Whatever it was… it is not.
I’m hovering between panic attacks currently. I’m mostly okay with that, but mostly just not. Only in the last 10 years or so have I been having them, for a while they stayed dormant. I liked that stage. The quiet of not having to pay close attention to or watch my every word.
They’ve been intermittent for the past two years, me mainly ignoring them and the issues that come along with them. I’ve been somewhat forced to start dealing with them since December, mostly because they started a pattern. I don’t like patterns when it comes to those types of things.
In January I made a conscious outloud decision to deal with the panic attacks and the real reason behind them. It wasn’t a light decision. I started out with just saying I was going to seek out and find an affordable counselor. That was handled by me finding SafePlace. I’m glad I started there, though the journey since has been incredibly intense and annoying and interesting. I am happy that was my first step.
My next verbal step was 30 days of yoga and meditation. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but let me tell you… those 30 days were long, intense, educational, life altering, interesting most days just downright comical. I only say that because how else does one laugh off their own fears and insecurities?!
I believe by day 10, I was FOR ABSOLUTELY SURE that I had lost all of the marbles I had in my head. Some days I still wonder if I got any of them back. I can’t explain to you what sitting still is like. But give it a try. Sit with yourself, no distractions, no music, no phones, nothing. Just sit for 5 minutes everyday for one week all by yourself, with nobody but you and your thoughts. If you keep an open mind you can learn so much about yourself. Yoga is similar in that way as well. I’ve been told the poses that are the hardest for you tell a lot about you and how you deal with things when life gets hard. I can atest to that 100%. There are some poses I refuse to do, just because I know what my reaction will be and I am not ready to deal with it or myself. Yoga is an extension of meditation. Another way to quiet the mind if done fully and correctly. Let’s just say I’ve had several panic attacks and crying on my mat… in a studio setting… not my cup of tea, but I was caught off guard and so there I sat paralyzed to my spot fighting through the emotions that came up. When I’m off, I try not to go to a studio. I don’t like dealing with my intense emotions out in public. You know being all vulnerable and shit…
Here’s my biggest fears when it comes to the panic attacks I have… my biggest fears are not being able to function as an adult, as a parent, as a spouse, as anything that has to deal with the many hats I wear. I fear not being able to drive myself where I need to go, I fear not being able to control the attacks, I fear being placed on a meditation to help. I fear having panic attacks on a consistent basis like I’ve been having over the last week. My biggest fear with that also, that I am not given a warning sign anymore when they will start. They just start. I have come to realize that is not okay.
I had several panic attacks in session today, thought I was good to go by the end of session. Got in my car to drive home, ended up having to sit in my car for almost two hours until I was okay enough to get home. That alone freaked me out and I panicked even more. Let me tell you, being gripped by fear sucks ass.
Having my life controlled (sometimes) by fear is not okay to be. It leaves me frustrated and angry. And with the overall feeling of this isn’t FAIR! Why, why, why, why…?! You know all of the WHY questions victims and survivors have. I won’t name them.
I was asked what would it be like to really sit with that frustration and express it in any form that my body needed to.
I suppressed it, it felt horrible pushing it back down, stuffing it in a box on a high shelf. I didn’t close the door on it, I wanted to so bad. But I couldn’t. But I did refuse to express it. I let a handful of tears fall down my face, I took some deliberate deep breaths and I gathered myself all the way together. That my friends is not how to handle the situation. Don’t do what I did. Maybe next time I will scream, kick, thrash about and cry. Or maybe just maybe, I might hold my composure, let a few tears fall and suck it up. Because friends, that’s been my life. No time, space or energy to be sad and angry and upset. I always had to find a way to make it work, otherwise my struggle thus far was for not.
I’m hoping I will one day be able to feel safe enough to just express what I’m feeling. For now, I will sit with my panic attacks, sip my mason jar full of wine (because, you know a way to numb the pain away) and take pretty pictures.
whatever it is… it is not.
Most times I can skirt the news, the drama and the craziness of this world by not having live tv, by not watching tv at all, by not picking up a newspaper or reading online news outlet websites. All of it done on purpose. To avoid seeing and hearing things that can be activating for me.
