I love to write. It helps me process stuff. So with your permission, I would like to share.
For the longest time i felt uncomfortable. Just uncomfortable. Like it started back in my teens, over twenty years ago…there was a tingling electric feeling in the second layer of my skin, like the universe was singling me out for something. I was always ready for the next thing, I can’t tell you what that thing was, but something important or memorable was going to happen if i let my guard down and did’t pay hyper attention to my surroundings. Now that I look back I can see that I was fidgety and nervous all the time…. and a bit of a control freak. Whatever. Back then I had more energy than anyone and was hell bent on accomplishing more with my time than most people twice my age. That was a perfect recipe for a meth addiction.
At 16 is was drawn to the stuff, it sure as hell loved me more than my family at that point. Thank god my mother had enough of me and kicked me out. Fast forward to 25, good lord I sure hate myself on meth. That uncomfortable feeling in my skin is really loud now, and my mind starts to wander when i get these feelings in my skin. I can disappear for hours into my head. So I stop doing meth. Easy fix, right? Nope. I quit cold turkey. 30 day detox at home and keep up with the day to day of normal life…. I had too much shit to do to be sick with sobriety.
Five years later. I’m clean, but there is no way I fit in with anyone. Nobody. Old friends are gone. New friends are gone. Family isn’t coming back. I still have that feeling in my skin. The tingle. I can walk around with fists clenched and holding my breath and not know it. Someone can tap me on the shoulder an tell me that I have been “gone” for a couple minutes.. .where did I go and what was I thinking. Wouldn’t you know I could never tell them, because I couldn’t remember. Holy shit. I was off in la la land and couldn’t figure out what my brain had been doing. You know, this scared me. A lot.
I kept up with life and the job and met a guy, but I kept becoming more and more disassociated with my body. My back hurt all the time, my knees, my shoulders, I was a mess. For some odd reason I had two jobs since I was able to work, because why work one job when you can work two right???!! My body is sick. My body is falling apart, and now I am having trouble breathing. I tore my rotator cuff working my 80hr/week job (college part time too). I am not even 35 yet.
All those years I had been trying to explain to different counselors that there was something wrong… I was convinced I was autistic. Not joking. Most of them diagnosed me bipolar, but I didn’t believe that because in all those hyper activity times of my life I was scared. I mean bipolar people at least get to have the delusion that they are floating on top of the world, right?? Nope. Not me. One guy told me I complained too much about the same thing. One woman said the same, but told me I was a brat and living in sin with my boyfriend. One woman heard me.
She patiently sat there and let me try to explain the hamster wheel of thoughts going on in my head. And how I could only go catatonic and hold my breath now…. Like I was waking up at 3am to get at least 3 hours in before the sun rose, daily. The thoughts in my head were too much and I was frozen. At the same time the relationship falls apart and I am pregnant and alone and am unable to stop my head and my thoughts and my electric feeling in my skin. This is the hardest fight I have ever endured… and to put this in perspective, I was violently raped in the past, but this battle in my head is going to kill me. And if it wouldn’t, I was ready to do it myself.
All the while she watches me balloon out with a beautiful baby boy, and she listens to me. And she teaches me to mourn my losses. And she teaches me to relax and sit inside my body and feel what is going on for a while. Mindfulness. She is the first person that let me talk candidly about the things that flagged me as weird, and that was important. I mean, all kids got woke up at 4 or 5 am to get yelled at and thrown around by their mother. Right? Oh shit. No? All 13 year old girls’ moms accuse them of sleeping with their step-dads, right? Oh shit! No again!! Well hell. Well. Well….. all people hold their breath and stare at the ceiling for hours at a time when they are overwhelmed with stress right? Fuck. No again.
She has a phone number for me. It’s a lady, but this lady specializes in helping people like me. Okay. Good. She can show me what is wrong and how to fix it. And for fuck sake, how not to pass this on to my kid. A year later I finally asked what was wrong with me. “You have OCD” she says. Not autistic, huh? Damn, I was sure I was… that seems a little less, i don’t know.. depressing maybe? I tried to fight the OCD, they are just stupid ass thoughts that I hate. They make me hate myself too. Meth did that, and I quit meth, therefore I can quit my OCD. Bam. Done. Here I am sitting in my office holding my breath for weeks and weeks, trying not to let my intrusive thoughts take over anymore because I will beat them. Fuck them, I hate what they have done to me.
My body is sore all over again, I mean I never really recovered from my full blown eclamptic pregnancy, or the LVH the hypertension left me with. But now I have a funny, wheezy laugh and I can’t breathe when I bend or LAY DOWN. Yes, I lose my breath drifting off to sleep. I Google the symptoms. They got me to the hospital within the next 24 hours. Yep. I have congestive heart failure now. I have been inside my head, holding in anxiety and panic and intrusive thoughts for so long that my damn heart is broken before I turn 40.
I got to spend time in the stroke ward where I watched people deteriorate to aspirating on hospital veggies shitting on themselves, when they were awake and coherent when they arrived…all in the course of a weekend. What am I in for you ask? Shit, I have hamster wheels running in my head and I can’t make them stop. My heart can’t take the stress anymore, that is what I am in for.
You know, the people across the hall from me were in for the same thing, but they were twice my age and don’t have a two year old.
I have started to accept that my brain is wired a little different. I mean, whatever, Who the fuck isn’t a little different anyways. I accept me. I love me. And guess what? I’m okay.