“What if all that keeps you trapped in that invisible boxing ring is the belief that you have to keep fighting in order to win?… What will happen to your opponent if he suddenly has nobody who will fight him?” Courtney Perry

Once upon a time

I started having panic attacks

I hated them so vehemently

That I swore to fight them at all costs

I swore to do whatever I had to to to win this battle

So I trained

And so I won many battles

But eventually I grew tired

I grew tired of always fighting

Being on guard 24/7 was crippling

And life was becoming one giant battlefield

One day

The panic attacks came back

They had grown stronger than before

I shrank my world to fit in my condo

Hoping if I stayed off the battlefield

The panic attacks would see I was no longer in the fight

They’d turn around and walk away

And leave me alone

Instead, they found me there

In my safe place

Banging on my doors and windows

Rattling me to my very core

I was so afraid

I hid in the darkness and shrank into the corner

Days passed this way

I could hear them getting louder and louder

And just when my door sounded like it was going to break apart

And my mind was going to snap into a million pieces

I sprang to my feet

I frantically threw open the front door

And yelled for them to fucking do their worst

I screamed that I wasn’t afraid of them

I didn’t like them

They knew that

I never would

But I had grown so tired of living in a constant state of fear

That I realized I’d rather come face to face with them

And if they destroyed me

Well

Then at least it would be over

The funny thing was

That when I opened the door

No one was there

The hall was eerily silent

I was stunned

I looked around

Sure that they were just hiding

To catch me at my most vulnerable

I looked in corners and under crawl spaces

Still I was alone

I was bewildered and shaken

I sank to my knees in the quiet hallway

And I started to cry

Big fat tears rolled down my face

I wasn’t crying because I was afraid

Not this time

This time was different

I was crying because all of this time

All of these years

I had expended so much energy and strength

I had used up so much of myself

When all I had ever needed to do

Was to open that fucking door

—–

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‘There is always some madness in love. But there is also always reason in madness.’ Nietzsche

I used to lament

How we would have had an epic love story

If it weren’t for my fucked up life getting in the way

It’s kinda messed up

How everyone loves the deeply flawed broken man in a romance novel

But nobody writes a story where the woman in the relationship is the one who is beautifully broken

Our story is nothing like a romance novel

I know I don’t need you to survive

This isn’t a story about a damsel in distress

Maybe I would even find a way to be happy without you in my life 🤷🏻‍♀️

The thing is

I don’t want to have to try

I want you in my life

In my darkest hours

In my darkest moments

I see you at the other end

Looking for me

Waiting for me

You read me affirmations when I’m too anxious to read them myself

You encourage me when my depression steals my ability to do that for myself

This isn’t a fairytale

It’s real and gritty and honest

And sometimes I’d rather be alone

I know it’s not easy

Sometimes, when I’m not consumed by own mind

I see how hard it is for you

That makes me far sadder than I could ever put into words

I still think how different your life could have turned out

If we hadn’t of met

I probably always will

I used to think that our love story was ruined

That it didn’t have a chance to flourish

Because of me

That my own story is filled with too many plot twists

To have a happy ending

But I was wrong

You are the plot twist

You’re the one I didn’t see coming

In a million years

I never would have guessed

That we’d be here

Together

After everything

All the hard times

All the sad times

Ive said before that I wouldn’t try to write something

That someone else had already written

And written so eloquently

This

Exactly

All of this:

And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.”-Kiersten White

‘You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.’ George Burns

The first of October means it’s my birthday.

It means I’m 37 years old.

It means I’m a year older.

It means I’ve survived another year.

There is a reason I fight so hard and it is because I love life and want to enjoy it to the fullest.

I didn’t do the Lemtrada and the Paxil change for no reason.

I did it because I want more.

I want to die, wrinkled, tattooed, scarred and with no weeping at my funeral telling one another that ‘it’s a pity, she had such a hard/sad life.’

Nah, I want people to remember the life force that I was, the zeal I shared and the hunger I had for more.

I know it’s not always on display.

Sometimes other things take over but it’s always in there.

Sometimes it’s just hiding.

I’m like the comeback kid, I’ll always bounce back. I will this time too.

Here’s to 37 and making it count!

Thanks for all ❤️

‘But It Is One Thing To Read About Dragons And Another To Meet them.’ Ursula K. Le Guin

I have Panic Disorder What is Panic Disorder?

