I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Some days even the “just breathe” part is hard.



We are expected to always put on a brave face, a happy-smiling face for the world to see. We are supposed to keep our pain inside and talk only of pleasantries. As a femme with PTSD, anxiety and depression, this means that I pretty much always have to “fake it” on some level at all times when in public. This makes being in public when I’m not feeling my best especially difficult. So I occasionally go a bit overboard with my femme-amour in an attempt to protect myself and others from what I know is always boiling beneath the surface. Pain. Mental pain can and does cause physical pain. I am living with this everyday. Unfortunately, the last three days have been so devastating that I am buckled over in tears most of the time because of the amount of mental pain I’m in. It comes in waves of hysterical crying, to the point of hyperventilation, then a moment of my trying to gain control or attempt to ground myself, then another wave of tears (though less severe), then a sort of gross calmness where I just feel nothing for awhile. I can’t recall the last time I have felt as low as I do today (and yesterday). One disappointment after another, stress, anxiety, more disappointment and devastation and then a really big overwhelming thing with another dash of letdown and my brain switches into panic mode.

I had a panic attack at my ex-husband’s wedding reception party. I tried with every fiber of my being to smile even as I felt the first waves of panic wash over me. Surrounded by friends I was certain I could shake it off somehow. NOPE. That is not how PTSD works. That is not how panic attacks work. I went from dancing and cheering on the band to crying hysterically and uncontrollably and having to run out of the party. If not for my incredible friends, my real family to be honest, and my amazing puggo, I don’t know that I would be sitting here writing this today. I believe now that it was merely sensory overload with the noise of the cheering and the band playing and the fog machine and the immense heat in the restaurant and too much Cabernet.

I am in a very bad place. Everything is terrifying. Everything makes me feel sick. My stomach is a wreck. I am so stressed out that doing anything takes so much effort and pain and I’m just exhausted. Anything and nothing can trigger a spell of loud sobs, heavy breathing and I have to lie down to feel any sense of relief, no matter how fleeting. I have never felt more lonely in my entire life. Yes, I have friends and they are an amazing support system. But they have their own lives and obligations and can’t just drop everything because I can’t stop crying and need to be held (plus I live so far from everyone now). My bf doesn’t understand, though he tries. I fear we’re on the outs because of my sick brain. I try so hard to explain my boundaries and what I need to feel safe and secure. Miscommunication ensues and I don’t know what tomorrow let alone the next few hours will bring. I am living second to second because more than that hurts too much. I can’t hide behind a mask this time. I can’t fake anything, I’ve no energy left. I vibrate with anxiety even as I sit completely still.

Friends keep telling me, “You’re amazing!” and I don’t understand why. How did they get this opinion of me? “You’re so strong/brave!” they say and I just don’t get it. I’m merely a survivor. That’s all I know how to do is survive. They encourage me and love me unconditionally and that is truly what keeps me going. I don’t have it in me to love myself today. I don’t have that spark that I used to, the one that let me walk confidently in the world. Everything is a sharp reminder that I’m not like others. My brain is broken. I know it’s not my fault at least, that’s something.

I feel like even writing this, on my own blog, is taboo. Oh sure, we all tell each other it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. But when you actually aren’t okay and actually feel worse than you ever could have imagined, it feels dangerous to tell people. It feels like more could be taken away if the outside world finds out. PTSD? Societal pressures to conform? *Shrugs* I dunno. I just know that I feel really sick, mentally and physically. It feels like the outside world wants to take everything from me and it’s nearly got it. So I am hiding out in my tiny cottage hoping beyond hope, because I really don’t feel even a tinge of hope left, that somehow this will all pass. I will just go to sleep and wake up and feel normal again. Right?! Please?!

There is a great battle within me, fighting to both destroy and embolden me. My demons rage and charge as my logical mind insists upon things like eating (ugh) and hydration (trying) and reminders that needing a break from the world is okay even when it feels scary and wrong. Thank the stars for my sweet little puggyman. He really is the most amazing creature. Saturday night after the boys dropped me off, I was inconsolable. I was choking and unable to breath, my sobs were stabbing so hard in my chest. That sweet babyman wouldn’t leave my side and kept licking my arms rapidly (he’s never done that before) until I calmed down. He even sat beside me in the bathroom that night as I tried to pee but had trouble because I couldn’t stop crying. Finally after I took a shower I was able to calm down. It was terrifying. I felt trapped in my own head and unable to help myself.

I used to say that I have no regrets. I don’t believe that I will ever say that again. I do have regrets. I regret every time I have bent over backwards to please someone without their knowledge or without my own best interests in mind.  I regret forcing myself to fit into something when I know it’s wrong for me to do so. I regret not asking for help until it’s too late, so many damned times. I do know this though, even regrets evolve. Regrets can change and no longer feel like a regret at all. Our bumps and mistakes lead us to where we need to be on our journey. I have to believe that or there really is no hope. As I sit here in a calmer moment feeling nothing inside but my churning guts, but knowing another sobbing spell is surely moments away, I have to believe that there is hope left somewhere.

Writing this feels dangerous and like a betrayal to myself and to those who love and support me. Like keeping this inside is helping them, but that’s not real and that’s not for me to decide. If my mental illness is too much, it’s too much and there’s nothing I can do to make someone see things differently. I don’t know how to bounce back from this. I’m certain I will because let’s face it I’ve been through worse. I’ve also never had to truly go through it all alone until now. That might be the hardest of all.

How people see or think of me is none of my business. When they tell me I am always surprised. I know who I have been and what I have accomplished. I am proud of those accomplishments. I don’t know who I am or what I am capable of now. Just breathing seems especially difficult today. Idle moments and thoughts feel the worst. When I think too far ahead into what might be sends me straight back into panic mode, and that is what brought on the first wave of nausea last night that’s not let up since. Ugh! I believe I will get through this. I just wish I knew when that would be. I’m ready for it to be over.


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