No Drama

The most common thing I have heard about panic attacks are that panic attacks are always ‘quite a show’ and that they are dramatic. They’re not, usually; however, that doesn’t mean that they are not any less terrifying, painful, or have any less of an effect on a person. Mine have never been super dramatic or that I can remember.
I have had panic attacks since I was five years old. I get them multiple times per day and what is worse, is that I can’t predict them. I feel out of control. On top of dealing with panic attacks, I deal with depression, eating disorders, and hallucinations . My life has been, what seems, an everlasting battle between self-control and the urge to just let go; go into an insanity spiral.

A good portion of people ask me to describe a panic attack because they find it hard to believe, and I don’t blame them, that I have that many a day. A panic attack for me is as if someone is crushing my heart, while punching me in the stomach, then squeezing my head, and all I want to do is run away screaming or throw things.Yet I am terrified of moving. When I do have a panic attack, my hallucinations goes into overdrive: I see and hear things that only make it worse because I have yet figured out how to control that. On occasion, my seeing things will trigger a panic attack; aside from the random ones.

I am doing my best to deal with all of this with a sense of grace and intelligence. It is hard but I am lucky enough to have the help of my family and friends. That is what this blog will be about: my journey to finding control over my own mind. Hopefully it will work and maybe it will help someone else like me as well.

 

My Only Sunshine

There are ways of being viewed that can make one feel isolated. Right now, it is knowing that I gained a reputation as the “slacker/pseudo-catholic”. I’m trying, though, trying isn’t enough anymore due to that people are tired of hearing the same reasons.

“Everything hurts.”

“I vomited most of the night.”

“I’m sick, again.”

 

I tried finding comfort in Scripture, but what I found was beyond isolating. The overwhelming feeling–the proof in words–that am being told I don’t belong. The proof that said what has held everything together was just a fabrication of my lonely head; all the times I thought I felt reassured, answered, directed, and told that I felt worthwhile was lonely lie.

Reading, reading, and rereading didn’t alter my being a catholic or my views. No, it dowsed the little light, hope and strength, and told me every memory that made up that light was false. Every memory of a voice saying words of love and protection; messages and answers found in everyday things; and every shred of that precious connection I thought was my gift was false.

If I believed that of all beings, I would survive one more day thinking He believed in me in the way I so desperately wanted someone to, that I would survive knowing I was never without someone who knew every part of me yet would still respond to me and help me believe that I was loved.

In everything I have read I have found words that have pushed me beyond panic and into a state of shocked hollowness. Those words told me that I was the Fool, and now? That connection, that knowing I will always find peace and answers, is gone.

[ Flight Of The Recently Departed
Jeannie Lynn Paske
watercolor, charcoal, pastel and ink
2008]

Fragile Feathers

It is beyond my abilities as a writer to explain the rage-inducing terror; the agony that drowns the lungs; the helplessness bleeding strength, and the freezing that loneliness begins.
It is one thing to feel one but to feel all at once I think answers a few questions.
I had high hopes for Adderall because of what–from those I knew to those on forums–people were saying about it and how great it made their lives. What did it do for me? For a few days it helped my sleeping schedule because it made me so damn tired but then things went to shit, again. I was, and still am, waiting for the “amazing focus” people talked about but nothing has changed. I am still the Fantastic Failure that I have always been.
I don’t know how to be anymore, and I am trying so unbelievably hard.
I was at the local lake with my bike late a few days past and I had a view of a few roads. I was trying to decide which one to take once the time read 1:00. There was one road I was fixated on because I had never been down it and that appealed to me. I have always been afraid of the unknown but in that moment I wanted the unknown, and I wanted to be engulfed by it.
My point in telling you that? It answers the question of how bad is it. I feel so far gone that I don’t fear dropping everything and vanishing.

Sacred Heart Garden

As few of you know, I have waged war upon the ten-thousand square foot beast that is The Sacred Heart Garden (or known as Mom’s Garden, THE Garden, “Oh, fuckinghellno,” The Weedy Hell-hole, or The Reason we Hate Saturdays.) Why? For this reason.

On Tuesday I sat up and wrapped my arms around my stomach and did not like the way it felt. I began to wish I was one of those people who could commit and go to the gym. Who had the willpower to get their desired body. It was at that moment of self-pity that I just so happened to glance behind me, looking out my window doors, and saw The Weedy Hell-hole. It clicked, like someone flicking me on the back of the head: Your gym, and the greatest workout, is right there and it is in the sun. I decided right then that I was going make that garden Better Home and Gardens cover story worthy.
I immediately went to HEB and got the supplies I would need to stand the heat: five bags of ice, a pack of Gatorade, and two gallons of sport water. Then I went to the local garden store and got what I’d need to revive the garden: organic bug repellent, organic plant disease prevent and kill. When I came home I told my mom that I’d need to borrow the truck (or Diesel Beast). I got the large ice-chest, loaded it up, and put it along with the garden supplies in the truck. This was just Phase One of my plan. Phase Two? Super soak the ground to make the weeds come up easily and attack the garden with such mighty vengeance to make Thor seem demure. It worked. Those weeds didn’t stand a chance.
I still have a long, long, long way to go  but I am winning. I could go on to write about the deep emotional reason I am doing this but I think I will write that post when the garden is finished. For now, it is because I want to be more athletic looking and to have applicable strength again.

