. You can’t even get out of bed. There is no warning, no lead up. Your body didn’t leave you a note telling you that your life, chemicals, hormones, thoughts, are going to take a nose dive-so you better take cover!

Sometimes, you know. It can start as a feeling in the bottom of your stomach, like you just swallowed a rock. The forever wall of tears that slowly builds up behind your eyes, threatening to break free at any moment. You can see the dark cloud in the distance making its way towards you. The irritability gets worse and you end up having to lock yourself in your room to save those you love from your wrath.

Maybe I’m a selfish person, but I hate being on the edge, knowing that no matter what I do, I’m going to fall in anyways. I can try to fight it, but nine times out of ten, I get pulled down into the dark kicking and screaming, leaving nail marks behind on the ground.

It justĀ happens. It’s not always something I can prevent. It’s not something that I enjoy or revel in. Not being able to stop the tears, knowing that the sunshine can’t help me now, I hate it. I hate all of it.

If you have a love one in your life that struggles with depression, some advice: tell them that you love them and bring them a warm fuzzy blanket and a mug of hot tea. Sit with them in the silence, and if they’ll let you, hold their hand. You can’t always make it better, and don’t be surprised when we tell you, we can’t always make it better either.