In A Moment's Notice, When Panic Attacks I Paint and Write
The heart beats rapidly.
Hot flashes come in waves on your cheeks.
The vision gets blurry.
The hands and legs tremble.
Breathing gets harder and denser.
It feels as if someone is choking the life out of you.
All of the above happens simultaneously.
What I describe above are symptoms I experience during a panic attack aka anxiety attack. They are ready to be with me and embrace me at a moment's notice.
I have heard it all.
"You are not strong enough to control your mind."
"It is all in your head."
"Just get through it."
And much more.
Truth is... I have no idea where it is. Head or mind or soul or spirit, I do not know. What I do know is that it is debilitating. It takes my breath away from the living, literally.
I feel, pardon my audacity, in my scenario, it is from being strong way too much. It is from the fucked up notion that having anxiety is something to be ashamed of. I do not wish to have this any more than anyone wishes to have an illness that they have to live with. And yet, here I am. Living with this stigmatized illness and making the best of it when I can.
After decades of struggling with it, I am slowly learning more about it. I am accepting that I am enough as I am today while trying to have a better tomorrow.
It is not easy. I have days when I want nothing but to give up. But then I look around and see my two children and think "What kind of example am I setting for them."
I think "May be, may be my purpose in life is to live this and speak up about it so that another can live not in fear, but with head held high."
If you are out there and suffer from mental illness of any kind,
You are not alone.
You are not broken.
You are enough as you are.
Today is good enough as it is.
Try to stay here and now and hope that tomorrow is another day and another chance.
Find something that makes you feel home.
Find a routine that saves you from the abyss of darkness.
We will be ok. You and I.
We will be ok.
My love and prayers to al who is fighting the silent battle.
Ps: I find writing or painting calm me down. This painting I worked on for an hour before sitting down to write this. No matter what I do, I can not get the pot right. It made me smile as I feel the pot is insisting that it is good enough as it is, crooked.