There’s still a hollow feeling in my chest, a sort of numbness and a tingling, but the tingling is so muted that I’m not really sure it’s there.
I swear I was fine this morning. Or as fine as can be expected.
I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, if you must know, but not any more than usual, and I’ve been pretty damn happy lately, even with the depression lurking in the background. It sits back there, coming out when I’m really stressed, or grieving, or in pain. Mostly I keep it at bay, thanks to pharmaceuticals, a happy family life, good friends, and a really accommodating dog. (And the now gone dog, Honey, who I must mention because it feels wrong not to.)
But I’m good. Occasionally something trips me up, because that’s how life works, and that’s how I know I’m doing stuff. If I never did anything, nothing would happen, good or bad. I’m just doing my thing, trying to remember my place in the world, and that I have one.
My technology was not being cooperative today. Sometimes that happens. That’s no big deal. But the good news was, I didn’t need to call the IRS for a client after all! So yay! Just another day of working in the office. No appointments, so I can get some real work done, a dog sleeping at my feet, my husband in the next office, and the world doing what it does.
Suddenly, like a thunderclap but without the noise, there’s nothing left. There’s just darkness, and I’m falling down a hole that doesn’t appear to end. My heart does its own thing, it’s no longer a part of me, it beats furiously, trying to escape its cage.
And I know with absolute certainty that nothing will ever be okay again.
I can’t talk, not at first. I get up and go into the hallway, and my husband looks up from his desk and says, “What’s wrong?” and I can’t tell him because not only do I not know, but also because I can’t talk, I just want to cry and not stop.
I do know what’s wrong, everything is wrong, the world is a mess, and I’m a mess, and what am I even doing here?
So much drama for such a little panic attack.
A lot of people I know have had them, and they are never little. They are never undramatic. They are scary and big and overwhelming. They can lurk around before emerging full blown, tiny spiders running around the rim of our consciousness, or they can come out suddenly, with no warning. They can happen when we’re happy, and when we’re not.
They can feel like a heart attack, or, in my case, like a major depressive episode coming on like a freight train. The ground shakes, the rails rattle, and there’s that bright headlight blinding me to anything but the crumbling of my world.
And then it starts to pass, and when the freight train is about halfway past me I can talk again, even though there’s sound and vibration still passing me by, and then it’s gone, leaving behind the vast emptiness, the stillness that’s only outside of me, and silence.
It takes time for my heart to calm, for my mind to settle, for my perspective to return. It takes time. But everything will be okay, even if I’m still not quite certain of that.
Everything will be okay.