Panic knows no reason. Night or day doesn't matter to it. Panic is a lot like pain. It comes unbidden and unbridled. Like a raging prairie fire across what little shred of sanity I have left. It sucks air into my chest and holds it there until I'm way past dizzy.
I've been panicked a lot lately. I panic when I wake up in the night and hurt so intensely that I am sure I'm dying. Then I reach out with my foot and find my sweet's leg and I press my foot there, against that certain warmth. I will my breath to move so that I may know I'm alive.
When I hear the wind coming, I panic. I can hear it before it arrives at my front door. Sometimes the wind makes the mountains roar. Then it comes, the wind and the panic, rattling the windows, drawing the warmth away, covering the craggy peaks that are my solace with clouds that carry biting snow.
Two days a week I force myself to get the mail. It's bills. Always bills. I am afraid to open them. I find them confusing. I feel ashamed that I can't figure them out. I feel guilty that I haven't paid them. Again, I've been sent to collections. I know this isn't responsible. I can't see a way through it. And I panic. There is never enough money. I'm too damn expensive - always have been. Stupid panic. Concentrate on making my body move air. Into my lungs and then out. Don't stop in one place and forget to breathe.
I can't talk about the headaches without crying usually. Because I am so afraid. I am scared that I will die before I find somebody to help me figure out what's causing them. Pain, nonstop crazy pain makes my mind do things I don't understand. I panic about it. What if I die this way? What if I die and I can't find the craggy peaks to fix my eyes upon? What if I die and I can't find my little boy's soft grubby sticky sweaty hand to touch? Panic makes me crazy. And pain terrifies me.
When I talk to a doctor or health care provider about the headaches, I don't know how to make them understand how long it's been. I don't know any longer how long it's been since I really truly haven't had a headache. I'm not sure I would know anymore what that feels like - to not have a headache. Doctors want me to tell them when the headaches started. I can't. From where I am now, I can't see the beginning of them. I know I had headaches as a child. I know I had headaches in high school. I'd come squinting up the sidewalk from the Ad Building to the dorm and plead to be able to crawl into bed. I've been crawling into beds in darkened rooms to hide from a headache for longer than I can remember. Pain has made me desperate. I do not want pain to rule my world, but, right now, it does.
Right now, my curtains are drawn against what I imagine is soft evening light. I don't know if there are clouds of mist or snow covering my craggy peaks. When I finish this post, I will roll onto my side and close my eyes and wrap my head in a dark purple pillow case to keep out the fading light that pushes in around the edges of my bedroom windows. This is not life. This is desperation. Pain filled panic. This is not living.
Help the Fiddler (that's me)
August 21 - December 7
2 days ago