I need and crave peace, pretty things, love, fucking skittles and puppy dogs. But occasionally the world creeps in and I feel it. All of it. And it weighs heavy. As I try to grapple with ways to fix it, to fix the problem, to make all better in the world. And I end up sad, depressed, anxious and upset. And I walk around with a big ass attitude and fuck the world mentality, until someone, something reminds me. It’s not you, it’s not your feelings, it’s the feelings of those around you, of the world because you let them in…
Ike and I talk between ourselves, between my sister and her partner and we all end up pissed and angry. And so we shove it all away and say we can’t talk about this anymore. I’m mad and I don’t know where to direct my anger. And so because I don’t know where to direct my anger I need to push it aside. Move it, shift it so I can comfortably keep going through my day/week/month.
But today, today… I am just stuck. Not only by what’s happened in the last 24-48 hours, but by the silence. The silence of those that aren’t brown skinned and are close to us and our family. By the lack of compassion from people who say it was their fault for being killed while black. For the idea that we have to paint these men, women and children in a negative light to make their killing FUCKING JUSTIFIED! By the blind eye that is turned every time a person of white skin is taken in alive for an offense TEN FUCKING times worse then reading a book, selling cigarettes or cds. But by fucking golly you should do what the fuck they tell you to do otherwise you’ll end up dead and it will be all your fault. But what about the people who followed the letter of the law and still ended up dead? I’ll wait.
I’m so tired of well he used to do this or he used to do that, WHO THE FUCK CARES. Was he doing that the day he died? Did him reading a book require a fucking death sentence?
I’m so tired of well what about black on black crime? What the fuck about it? What about white on white crime, gay on gay crime, Muslim on Muslim crime? Why is it when a black man, woman or child is MURDERED the question always comes back to black on black crime?
Why don’t we do that when a white person bombs a fucking building, kills a theater full of people, shoots up a FUCKING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OR COLLEGE. Oh I forgot, he has mental illness. He wasn’t right in the head.
It’s even worse when a female has been raped. Well, what was she wearing, did you say no, why were you there, were you drinking, did you ask for it, well it’s your husband can it really be rape?
Black guy does it, lands UNDER THE FUCKING JAIL. White guy does it, oh poor Luke is too privileged to be in jail. Let’s give him a suspended 10 year probation sentence.
I’m so tired of not being seen, of not having a voice, of being patted on the fucking head and said but you’re different. FUCK YOU AND YOUR DIFFERENCE! FUCK YOU AND YOUR, BUT YOU ARENT LIKE MOST BLACKS!
What is that going to do for me if I’m found hanging in a jail cell? What is that going to do for my husband if someone deems him suspicious and kill him? What will that do for my son if someone says he shouldn’t be in our neighborhood because he’s too black. What will that do for my daughters if some pompous prick feels he is entitled to her body?
I know, what ifs. They are all none existent right now and I hope for the remainder of our lives on this earth. But it is a thought that crosses my mind every time my heart walks out of the front door of our house every day.
It can be like PTSD hearing about the injustices happening, about how we are still not even considered human enough to matter. It’s draining, its anxiety ridden, it can be depressing. And so that’s why I stay unplugged. So that I may skip all of this while I work through my own personal issues. Because these issues and my own issues on top of that is crushing me. I’m doing lots of self care and showing myself compassion. BUT, I’m still saddened by the way of this world.
I know this could sound like a rant, but don’t do that. Don’t belittle my truth down to the “Angry Black Female”. I’m speaking my truths, if you can’t handle it, if you want to add more to it that’s YOUR STORY NOT MINES. I have a right to be upset, scared and anxious. And I’m going to go with that.
I don’t know what my piece in this will look like except to keep offering love. To keep teaching my children about Love and how to figure out who They are in this world full of noise and hate and scared folks not knowing how to say that out loud.
Anyways, I would end with Namaste. But Nope. Ponder on the picture below.
The other morning I was seriously considering a multitask of sorts. Taking my much needed cup of coffee in to the shower with me. Then just standing under the water as it washed over me and I sipped my coffee.
And well because I’m a germaphobe… This was as far as I got, and this was past my comfort zone, lol!
Needless to say I did stand in the shower with the water washing over me. I paused an extra five breathes to center myself, catch up with where I was and then move forward in the rest of my day.
I cherish the small moments. This moment to have coffee and a shower with no littles demanding my attention was great.
Here’s to beautiful starts to every morning!