The other night I was having an extravagant anxiety attack. After dinner Z suggested T and I cuddle on the sofa and watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. T was being cute so I snapped a couple of pictures of him and then I started to wonder what an anxiety attack looked like. So I turned the camera on myself.
One of the super weird parts of this crazy business is there aren’t always outward signs that an illness exists. Hell, I’m even smiling a little in the photo. But I’m not ok in the picture. Not by a long shot.
And I want to write about what that actually means, I really do. But the thing is I’m fighting another anxiety attack. The world continues to move at regular speed, but I can’t keep up because the air is so heavy it hurts as it presses against my skin. My brain is no longer communicating effectively with my mouth. Pretending I’m functioning human like the other Moms when I drop T off at school and pick him up takes up all my energy and concentration for the day. I felt fat when I woke up this morning. The scale confirmed I weigh several pounds more than the last time I dared take a look. And as the day progressed I swear that my clothing got tighter. By 5pm I was sure I’m morbidly obese. I thought about every calorie I put in my mouth yet made no sensible changes, just felt disgust as I ate more and more.
I hate myself.
I’ve been trying to write this post all day. All week really. And it is still coming out wrong. My slow and vulnerable and anxious brain can’t make sense of the ideas I know are trapped inside.
So just a friendly public service announcement for today. The mentally ill look normal a lot of the time. It would be helpful if we got a rash that spelled out “Handle With Care” when the crazy takes hold. But alas, it isn’t that easy. We get stuck deep within ourselves and we need help getting unstuck. Even if we can’t figure out how to articulate that something is wrong.
Here’s one of the photos I snapped of T the other night. He is a beautiful kid.
After years of practice this handsome man knows when the crazy has taken over my body. Thank fucking god.