Why the actual fuck did I stay up until 3 AM the past two nights? My literal nightmare.
My preference is to be in bed at eleven, reading my book or knitting while watching The Wire, every night of the week. And yet I had to go and get myself invited to a goddamn party. What am I doing wrong?
I have, however, had some time to reflect and immerse myself in gratitude for my current state of mind – despite some unfortunate side effects, my anxiety has been reduced by Lexapro. The difference is noticeable, and not existing in a constant state of tension has made life so much more bearable. I can glean humor out of the frustration of living in this city. I can complain sardonically instead of holding all my fear and panic inside. My mom always said that if she heard me complain, she knew I was fine. It was when there was something really wrong that I wouldn’t say anything.
For much of the summer I was afraid to eat because I would have stomach aches and nausea so often. Nausea induced panic, because I have a phobia of vomiting. I didn’t realize at the time that it was a cycle – being anxious would cause nausea; having nausea would cause anxiety. I saw a gastroenterologist, I changed my diet, I took Nexium, I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee, I kept Pepto Bismol with me at all times. Mostly, I lived in a constant state of fear. I didn’t have any way of blowing off steam because I was too scared to drink or smoke pot.
I’m not sure when I realized how closely intertwined the stomach problems were with the anxiety. I think it was when I drove back from a wedding in North Carolina over the summer and felt my blood vessels constrict as I emerged from the Holland Tunnel into the stark reality of the city. This happens every time I return to the city, but it doesn’t feel so present once I’ve been here for awhile. It’s like the frog in the boiling water or whatever.
It’s not just the city, either. I mean, I’m a millennial two years out of college working at a monotonous job, full of existential dread and rage over being cat-called and leered at all the goddamn time, trying to figure out what the fuck I want to do with my life. Also Donald fucking Trump is going to be our next president. I have to give myself a damn break sometimes!
Is this all TMI as fuck? It’s just become so clear to me over the past few months that everyone is terrified of talking about their own experiences of this shit for fear of everyone thinking they’re a freak. Well, fortunately everyone already knows I’m a freak. So hopefully somebody is reading this and is like “Whoa this bitch is just as psycho as I am! Hell yeah!”
Anyhow, the main takeaway here is that now I can eat ice cream without having a panic attack, and that’s all anyone really wants, right?