03 December, 2015

For The Unloved Broken People


Every time I try to write the first sentence of this post, it gets erased, and an even more passive-aggressive one takes its place.  I think I have to check within me one more time and accept that there's nobody to attack.  Because that's the whole point of this essay.

Being a broken person is not pretty.  Being broken does not equal being found while you're wandering a city by yourself at night, doing "broken person" things.  Someone will not find you and think that you're just weird enough for them to love unconditionally.  How could they?  When you're so broken that you're too ashamed to let any one in.  How could any one know?

That's the thing about there being something wrong with you.  There's so much shame.  Because people do love you.  But your inherent self-hatred prevents you from feeling that love.  It feels like people are doing their homework, taking care of you.  You can hear the strain in their voice when they tell you for the hundredth time that there's nothing to panic about.

esperando a mi terapeuta

There's been a culmination of events.  (Isn't there always?)  I'm frightened a lot these days.  It's as though my body knows that there's a slow unraveling happening within me, but my brain doesn't yet.  I can sense it.  When I wake up, I stare.  It's been taking me longer to get out of bed.  I pace a lot.  I'm not thinking of anything particularly important, but I pace and I pace and I pace and I worry about something that needs me to worry about it.  I fall asleep in baths.  I can't bring myself to cry much anymore.

Last night I attended a candlelight vigil for a girl I used to go to high school with.  I went to support her parents, because both of their daughters had passed away in the accident.  I didn't expect to cry.  I didn't feel my boots get heavy during the vigil.  I didn't feel my boots get heavy as I walked away, listening to people cry in the distance.  I didn't feel my boots get heavy in the car ride home.  It wasn't until I arrived in my room that I felt my shoulders, my feet, my hands, my head get heavier.

Since January, I've realized how much death horrifies me.  You know how there's many things you know are horrible, but your innate naïveté helps you not freak out about them?

You know you're going to die, you know your parents are going to die, you know accidents happen, you know the world is unsafe, but there's many distractors (I know, it sounded harsh as I typed it) in life that remind you that there's no use being afraid of them every waking moment.  That's not what living with a panic disorder is like.  I won't even try to explain what that's like, because I'm completely done with reading generalizations about this, as though we all think the same and have the same triggers and are phobic of the same things, but that's not my point.

I studied books for months, swallowed pills, went to yoga, kept a journal, opened up to friends, took up new hobbies, and somewhere at the beginning of fall, I felt better.  That's the one thing all the books and all the therapists warn you about: don't assume it's gone forever.  It might come back, it might not, but it might, and you can't admit defeat.  "Fight just as hard as this time."

But the books and the online self-help essays can't help but work on those damned generalizations.  It took me months to admit I needed help, it took me half a year to see results.  Now I'm back in square one.  And I wish asking for help didn't feel like the most selfish thing in the world.


To the people who have been lied to and told that their pain is pretty, I'm sorry.  Something I've read over and over in my books is that one of the best ways to help someone with anxiety or depression is to avoid giving unrequited advice.  So this is me acknowledging your pain.

For the broken people who feel like love is something that people have to give to you for you to stay alive.  For the people who have to be mindful of everything that they do, not to live a happier life, but because letting your mind be free has catastrophic consequences.  For the people who fear emotional intimacy because they know that people leave.  Because they don't want love to feel like a chore, too.

For the people who can't remember whole days, whole weeks, whole months.  For the people who are afraid to be alone.  For the people who are afraid of public transport.

For the broken people whose phobias get mocked on television.  For the people who get the message that everyone else sees how unreasonable they are.  For the ones who feel everyone walks on eggshells around them.

I don't know how to comfort us yet.  But I understand you.