I have been putting off writing this for months...
The Big Nasty A-Hole
A-nxiety disorders are the shittest thing in the world. It challenges relationships, will shorten my life and the reason I smoke (and the rest). It makes my poor dad worry sick after manic 4am phone calls followed by disparaging acts.
I was misdiagnosed until I came to America and unearthed aspects of my personality, not WHO I am, but rather, HOW I am. It’s difficult.
Some serious shit flies and I usually end up in hospital or being referred somewhere after having some kind of break down. And end up in front of a therapist who sits there and relays the home truths.
It’s not easy to take responsibility for your own problems, there is nowhere to hide or to blame. For me, anxiety attacks are not the ones that bubble up quickly, and cause you to pass out from hyperventilation (which are awful). They are negative fixations in the brain that repeat, escalate and spiralize. You want to justify that something bad will happen, unreasonably, to satisfy your mind.
This can last for hours, days, weeks and sometimes even a whole month of instability.
Waking up ashamed, frazzled and in panic, after 2 hours of sleep, like some sort of bad speed trip. 3 days in a row and it gets fucking exhausting.
It makes my logic and self perception skewed. It’s a prolonged state of feeling on edge to full blown panic and despair, frightened of my own mind.
I bite my nails intensely, smoke like a trouper and obsess about the strangest things. I notice my chest getting tight and I feel like I want to jump out of my skin.
I find myself pacing the house/street/park, rapidly breathing, shaking like a rattle snake, desperate to get out of the echo loop. Disappointed that I couldn’t keep it together for more than 3 weeks.
There are many coping mechanisms, do they work? Sometimes it feels like a distraction.
“All I got to say, Is it won’t let go, We can pray to early May, Fast for 30 days, Still It won’t let go, got a good book and got all in it, Tried a little yoga for a minute, But it won’t let go (oooh), Tried to turn the sauna up hotter, Drank a whole jar of holy water, But it won’t let go…. go ALL the way through it. if you don’t want to let go yet, keep on calling and getting embarrassed. and when you get tired enough, you will let go. but you have to go all the way through it” Eryka Badu
This morning, in south central LA, I got another parking ticket.
It’s sunny and I’m driving to the gym and Power 106FM radio (Where Hip Hop Lives).
I thought about how I have learnt to drive on the other side of the road and if I can do that, I can probably quit smoking. ‘you CAN do it’ the willowy voice from my hynosis tape says.
I can probs do a lot more things than smoking, going out and getting wasted.
Coping with anxiety disorders, break ups, death will be made easier by allowing myself to lead a more self-soothing life.
Don’t get it twisted. Meditation is a good one.
For me, It’s working on the computer making videos and music, lying down in the sun and listening to all the sonic sounds around me. Spas, cocktails, playing in the garden, a long drive in the car and wrapping in a cute baby blanket. It takes myself out of my head and into my body or soul. I should refrain from distractions like parties or TV. I sit in the Hare Krishna center and sing along.
YouTube yoga and hypnosis tapes are great for clearing the mind when you can’t sleep. But if nothing is working - get up - make a tea, read a book. I watch physics lectures and it usually sends me off. Don’t smoke.
Artists need to crystallize their thoughts; mould, sculpt and paint experiences, It’s therapy.It’s okay to get frightened as an adult, learn to parent the child that is panic, fear and depression - don’t shout at it, or put it in front of the TV. Be kind, cuddle it and tell it everything is going to be OK.
Have a truer understanding of yourself. Accept who you are rather than let people try to fix you. Remind yourself that other people feel like this too. I have grown my armpit hair.
“The real you is more interesting than the fake somebody else” - Lauryn Hill
“You alright?” “No actually…. I am not”
I feel ashamed that being open might make me look unattractive. But keep your friends in the loop, it makes it so much easier.