What would you say has been the most difficult situation you have gone through during your illness? Why?
- Coming to consciousness in bed, but the weight of existence makes it impossible to move, let alone get out of bed.
- Trying to pick something to wear, eat, do. None of it is interesting. Nothing inspires enthusiasm.
- Stasis. Total paralysis. Even just being is exhausting.
But on good days –
- Trying to wrangle focus or concentration to accomplish at least one thing on my to-do list.
- Sucking up my full body anxiety to leave the house and go somewhere. Especially if it’s somewhere I haven’t been before. That’s its own extra special level of anxiety.
- Trying to make small talk with someone. Can they tell I’m having a hard time hearing them over my racing heartbeat. Do they see me sweating. Nothing they’re saying means anything at all. I don’t care about their weather forecast. Are we done yet. Did I smile at all. Did I nod at the right places. When they ask what I’ve been up to, I can’t tell them, “misery and hell.” This is exhausting.
- Going to an interview. Can they tell I had a nervous breakdown before I got here. Can they tell I’m wearing a wig. Do they know that I hate dressing up, wearing makeup. Can they tell there’s no way in hell I want to be here. I’m scared of failing, but even more scared of succeeding.
- Being a parent. Can she tell I don’t want to do this. Does she think that I don’t love her because I don’t want to play with her. Does she think that my sadness and fatigue is her fault. Am I scarring her for life when I lose my patience.
- Accepting love. I can’t imagine how you could love me. I don’t feel like I deserve it. I’m sure I’m screwing up this relationship with an amazing person.
- Trying to sleep. If I just hold still maybe it will come. My heartbeat is so loud it is overwhelming. I’m cold, shivering. Then I start getting adrenaline jolts. Fire shooting through my body. Now I’m sweating, overheating. My thoughts are racing. The same terrible images or conversations or events keep cycling through my mind, over and over. I’m taking deep breaths, damnnit. Why isn’t this working. Should I get up. Should I take meds. Maybe if I just lay here I’ll finally fall asleep. How many hours until morning. I hate this. Why does everything have to be so hard.