From my very first panic attack to my most recent this morning

They all share the same premise

My fear is that I’m going to go crazy

Which to me looks like

Being stuck in a permanent state of panic attack

Where my breath is not deep enough

Everything sounds too far away

I feel nauseous and queasy

My mind is racing

My heart beating too fast

My tears won’t stop coming

I feel afraid

I feel discouraged

And I feel like it’s all never going to end

I know people say shit like this all the time

But I truly wouldn’t wish this on anyone

It’s such an overwhelming feeling and sensation

That it just takes over every part of your life

Life becomes all about navigating panic attacks

What can I do to avoid them?

What triggers them?

What makes me feel better when I have one?

When will they stop?

Why me?

I won’t lie

I get really stuck in the last two

I’ve been thinking the same thing since I was 18

What the fuck did I do so badly that I had to get stuck with this?

Negotiating on what I can do better to make them stop

Its actually kinda funny that between MS and Panic attacks

I’d actually rather have MS

I’ve never thought about that before

Even writing it out sounds preposterous

But it’s the truth

MS with all its pain, difficulties, uncertainties and tribulations

I’d rather be stuck with you

Then experience even one more panic attack

I’m sure to people who’ve had the good fortune to never have had a panic attack

That sounds silly

But here’s the thing

While MS certainly fucks with your vision, your mobility and so much more

It does not trick you into believing your worst nightmare

It doesn’t dupe you into thinking you’re dying

It simply is what it is

Your immune system attacking your myelin

It’s as scientific as it is shitty

It’s not curable but it’s explainable (altho the exact reason why it occurs is still a mystery)

Panic disorder on the other hand

Is a lying, manipulative, twisted motherfucker

Who will do whatever it takes to fuck with you

Yeah maybe that’s giving it too much power

But how can I not when it’s been responsible for so much negativity in my life?

In my own father’s life?

Growing up I saw the hold it had on my dad

I saw how much he tried to resist it

How he couldn’t

How he still can’t

Sure people tell me I’m not like him

My doctor included

But we have this huge struggle in common

The one he couldn’t defeat

The one that feels like it’s defeating me

The one that feels like it has a chokehold on us

Maybe our stories are linked

If he defeats it

Then I can too

Or maybe one has no bearing on the other

But I promise

If I can slay this dragon

It’ll be for us both

‘You Can’t Go Back And Change The Beginning But You Can Start Where You Are And Change The Ending.’ C.S Lewis

I went to an alternative high school

I know

How fitting…right?

We called our teachers by their first names and had art all day on Thursdays

It occupied one upper floor of an elementary school

I skipped class more than I should have

There was a student there we had nicknamed ‘Neil the Nazi’

He carried around a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’

Maybe it was just one time

I don’t really remember

It’s ironic that this was so relevant then

Because I remember feeling like one of the most ethnically diverse people at the school

And that is saying a whole lot about the lack of diversity

It was so whitewashed that I didn’t want my parents to attend my graduation

Afraid my father would show up in a suit with his big gold Jesus-on-a-cross necklace

And it would be like bright flashing lights above my parents

Announcing our difference

Ironic too because I looked like this at that point:

Different wasn’t supposed to be negative

Unless you were my parents in a sea of WASPs

Anyway

I went from a catholic all girls school

To the alternative school

It was like a culture shock

I felt like a displaced person

Or like someone who’d accidentally happened upon a secret society

Who didn’t belong

We did pottery

Drew live nudes

And smoked too many cigarettes sitting underneath hundred year old trees

Griping about life

Not knowing nearly how hard it had yet to become

I smoked so much pot

That I grew tired of it’s magic

I was dissatisfied with everything

I didn’t know then

What I know now

I thought high school was as difficult as it was gonna get

I didn’t realize that life was only getting started

It all seemed so endless and suffocating at the same time

I wanted to be free of my parental supervision

Separated from my cultural ties

I didn’t know my hardest battles were laying in wait for me

Lulling me into believe the worst was over

I’d soon become such an easy target

Thinking the war was over

Feeling victorious with no need left to fight

Little did I know

That it was all just beginning

‘It’s Not What You Look At That Matters, It’s What You See.’ Henry David Thoreau

Sitting by the water

He takes out his notebook and a pen

He starts addressing the letter

‘Dear Mom and Dad’

