The Mind Killer

ampersand

(Originally posted a few days ago, September 19, 2016, on Facebook)

Probably the hardest thing about living with anxiety disorder is that once you’ve had a panic attack, your natural inclination is to run away from where you had the attack and never come back. But most of the time the place you had the panic attack is somewhere you have to go on a daily basis, like work or school. In my case both have happened. Many times.

Sometimes you go back and you see that you’re going to be alright, and that just being somewhere can’t hurt you. And sometimes it’s even worse than before, and absolutely nothing, no matter how hard you try, can make the anxiety, the fear, the panic, and the misery stop. There are times when no amount of optimism and positive attitude can fix the problem, and the anxiety just. Gets. Worse.

Today I’m going back to work after having an incredibly bad panic attack yesterday and getting in trouble with management besides, because I had this panic attack while berating the management for doing a shit job. I’m lucky not to have been fired. But the fact is I have to go back, and the anticipation and the anxiety is absolutely unbearable. I’ve taken my meds but honestly they aren’t doing much of anything anymore (made an appointment with my doctor for next week), and I just have to do it. I have no choice. I have to work. There are no other options.

This is the hopelessness of living with anxiety. This is why people say they can’t bare to be alive because of the fear. Every breath is a battle against your own body, and the more you try to take care of it and help yourself the more it betrays you. Frank Herbert says in Dune, “fear is the mind killer.” Anxiety is a personification of fear that grips tightly around your body, tendrils that suffocate and paralyze you.

But still, you have to get out of bed. You have to brush your teeth, and take a shower, and put on your shoes, and drive to work. And smile at customers. And spend hours wondering if you’ll make it through the night. And you know that this will go in indefinitely, until you’re given enough drugs to numb the sensation. Because every feeling is a jagged knife that cuts you.

I have to go back to my own battlefront. I am afraid. I am just… afraid.

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Adulthood, Day One

I had my first honest day’s work in a long time.

Porn would be much easier. I think I’ll get a hot body and do porn. We’ll call that plan B.

But yes, I got a job, at a burger restaurant called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I had a hell of a time getting there a few days ago to fill out my paperwork after I was hired (riding a bike up the road two miles while trying to figure out how to work a wonky crosswalk and standing in the grass like an idiot holding a bike), and until yesterday I was sure I’d have to go through all that again to get to work, but luckily I got a ride from our neighbor. I worked for three and half hours; I can’t figure out if it went by quickly or not. But I’ll get used to it, I did a remarkably good job adapting to the loud, crowded, busy environment.

I was so scared this morning that I was sure I’d have a panic attack. And once I got to the restaurant, I wasn’t so sure that I was wrong. But luckily I do well with repetitive work that only needs explaining once, and the manager started me out cutting potatoes and cleaning the back for the first hour, and the rest of the time was spent on the line putting burgers together. Luckily I didn’t have to cook, but we’ll see how it goes when I do have to cook, because I do not like standing in front of a hot grill for hours. But it’s another thing I’ll have to get over.

Basically, this restaurant is everything I need to get over my lingering traces of agorophobia. I get scared and have panic attacks when things get blurry (they always do for me because I don’t have glasses anymore), when there are large crowds that I have to interact with, when I’m hot, and when it’s loud. I have a very good amount of all of those things here, and I really surprised myself today because after the initial fear, the anxiety more or less went away, and I stayed calm and handled myself well.

Adulthood: day one. Complete.

Now can I please go back to eating, sleeping and masturbating all day? Please? PLEASE?

Alright fine, I’ll grow up. But I’m not gonna like it.

Now if only I had a sexy boy to come home to and snuggle with.

We’ll call that objective number two.

One.

Okay, two.

…one.