Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"I Needed Somewhere To Hang My Head Without Your Noose"

I had this whole week of posts written and scheduled by Monday morning, because I went through a myriad of emotions in just 2 lousy days.

But on my way home from my writing workshop I decided to chuck it all. Not because I'm cured or better or anything- there's still a sadness in me that I can't even begin to define- but because it's not what I wanted to say anymore. Just the fact that I'd written the words are almost enough; there's no need to poison the internets with it.

Besides, I do believe today I may have hit rock bottom, and this time The Voices were kind enough to give me the words to tell you what happened exactly as it happened.

I had to leave work early today, because sometime around 2-ish my heart started beating funny and my breathing became labored. I felt skittish and dizzy and I couldn't concentrate on the stupid article about Verizon spinning off their landlines to Frontier Communications. Of course I started to think it's because I hadn't eaten enough in the past few days, even though I had eaten 3/4 of a turkey burger from a local diner that day, and I got scared.

At around three, after having gone to the bathroom to splash water on my face and trying to force myself to relax, I came to the dramatic conclusion that if I was going to die I'd rather die in my own apt. I didn't want the office assistant to have to call the ambulance or the firefighters from upstairs... that would have been too humiliating. So I went home, and suffered what I can only describe as a full-on panic/anxiety attack.

I barely made it into the apartment (after texting Smarty Jones that it wasn't food poisoning but rather something more serious), hands shaking so much I could barely get the key in the door, before the sobs began. And I threw myself on the bed to just let it out but I couldn't control my breathing and I was freaking out. Then I felt like I had to throw up so I made my way to the bathroom, JUST BARELY, but could only muster a coughing fit. Still, my heart was racing and I was struggling to breathe.

And my phone was so far away it seemed; I really thought I was going to die there. All of a sudden I really couldn't control my breathing and just tore my clothes off and trashed my bathroom in a fit of rage, literally... it was so hot and I couldn't breathe and I didn't know why and I couldn't get to anyone. I jumped in the shower and was literally shaking all over and crying so hard. I finally just sat in the tub with the water washing over me, and even though my heart was still going a mile a minute I was cooling off and had stopped shaking a bit.

In the shower I thought about calling my mother to come get me, but then I remembered that we didn't have that kind of relationship where I could just do that. Then I thought I could call Minnie, ask her to take me to the hospital, anything, but I didn't want to make her leave work. I didn't want to bother her when I know she has her own shit going on.

I was a mess and felt so alone like there was no one I could turn to. All I'd wanted was to be left alone and there I was alone and I couldn't hang.

After the shower I threw on a shirt and I sat on my kitchen floor, window fan bringing in humid air from outside and was just a mess. I went to get my phone with the full intention of texting Irene and bailing on the workshop, but there was a text from Smarty... telling me to hop in a cold shower to help with my panic attack.

And next to my phone were the printouts of the stories for the workshop that night, already marked up and ready to be discussed. And it was only 4:30. I could still collect myself and go.

So I sat back on the kitchen floor in front of the fan and read the stories again and decided: I was going to get dressed, and I was going to attend this workshop with Irene and Theresa, and we were going to discuss literature and the craft & business of writing because this meeting was my baby; I'd wanted this and said I would be there and since when am I a person who doesn't keep her word?

And I'm glad I went.

I got so lost for a while there; I really just lost myself. I'd been praying for death, for this whole episode to pass over me and when I came face to face with it although part of me was like, "Take me already" my body was still fighting to breathe.

It's just not natural to want to die, it isn't. Your body will fight it to the very end.

And I guess it took a panic attack (and some well-placed angels) to teach me that.

*smooches...thinking this time, for real, I may need a professional*
... and that if they prescribe medication I may just need to suck it up and take it. but of course I would have this epiphany just when I lose my medical insurance, right? ugh