Deserving

After reading the beautiful and heartrending article written by my sister Abigail Markov, Mirror, Mirror: Awkward Ways Abuse Screws With Your Head, I awoke to reality that I am not a hard working person. Why did I ever fight for that title? Me, who skips classes because I am exhausted for pathetic reasons. Me, who groans when my parents ask for help and wait for the opportunity to escape then has the nerve to boast to anyone who will listen about what I did.
My parents say they are proud of me but they have nothing to be proud of, because what I have I given them? Who have I grown into? A girl who attempts suicide when things get rocky because she can’t think past her nose. I’d rather my parents were angry with me because that is what I deserve, what makes sense. Stop giving the gold medal to the person who didn’t compete.

There is a voice in my head that tells me that I should not have been born, and it gives hundreds of reasons why. However, there is the voice that tells me to prove it wrong. It tells me fight. Prove that you deserve your the pride and love of your family.

IMG_2941

Ride the Waves.

Blackouts

As of late, things have been turned upside down. I thought by this point I’d be happy or excited but I’m not. I’m doing my best to not drown in my nebulous “mood disorder” and weight gain.
I recently switched medications and while it keeps me stable, it makes me feel sick and my body doesn’t seem to like it much, either. Nothing alarming but still unpleasant.
I got my second tattoo– that should make me happy, right?
I am finally heading off to a four-year college and all I feel is dread. I’m going to the gym.
My room is clean.

All these things and I still feel like I am falling apart. I feel like a pariah to people I thought were my friends. Sleeping is becoming so hard now because I go through this horrible cycle of panic, but the inner-walls never come down enough for me to cry. There is no relief. There is just me blacking out once the panic reaches its peak. I try lie in bed and meditate but that does nothing, and sometimes I will pace, but it always ends up with me waking up in bed. I usually have one memory before things go black.

I don’t know what to make of it. At least I end up in bed and not on the floor.

Part 1 Review of: ISV Radio with Jaime Roque

This is two part review. I am reviewing the first part half of Standards of Beauty and the Nutrition of the Mind, an ISV podcast.

As a person who has been subjected to, and let’s be blunt, media-brainwashing on standards of beauty, I can honestly say that listening to ISV, In Summa Vigilia, with Jaime Roque was refreshing. I agreed with the underlying statement of the first half of the show that we are beautiful and unique because of what’s inside; however that’s not to say we are not also beautiful on the outside. We are, even if we don’t fall into what the media tells us is beautiful.
Jaime Roque and his frequent guest, Alvaro Acevedo, followed with how the majority race, Caucasian, is portrayed as the standard of beauty. Jaime expressed his wish that there was an equal mix of races in the media and no Photoshop. I agree with this whole-heartedly. I myself wish there were more average looking people in the media, especially movies and television. People are beautiful in their own way, but come on—who looks that good all the time?!
Back to race and the media; I thought of something interesting: If you asked people of different races, you’d be told that the media portrays the opposite of the interviewee’s race as the ideal of beauty.  It makes me wonder if the media is pitting us against each other, even in the realms of beauty.

This is the kind of podcast/radio show I like to take my time listening to because it is food-for-thought. It deserves your attention. So far, Readers, my opinion is you should give it a listen.

Show: http://www.insummavigilia.com/

Standards of Beauty and the Nutrition of the Mind: http://www.insummavigilia.com/podcasts/2015/1/3/standards-of-beauty-and-the-nutrition-of-the-mind

Host: @JAIMEROQUE on Twitter

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcast-in-summa-vigilia/id955288294?mt=2

Art

Art is hard. Any form of it, and I think that is a worldwide accepted fact. Lately I have to remind myself this and shut out the heavy heart that follows criticism. I have to fight through wanting to give up, drop the brush and pencil, again. Long ago, I forgot what it felt like to have fun with, to enjoy, art and not want to cry because I didn’t get a “wow” or “that’s really good!” I actually began to hide my artwork because I felt the need to protect myself; I poured all my emotions at the time into my pieces and to be told that they needed to be corrected translated into something else.
What I got was that I drew too many skeletons. My work was too stylized.
I started to get angry. I wanted to shout that they weren’t saying Picasso worked in cubism too often, Monet painted too many landscapes, Jacob Lawrence did too many collages, and Andy Goldsworthy should do something other than Land Art.
My escape, my way out of pain, who I was through paint didn’t need to be corrected. There is no correct personality.  I held onto that thought for a very long time but I also stopped drawing and slowly I have stopped painting.
However… I am beginning again but this time I am seeking help from books. Books don’t tell you what to draw and how often you should draw it– they show you methods of how to draw. That’s what’s important. So I will draw as many messed up faces, skeletons, stylized scenes, and paint non-symmetrical paintings as I damn well please.