There’s nothing more odd than going to sleep one person and waking up another. When my boyfriend asks me a week ahead of time if i’d like to go to his family gatherings I always try to answer as truthfully as possible and that truth is obviously ambiguous. So I say maybe.
Maybe I am manipulative, angry, disturbed, stupid, boring, hilarious, scary, unpredictable and whatever else people like to say, but I am not a liar. That gives me some amount of integrity, right? I’d be an honest thief if I wasted my time contemplating the science of stealing–you know, I’d be the one to mail back your wallet with everything in it but your cash. Think of it as me saving you a trip to the DMV for a new license.
I’d honestly prefer to stay indoors. Coming in contact with people risks triggers. Ending up a raging, crying mess in the middle of some place as Godawful as McDonald’s watching my friend chow down on fried kangaroo or whatever the hell they sell off as chicken is not my idea of a good day. Two words from someone’s mouth could spark an unforgivable rage or a spiraling depression of which I deal with alone, locked in my house for a week or so until some light switch flickers on and suddenly there’s hope again.
Up and down, left and right, diagonal and horizontal: these are the ways I describe my emotions. Sometimes i’m hopeful and gracious and obviously disgusted at the idea that anything could be “wrong” with me. Other times i’m five minutes away from swallowing the thirty Ativan in my purse. When I’m flat I feel nothing and could eventually teeter either way. Most of the time I don’t know what’s going on.
I can’t say I hate it. But I don’t want to admit I love it. At least when I feel “good” I can get things done, get out of bed in the morning, joke, face the outside world with less anxiety, finish homework, and brush things i’d usually take as an insult right off my shoulders. I guess it follows the saying “when i’m good i’m really good, but when I’m bad, i’m really bad”. But none of this even matters when it comes to the feeling that goes along with the emotions. I swear to God the emotions cling to different personalities. I see it as a way for the brain to understand something it can’t, just as I see the random repetitive sentences and words that sometimes pop into my head as a way for my brain to take a moment to focus, relax, and hear only one thought.
Here’s the thing with anxiety; it’s like a seven eleven: it’s open 24/7 and some scary sh*t happens to it. There’s no rest for the wicked. Even sleeping the nightmares keep my nervous system on high alert. But one thing I’ve noticed helps slow the constant feeling of dread, some of the paranoia, and much of the racing thoughts is something to focus on. Video games is one thing. But even something less violent like math takes my mind off the entirety of the world and the universe. For those brief moments i’m computing integrals are the brief moments i’m actually relaxed. I wake up in the morning with a five word sentence from a random song stuck in my head. It repeats for three or four hours and for the most part i’m hearing nothing else in my head. It’s like a gift from the gods.
Everyday is stepping blind onto an amusement park ride and i’m not ever allowed to peek. I hold everything behind a facade because people don’t deserve to worry about me like I worry about everything else. That’s an act of kindness, right?