It’s Just My Heart That’s Rejected By My Veins

15 May

I had a panic attack tonight. If you’ve never had one, it’s basically dying and knowing that you’re dying and also that you deserve it and your family will find you alone with dirty hair and you lied about getting all your laundry done and will they know what to do with the cats? All at the same time. I haven’t had a panic attack in many months and I worked through this one by intermittently laying down and putting on makeup. Because the least I can do for my long suffering parents is put on some goddamn makeup so when they find me I don’t look so dead.

But of course, I didn’t die. Within 30 minutes, the winch in my chest let go and slowly oh but ever so slowly, my heart started to beat normally. And it was okay.

I’ve had panic attacks since I was a very young child. I didn’t have the language back then, so I called them the Heavy Dream. In the small hours of the morning, I would lie the full bed I shared with my little sister and feel all the dread in the world creep over me. It would pin my little body to the mattress and my heart would beat in my ears so loudly I swear to God I could hear that shit bounce off the pillowcase. I imagined this very large stone being rolled over me. That’s what it felt like. I don’t know what a 4 year old has to worry about, necessarily, but I was a 4 year old with a very….dynamic mother. Dynamic. Dynamite.

May is National Mental Health Month and I am ready to come out of the closet. I take a psychotropic drug every day to help maintain my mental health in addition to seeing a therapist regularly for the past 4 years. Before I took these steps to maintain my health, I did the following: yoga, belly dancing, capoeira, working out twice a day, drinking 3 times a day, sleeping all day, eating too much, eating nothing, hating myself, hating you.

None of it worked. None of that stuff made the Heavy Dream go away.

I am alive today because I live in an age where mental health care is available. I am alive today because I have the resources to pay for my own mental health care. I know that if I had not gotten help when I did – if help had not been available to me – I would have taken my own life.

I’m no one. I mean, who reads this awful site? Maybe my sisters? I’m not going to change anyone’s life by sharing this. But if by chance someone happens upon this and you’re living that half-life under the bell jar and you want to pluck your fingernails out of your hands just to give yourself a distraction and to prove that you can finish something…it’s time. It’s time to name your demon, and know that there is much wonder on the other side.

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One Response to “It’s Just My Heart That’s Rejected By My Veins”

  1. An old Alaska guy May 15, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    I would bet there are far more people reading than just your Sisters. You should pen a real book. On paper. In hard back.

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