He stops

Sits

Staring out at the sea

Reminded of all the times he had sat in this very spot before

Always looking

But never really seeing

Always searching

Never finding

Today is different

Today he is thinking of his parents

Thinking of what to write in a letter that will only be received after he’s gone

Thinking of what, if anything, will bring comfort to his parents

He doesn’t want to think about the sadness they might feel

He prefers to think of their future and how happy he thinks they’ll be without worrying about him all the time

Should he write that, he ponders

No

That sounds like he’s doing this because of them

And he’s not

He’s never done anything so much for himself before

He starts again

‘Dear Mom and Dad,

I love you both

I’m sorry for any grief this might cause you

But I’m doing this for me

I can’t stand it anymore

I hope one day you can understand that.’

He stops again

He rereads his words

He cringes

The words sound so hollow

It all seems so pitiful

That’s not what he wants to convey

This isn’t a sad ending

He needed this, he thinks

Surely they have seen that

Maybe there’s no way to write that out

Maybe there’s only a way to feel it

If only he could bottle up an emotion and attach it to his letter

He feels frustrated

Fuck this isn’t what he wanted today to be about

This day was supposed to be a happy day

He shouldn’t have waited until today to write this

This is good really

The end of a miserable life

He tears up the letter

He tries again

‘Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m doing this for me. A new beginning.

Love,

Your son’

He reads it over several times

It’s as good as its gonna get

He doesn’t have a lot of time left

He goes back to his lonely apartment

Filled with stuff he has no use for anymore

He wonders if he ever really enjoyed any of it

He doesn’t care if thieves get to it

He finds an envelope and puts his parents names on it

He had made plans with his parents for tomorrow

They are going to pass by

They’ll knock until they realize the door is unlocked

They’ll wander in

Walk around

Call his name

They’ll see all of his things scattered around

Remnants of a life he never really excelled at

Leftover pieces of a life that he could never really call his own

Things he won’t need anymore

The letter will be on the table

They can’t miss it

He wonders if they will figure it out before reading the letter

He hopes in someway they saw this coming

They had to

It’s been a long time coming

He doesn’t really care to say his goodbyes to anyone else

He just wants to be gone

Finally

He goes into his bedroom

There is a small bag in his closet

That he bought especially for this momentous occasion

He feels positively electric

His hands are shaking

He unzips it

Peeks inside

Making sure everything he needs is still there

Even though he has checked and rechecked a million times

He hasn’t slept in a few days

Too full of anticipation for this day

He takes a seat on his bed

Thinking about this last year

He’s exhausted and giddy at the same time

Giddy…he thinks

That’s the only time he’s ever used that word to apply to himself

He is so ready to take this leap

He gets up

Grabs his bag

Walks to the front door

He won’t need his keys where he’s going

He turns back

One last look

He feels nothing but relief

He shuts off the lights

Closing the door behind him

He’s ready

He takes a big breath

This isn’t an ending

He exhales

It’s his new beginning

One foot in front of the other

Not longer just about walking away from an expired life

But towards a new one

Just waiting to be found

‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’

The Pincushion Queen

I’m filling out a self exploration journal

It asks me questions that make me think

I mostly like it

Until it stumps me

It wants to know three thoughts that made me smile

I sifted through the ashes of the day that was coming to an end

Searching for the remnants of a smile

Surely there had to be something

Instead I walked through empty hallways in my mind

Like an old home

Abandoned

There were cobwebs where laughter should have been

There were dusty corners where smiles should have hidden

I felt frantic in my search

It had to be there

Hidden under the tarps

I needed to find the right moments to erase the sadness in my heart

From room to room

Floor to floor

I searched

For something to hold onto

I looked around at a strange home that I’d never been to

But like all empty dilapidated homes

The previous owners had taken the memories with them

Maybe tomorrow

I’ll get lost in my old home

I’ll find all the smiles and laughs

That have gone missing throughout the years

Maybe tomorrow

I’ll write it all in my journal

Hoping it’ll fill up the emptiness in my mind

Wishing that my heart will be so filled to the brim

That the sadness won’t have any place to slither in

And I can tape the pages of my journal

All around my broken bits

Covering the seams to keep all the happiness locked inside