An “off-the-cuff” entry. It’s been a while. [i]
I started today with a near-panic attack which sounds like a good thing to everyone who doesn’t suffer from panic attacks. “Near” is still gross.
I couldn’t find my purse this morning. I wanted yesterday’s receipts to record in my ledger. [ii]
This is the problem when you are “organized” like me. If something isn’t in its place, I end up screwed and a little freaked out. The purse is hanging on the back of my bedroom door or sitting in my desk chair waiting to disgorge receipts.
There was not a hair of purse to be found.
I had a thought that I might have left it in the car and cursed myself for my irresponsible nature.
It wasn’t there. This is when the anxiety attack starts to threaten. This is when the thoughts start to spiral.
This is where I wish I had ten million followers on Twitter. There’s no reason I can’t. All social media platforms could welcome you with a cool million friends. The desperate need to be liked is part of the operating system.
But I digress. Part of my operating system.
If I had ten million followers, I would ask them if this was a normal thing that happened to everyone the instant something is misplaced? I would ask how many held organization and system perfection up as demi-gods? That’s one of the harder things about mental illness. The sense of differentness, the sense of being “other.”
Part of the problem is I’m just a little bit lit all the time. My hippocampus is firing. I meditate and it settles me for a bit. The problem is that the problems remain. There is no escape.
My mother has stage four lung cancer.
My father is in congestive heart failure.
I struggle to deal with daily pain that occasionally even eclipses the emotional stuff. Plus, there’s the “I’m prone to depression,” basket full of mental illnesses thing. The world doesn’t stop for mental illness, however. It doesn’t even stop for the neurotypical.
We all looked forward to adulthood as children. It was freedom. It was knowledge. We would know the answers. For me, that meant I would magically feel better inside. The broken bits that rubbed raw would be healed by the magic of nineteen.
Perhaps it’s twenty-one?
I don’t remember how old I was when I realized that although I would get wrinkles, my brain was going to remain as it was. I get new skill sets and new bits of knowledge: changing the “me” underneath the adulthood suit we wear is exponentially more difficult.
It was a frustration: I was counting on that system upgrade. But the panic of yesterday over a misplaced purse was no different than the panic of decades past when a book from my library went missing. But now I know to slow my breathing and ground.
Answers. Just not the ones I want.
[i] I mostly write posts over the course of a few days. Then I edit them because mistakes are bad for reasons I can’t remember. Off-the-cuff posts are quick and day-of. I’m less able to blame Grammarly.
[ii] I have a ledger. I keep track of all my accounts and all my debts and payments that way. Partly because I’m compulsive and partly because when one lives tight, money is important to keep track of.