Falling Apart In One Piece

I’m fine. I smile at everyone. I’m bouncy, I’m happy. I’m helping out at the church auction tonight. I like it here, but it’s always a little odd for me. The people are nice, but there’s so many of them. Someone asks me a question, I answer. What did they ask again? There’s so many people in here.
We’ve got things to do, we’re entering people into the system. How many people are there? I’ve entered in at least 20. I look at the database, 50 entered so far. I can do 50, it’s a big church, there’s plenty of space. What time is it? Can’t check, there’s another person. It’s getting hectic. There’s so many people.
“Hello!” I flash them my friendliest smile. Nobody knows. Nobody can know. Why is it so hot? I get them set up for the auction. I talk with my friend. She looks pretty tonight. There’s so many people. “Do you want to go get some food?” The girl asks. I’ve never met her, she’s nice. “I’ll take over for a little bit.”
“Okay I tell her.” I’m hungry. There’s too many people. I get in line, there’s a lot of food. There’s too many people for the food. There’s too many people for the line. It’s late, I haven’t had dinner. I need to eat. There’s too fucking many of them. I start shivering. Now it’s cold. my fingers are turning to ice. My foot starts twitching.
Grab the plate.
Finally I can grab some food. I stare down the guacamole too intensely. I realize I’ve just been standing there. “sorry.” I say to the people behind me. I made a mistake, I shouldn’t have looked. I’m surrounded, there’s so many people. The chips are red and blue.
I get to the next table, nothing really looks interesting. I’m packed in like a sardine, I’m almost being touched on all sides. I don’t have an escape.
Breath. You must breath.
I make it past the second table.
The third table has more food on it. There’s so much food. Just like the people. The roast beef looks good. Everyone is so happy.
Everyone is so loud.
It’s chaotic and packed. The auction is going well. I wonder if either of them need relieved? I get back to the check in station. Back to the seat. I’m barricaded. There’s a wall behind me, well, it’s a door, but it’s closed. There’s people all around the table. How am I going to escape? There’s too many. I can’t do this.
Breath Ivy. You need to breath.
“Did you pre-register?” I keep going with my job.
Finally we’re done. I can move…
There’s nowhere to go but into the crowd.
They’re just people Ivy. They’re just people. They mean you no harm.
I’m doing okay I think. I’m barely twitchy and I haven’t freaked out yet? I’m okay right? I mean, I look fine right? Nobody can see how freaked out I am right? Oh fuck. They can see it. They know. They know I’m freaking out. They’re going to do something. I need to get out.
STOP. You have a job to do. Get your shit together.
I breathe. “…the receipts?”
“I’m sorry.” I say quickly. “What was that?”
“I printed some receipts, can you get them?”
“Yeah. No worries.” The hallway is empty. It’s just me and the printer. It starts up. I jump. I get the printouts and return them. I don’t have a computer now, I’m just kind of sitting there.
“We need this organized.” I’m glad to take all the papers. It allows me to focus… but there’s so much noise. Too much noise from too many people.
Just focus on the papers.
I’ve been there for a couple hours now. Things are working right. All the papers are out of order. They need them organized.
“There’s an office over there you can use.” I almost cry. I grab the papers and walk to the office.
I’m rushing, they can see it. They know your scared. Don’t show them you’re scared.
I shut the door.
Once inside, it’s hard not to cry. I’m all alone, finally. The noise is minimal and the crowd is gone. I sit. I breathe. I work. The night starts becoming a blur, I can’t focus. I’m talking too fast. Just don’t panic Ivy.
My anxiety is eating away at me.
They’re just people, and nice people at that. If they weren’t you wouldn’t be here. You’re an atheist in the church and they know it. Get it together for fuck’s sake. You go to UU cause the people aren’t assholes, now come on.
I can’t stop it. Why can’t I stop it? Why is the anxiety here? Why can’t I breath. It’s cold. It’s hot. What the fuck is going on?!
Paperwork. Focus. Don’t look. Close your eyes. Ride it out. That’s it Ivy. Slow down. Don’t lead your head race.
I open my eyes. The paperwork is still there. I’m back in the office. They need my help in there. I ready myself. It’s still so crowded. Final count? 75 bidders. Total there? At least 90. It’s packed. Hard to move. So many people are so close. Always so close. Why won’t they leave? Why won’t the stay away from me?! Don’t make me walk through them, please…
“Hey, S needs help.”
No no no no no no no no. Please no. But there’s nobody else, they are all busy. S is on the other side of the building. The people, the sea of people. There’s so many. Please don’t make me go through all of them.
Of course, I say nothing. I walk through the mine field. Everything is fine, my bouncy step and flashing smile say so.
I’m falling apart in one piece.
