What Fine Feels Like: When I’m Afraid of Myself

I wrote this for the people who want to help. Please dont. People wanting to help me, scare me.

I wrote this for the people that worry about me. Please don’t. I worry enough for all of us.

I wrote this to try to describe the dark place that some go when we are hurt, or remember, or are triggered. It’s not a ticket i buy. It’s not an outfit I choose. It’s not a trip I want to take. But I go because I’m already on the train and the only place to go is the next stop. Sometimes I can get off. Sometimes I have to go a few more stops. I always come back. There isn’t an alternative. Perhaps some temptation not to, but I always come back because ther is more to make.

A little sad today. In a bad place. Anxiety attack. A flashback. Feeling crazy. Panic attacks. Coming undone. Whatever I call it-I’m fine-but I’m afraid of myself when it happens.

Perhaps of what I am, or what I think, or what I feel, or who might see, or what I’m capable of…but I’m afraid of myself. And I’m afraid for them…whoever they are.

I’m not out of control. I’m completely aware that I’m struggling. I don’t need help. I don’t want help. I want to dissapear. I know it will be terrifying, briefly, but I know it will pass.

I’m overcome by my own shadow and an overwhelming feeling of alone. My own brand of darkness and I wear it like humidity in August. A gown of grief and rage and sadness. Loose hems have been stitched up with shame over time. Memories heavily adorn the collar and add weight. It sticks uncomfortably to my naked skin. Buttons of anger poke into my bones when I move. 
It’s not an unfamiliar piece. It’s a staple in my wardrobe that I never choose. I wake up wearing it at times like this, and there’s no escape…until I’ve suffered it off.I try to be still, until I can practice the rhythm that brings back some form of peace. It’s a process. Suffering to feel easy. Dehydrated to recognize quenched. Starved to know what full feels like.

There’s a rush of heat in my chest that feels like hot clouds, and they feel nice for a moment, before they get stormy. My heart beat turns from time keeping to heavy, heavy stop-watch. A numb flutter happens under my tongue, and my breathing feels panicky before I take a breath. My first few inhales are fake-just a chest compression. No air comes in. There’s a pain, but it’s deep, and putting my hand on my heart would be a tell.

I’m afraid of something. Seemingly of my own feelings. Of how this dress feels on. I try to be still, because struggling is always worse when you’re stuck…in a web, in quicksand, in life.

My breath gets away from me only momentarily and I wince or quietly groan mostly to bring myself to attention. I breathe. Deep. Slowly. It’s shaky and the hot clouds have turned to water. My slow deep breathing contradicts the quick thumping in my chest and it takes a few minutes for them to come together. I’m holding back tears, and I feel like I’m underwater. As my chest rises and falls more steadily, the corners of my eyes leak. With every extended and forced exhale, salty tears streak down my face and under my earlobes. I taste blood, or metal.

I’m afraid I’m going to break somewhere irrepairably. I’m afraid I already have and don’t know. I’m afraid I might be mad. The only strength I have I use to breathe and sometimes to stay concious as my fingers and toes tingle. I know that oxygen and my blood want to dance, but this dress traps me and my capacity for air and movement is restricted. I’m overcome with a déjà u feeling. I know this exact spot, this exact feeling. There’s a memory I feel but can’t see. It’s something terrible, but I can’t tell myself what it is. It is scary and it is sad.

I’m absent from almost everything, except my immediate and present surroundings and need to stay sane. My sane stays on nearby like a child’s nightlight in the corner of the room. I  try hard to keep myself still. Together. Invisible. Unnoticed. The mute screamer begging not to be noticed.

I’ve met an edge in my sticky and pokey dress, where sanity meets an abyss of something else. Stepping in could be terrible and tangled. But I wonder if it could also stop something terrible. Heartache and worry? Sadness and memories? Shame and  regret?

I’m not sure what’s in there. I don’t know for sure how it could make me feel. It could be freeing, but my instincts keep bringing my face to the light in the corner of the room. Stay here, it reminds me. That in itself makes me wonder if I do the wrong thing by coming back to the light in the corner. Do other people reach this place and step in without contemplation? Do they let go of their mind and breathing and tears and shut off the light? Might that be why other people worry or hurt less? Are they more brave? Are they less crazy? Do they care more?

Pains are coming and going and I feel like a child feels like when she’s awoken, scared, in her bed alone, in the dark, and she’s screaming out for help. The kind of cry that makes a mom jump up and run in to hold her. The kind of scared inflicted by something she can’t remember in a dream, but knows it scared her. It felt real. Even if it wasn’t.

Whatever she feels like is what I feel like. I don’t scream. My cries sound like breaths in and out.  I never cry out. No one ever runs in. No one ever did. I rock myself. And the rhythm helps an adrenaline overdose start to subside.

I’m physically sick. And sore. And tired. I can hide behind that. But, mostly, my heart hurts. It’s not broken. It’s not shattered. It’s something worse. It’s exposed. Leaking. A torrent of something thick and infected is leaking out and can’t be clamped. I shamefully try to push it back in, and it’s like swallowing vomit. My stomach starts to hurt.

Whatever it is…love, regret, happiness, time, memories, fear, madness…I’ll make more, I assure myself. I’ll make more. I rock myself with a foot, with my waist. My breath comes back to me, and my heart relaxes. My stomach and my head hurt.

  
I could get up and move if I had to, but I want to come into myself physically as much as I do emotionally. I could talk if I had to, but I will avoid any and all chances. They deserve better than this, yet this is the absolute best I can be in this moment. Awake (sometimes) and alive (seemingly). The indignity of regret.

I will make more. And I say “I’m fine” to anyone who notices or suspects. I don’t feel well-but I’m fine. And I don’t, and I am. I will be fine. Unless it happens again in a bit, but right now I’m fine. Everything else is fine. Nothing around me has changed. I didn’t worry anything away. I didn’t fearfully move anything into better. My tears didn’t rust something out of motion. The adrenaline didn’t make the memory more clear. Nothing has changed. So, I’m fine.

Tomorrow I will make more. More love, regret, happiness, time, memories, fear, madness…I’ll make more, I assure myself, and, I assure you. I am scared. Every day. But there is no alternative except to come back.

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