My boyfriend took me to the hospital this afternoon after my anxiety devolved into slurred speech and cold skin and shaking and non-responsiveness. The conclusion that was come to was that I have not been eating enough. Oops.
I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning. So that’s good. I missed work for this hospital visit, so I will have to explain the situation to my boss. That’s not so good.
One thing at a time, though. I just have to get through tonight. Just tonight.
Last night was rough.
Sometimes I get this feeling in my wrists. This unbearable burning tingling feeling that makes me want to tear open my skin. Does that happen to anyone else? Rhetorical question, I know no one reads this.
As this wrist feeling thing was happening, my teenaged brother phoned me. He was crying. He said, “I feel sad for no reason”.
What the hell am I supposed to do? I hate that he is feeling these things. I don’t want him to have to deal with this shit. Take it away, give it to me instead, I can handle a little more.
I don’t want him to have to go through this too.
Spent the last hour lying on the floor. Now I am typing this instead of thinking about my project, because thinking about it feels like a mountain on my back. Everything I write and everything I think is too dramatic, too immature, too false. I am a hollow thing and hollow things can only make other hollow things. Things that break down under scrutiny. Things with no skeleton and no heart and no lungs and no life. Everything I make is stillborn.
I am too selfish to make beautiful things. I cannot see past my own skin. I am stuck in a loop, repeating the same mistakes again again again.
I feel stuck inside my own head and I don’t know how to get out. I am having recurring urges to hurt myself and anxiety in the form of a fog in my head and a heaviness in my stomach and chest. I am crying frequently, over nothing, which intensely upsets me because it prevents me from having conversations with anyone, and from doing my schoolwork, and from explaining my ideas to my professors. This is partly because I am terrified of crying in front of people. I feel like I am stuck in my past. These same problems have followed me since high school. I will never grow up. I will be stuck in this hell forever.
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.