It’s getting closer now. It’s been almost 4 hours. There was problems with the paperwork. I’m glad for it. I’m in the office again, organizing everything. I get to organize by numbers. I like numbers. Numbers make sense. Numbers are reasonable. I like numbers. They don’t scare me. It takes me less than an hour to organize all the papers.
There’s less people there, but still so many. I don’t look before I leave the office. I walk toward the checkout counter that is set up, while looking at my feet.
I look up.
Oh god. There’s so many people. They’re all wanting to check out at once. “Here’s your papers.” I nearly throw them. I don’t think anyone noticed. I’ve got to get away. Too many people.
Why am I freaking out? What the fuck is going on? This hasn’t happened in so long.
I’m falling apart. I feel like I’m dying inside. Slowly. Drowning in fear. It paralyzes my insides. I can’t let people see that I’m not okay, but why am I not okay? I took my meds. I took my anxiety meds. What’s going on?
Please help me, I think.
“Did you need anything?” I ask.
They don’t. they go on their way. I get back into the office. It’s just past 9. It will be over soon.
IT’S JUST PAST NINE?! That might be it. I took my anxiety pills at 6 this morning. It only lasts for 12 hours.
I realize something.
My anxiety is far worse than I remembered. I’m stunned. I just sit back, eyes watering up. I’m scared. I hurt, it’s getting cold. I’m confused and sort of disoriented. I text my husband. He texts me back. He says he loves me so much. I find a smile that crept onto my face.
The door opens. The calm leaves. What did I do? Oh no, I’m so sorry, whatever it is. I’m so sorry.
“Do you have the bidder numbers?” Of course I do. I’d been organizing them. I give her the ones she needs. She leaves. My eyes start watering again. I don’t have to keep it together much longer. It’s almost done. She comes back in. She’s blocking the exit. She’s looking through paperwork. For days I get stuck behind the desk, I can’t go anywhere, there’s no escape. I look at the clock. Not days. 10 minutes. Another 20 minutes in life and weeks in my mind later, she leaves. It’s time to go. They thank me for helping. I thank them for the opportunity. I bid farewell to my friends.
Now I’m in the car. I made it but I’m not okay.
My dysphoria hits me like a brick, and my depression follows suite.
I’m so sick of this. I’m so sick of being trans. I’m so sick of being ugly. I’m just so tired. I just want to stop hurting. My body. My mind. They hurt. Please, just stop.
I drive home. I get off the highway exit. There’s three ambulances, two firetrucks and five police cars. I can’t see behind them. What if someone died?
It should have been me.
No. You need to get home. Let’s go.
Just let me go, I beg to myself. Let me drive the damn thing off the bridge. Let me just do something. Please. Just… stop letting me live.
I make it home, safe, and in one piece, but I’m falling apart. I get inside, everyone is asleep. I’m tired after working 15 hours, but I can’t sleep.
The nightmares will come. I know they will. They always do. I’m too panicked to sleep. I’m too scared. I write. It calms me down. It helps people learn.
I’m falling apart in one piece, and nobody knows.
Except my readers. My pain is your lesson. It hurts, and honestly, it’s fucking terrifying for you to be seeing this, but people need to know. Anxiety takes no prisoners, holds no bars and uses no logic. It’s brutal in it’s execution and cunning in it’s attacks. It doesn’t reason it’s way in, you can’t reason my way out.
I can breath now, but I can’t sleep. Not yet. The nightmares are there. Waiting. Just out of sight.

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6 thoughts on “Falling Apart In One Piece

  1. “Anxiety takes no prisoners, holds no bars and uses no logic. It’s brutal in it’s execution and cunning in it’s attacks. It doesn’t reason it’s way in, you can’t reason my way out. I can breath now, but I can’t sleep. Not yet. The nightmares are there. Waiting. Just out of sight.”

    Every. Damn. Time. that the panic starts. >.< I don't know if mine is quite that bad, but what you described is so, so eerily familiar. And I keep finding more things that set it off. My paranoia has been much less since I'm not working at a call center anymore, but …there are still bumps in the road.

    *hugs you tightly*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. This is a great blog! Obviously I’m sorry to hear that you have to go through this kind of ordeal but you’ve given a great example/insight into this kind of experience. I’m sure it can’t have been easy to write but I’m glad if it allowed you to focus slightly and to give yourself time to calm down a little. Ned.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are beautiful and you are a wonderful writer. You portrayed anxiety so strongly and clearly. It’s excruciating. Mine is different, but can definitely get beyond logic and beyond my control. It is brutal. And so is depression. I haven’t read your blog before, just browsing around reading what others with depression are saying, and wanted to send a little support your way. I hope you’ll take good care of yourself and just maybe have some sweet dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

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