Godzilla vs. Moe - This is what my Panic looks like
I've been up since dawn's early crack, having followed my own advice and having been asleep since n*PM last night. Asleep is a relative term - these days it means that several times I woke up enough to tell Netflix yes, I was still watching, and roll over again. I blame years of shift work for being unable to relax in a dark and silent room. My brain is too loud without external noise to mitigate it.
I'm rarely awake to see the sun come up, but it's one of my favorite things. I turn off the TV and listen to the birds. Ideally I have coffee and go back to bed, but today is a work-day, a heavy one. I'm going to try and tell you what my panic attack is like. I use the familiar term, but it doesn't mean the same thing for everyone.
My work-space faces a window that looks out into the woods across the landlords' back patio. I can see the rooftop of the house over the hill, and I know that between my window and theirs are foxes, owls, crows, cardinals, squirrels. I hear my gas heater kick on with a soft whoosh. My coffee is room-temperature, the way I like it. Yes, I'm gross. You can judge my coffee all you want.
I'm typing right now to help control the crashing of waves inside my mind. The thought pattern that loves what I'm becoming on my own terms crashes violently against the one that wonders why we - the Royal We, Legion of all incarnations of my Self - are having to do this again: start from scratch, build a life in someone else's home, do everything alone without another person collaborating, unable to say isn't this awesome, what we've done? Another wave attacks, the creative one: I have six projects screaming to get out but you're trying to go to work? What is wrong with you? And there is another me, one with a baseball bat trying to beat down the waves though they are made of water and are oblivious: we have got to pay the bills. Pay the bills. Pay the bills. Have walls - we must have walls, precious. Keep the world outside.
On the outside, I probably look pretty chill. Inside, I am losing my shit. I'm plastic-wrapped, holding it all in place until there's time to melt down.
I wonder sometimes whether the Me I'm really suffocating is the one that's Moe, the lead Stooge, the one I keep telling to shut up because nobody wants to do what we like to do so they aren't going to join in on any projects. Stop asking. Stop being rejected. Just do the thing by yourself, because you're alone anyway.
I am not afraid to do all the things alone - that isn't the issue, because I am still doing things. I have an eternal dream of finding a stable attachment, someone who can be for me what I am for everyone else, what I am learning to be for myself, one that doesn't grow a brain tumor. I'm not afraid to be alone. I would just like more work to be done for mutual benefit. I would like to be understood and not feared. I would like to not feel frustrated. Frustration is exhausting. But I don't want to be the lead stooge - really, I don't think anyone does.
It occurs to me that the title of this post is probably what the inside of my brain looks like when I'm freaking out - a radioactive giant lizard wrestling a comedian in a bowl-cut. Yeah.
This struggle has been strong for a few days now, enough more than usual that I started marking it on my calendar: M for manic, D for depressive. I'm at an age where I may be having hormonal fluctuations, or I might just be sick of living. Sometimes it is damn difficult to live - I'm sure you know this one. Suppressing the thought only makes it stronger. On today's date I added A for Annoyed. I think this is improvement, yeah?
Find an approved outlet for your emotions, and schedule time for it. I've got a set of illustrations to complete (healthy outlet) but no time to work on them (suppression), possible physical factors. Check. Proceed.
I stop typing for a minute to rub my eyes with the heels of my hands - looking at the words makes the panic more palpable, which isn't really helpful, yet it is. You have to define the enemy in order to master it. Since I have defined my enemy today with images of waves, like a series of tsunamis, I'm going to summon Godzilla to conquer all things today. I'm going to the office, make the usual coffee and the usual jokes, help people with their problems and be a general miracle-worker like every other day. I'll have a Standard Witty Retort prepared in case anyone asks me how I am.
Please don't ask me how I am. I am a carefully-measured balancing act, screaming on the inside, and your sincerity may tip the balance. Godzilla is coming; we've got this. Ask me tomorrow.