I am kind of freaking out about the sheer amount of work I have to do this year. I am feeling overwhelmed. Trying to keep the panic at bay. One thing at a time. First: move. Second: read the first unit of each art history class. Third: go to class on Monday; pay tuition; pick up textbook. Breathe. Schedule. Everything will be okay.
I am anxious about teeth.
I am aware that teeth are not a logical thing to be anxious about. They are really not that difficult to deal with. Brush twice a day, maybe floss if you’re the motivated type. Go to the dentist occasionally.
Unfortunately my anxiety is not a creature of logic. When I think about dentists and that minty-rubber glove-antiseptic taste and how they try to have a conversation while their fingers are in your mouth and their blue masks and their needles and mirrors and wiping my blood on that awful bib my inner self screams and curls up in a tight little ball and I can’t get her to move. It’s enough so that even the taste of toothpaste makes me uncomfortable. I have to motivate myself to brush my teeth, and I absolutely cannot do it if someone else can see me. Come on, not doing it will only make it worse. You’ll just have to see the dentist more often. But sometimes I can’t hear myself over my anxiety screaming NONONONONO.
Let me clarify: I have never had a traumatic experience at the dentist’s office, despite needing over 20 fillings in total, all of which were caused by my own fear and therefore neglectfulness. I have no concrete reason to feel this anxious about teeth, and it is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more anxious I am, the less I take care of my teeth, and the more desperately I need to see the dentist.
I don’t talk about this. It is one of those secrets I push down deep into my stomach so it can’t escape out of my mouth. I am ashamed of it. Who gets anxious over teeth for no reason? And even if I told someone, what could they say? So what’s the problem? Just brush your teeth. It seems so easy for everyone else, I just don’t understand why my brain makes it so difficult.
Anyway, I have a cavity. This came about because I didn’t go to my last dentist appointment, when they were going to fill it, and now it’s big enough that I can see it and I am silently freaking out. I am eating as little as possible to avoid making it worse. I haven’t eaten anything at all today. I have had full-on crying fits thinking about going to the dentist and having to explain why I didn’t go last time and how I could have let it get to this point. And then imagining the needles sliding into my jaw and the cold numb feeling and the surgical-masked faces still trying to make conversation even with their hands in my mouth and my face frozen. How do I deal with this? How can I deal with this if I can’t talk about it? Typing this is so easy because no one will read it and even if someone does they could not connect it to me. I am a coward.
Everything makes me sad, and most of the time it’s not even illogical. If I don’t think about it I can function.
I wish I was a star, or a tree, or a fish. Something impassive. Something apathetic. Something that cannot think.
Humans are so terrible at communicating. We have had thousands of years to perfect it and all we’ve come up with is strings of symbols and sounds with ambiguous meanings. We still don’t know how to understand each other. Not really.
How do we fix things?
Maybe it would be better to not exist.
Maybe this is just the way things will be. Maybe there will always be confusion and ignorance and anger and stupidity. And privilege and violence and sadness and hatred.
Maybe all I can do is make things and talk about what I think is important and try to understand people and try to learn. That seems like so little in the face of the bigness of everything. I am a small helpless thing.
The more I think the more I consider the possibility that intelligence is not a good thing. Humans destroy without thinking. Not destroying takes effort. Nature balances itself, but we are not a part of the balance.
There’s something very comforting and also very lonely in talking to no one.
I can say anything and it won’t matter.
I can say: I wish I could still open up my wrists and see the blood. And maybe it’s true and maybe it’s not. And I won’t put a trigger warning anywhere either because there’s no one to get triggered, except for me, but I don’t do those things anymore because I am a Healthy Functional Adult™.
So instead I do the less obvious things, the maybe-it-hurts things, like staying up late and writing letters to nobody and listening to Brand New and looking at photos of dead people and not talking to my friends until very very slowly I become transparent.
But don’t worry, because I am a Healthy Functional Adult™ and I will wake up in the morning anyway and go to work and I will feel just fine or if I don’t I won’t say so.
I guess I only write things like this at night when the world is sharper and darker and more bitter and unkind. The world is not always like this. It only shows its teeth half the time and uses them even less. I guess I just like being sad and dramatic. I guess I haven’t grown at all.
It’s strange, this desire to put words where they could potentially be seen but won’t be. Almost like being vulnerable, but not quite. Like vulnerable is a face I can put on when I look in the mirror. I’m not sure what that says about me. I guess it can’t be attention seeking if I don’t expect or receive attention.
And yet I could write this in a notebook or just on my computer where no one could possibly see it but I don’t.
Here is a list of things I would like:
-him, curled up beside me
-something with lots of sugar. Cake maybe?
-to no longer be sick
-the time/ energy/ will to paint
-a drink (the adult kind)
-some weeds (the illegal kind)
-the time/energy/will to go to the doctor and admit that I fucked up
-to no longer be sad (but not really)
-friends? But I could have that if I tried
I can’t see the moon tonight.
I am very, very tired.
I will probably stay up later than I should. I can’t tell anymore if it’s habit or self sabotage. Maybe both. Probably both.
I used to think that everyone was good and perfect, and I was the only bad and rotten thing. Now I think that everyone is just as bad and rotten as I am, or at least most people, and I hate everything and make it all stop, I didn’t agree to this, I want to get off.
I feel so heavy
my heart is a stone
sinking down into my guts
bringing me to the floor
I scrape my knuckles on
the sharpness of myself
Sticking pins into my skin
so no one can get close
Every moment is a knife in me
My lungs fill with water
I have become the ocean
rising and falling with the moon
Daily I drown and un-drown
within my womb-tomb
I am Jupiter’s unending storm;
gravity keeps me spinning.
When you are near my ocean-heart is calm
You are the god that stills my waves.
You are the vast black empty,
on my shoulders.
So my boyfriend has found a house. He will be moving in June, and I will be joining him in September.
I am equal parts excited and terrified.
There is so much I have to do still and it’s all piling on my shoulders like a mountain. I want to hide from it in my bed but it will find me there eventually. The only solution is to face it like an adult. I am still not convinced I am an adult but I have to act like one or everything will go to pieces.
I should go outside more. I should smoke less. I should wake up before 2. I should eat properly. Baby steps. One thing at a time.
So, next week, I have to:
1. email my school advisor and figure out what classes I still need to take
2. look over my work schedule and see if I can fit an art history class in this summer
3. Make a hypothetical budget for when I move out so I know how much money I need to be making.
That seems doable. Right? I can do this.
And I am not sure why. I do have some theories, but there is no way of knowing which, if any, is the root cause.
I am having some thoughts that are probably irrational, but because whenever I think them I am repulsed by their stupidity, I find it very difficult to express them. My cognitive processes are tending toward the negative lately. Instead of negating maladaptive or illogical thoughts with truth or reason, I negate them with more negativity. This is not productive.
Here is an example.
Initial feeling: I am upset because my family went out to dinner without me, and without asking if I could or wanted to attend.
Reactionary thought: That is stupid. You often disappear for nights or days without telling them where you are. They have no obligation to invite you anywhere. You are blowing this out of proportion. You have no right to feel upset. Stop it. This is such a trivial thing to be upset about.
So you see, none of this is very rational. I have not yet figured out how to make it better. I have this suspicion that my general feeling of malaise has an internal cause, and I attribute it to small daily occurrences because then I have something other than myself to blame. Maybe when my medication is refilled it will improve on it’s own.