On a Bad Day

On a bad day I might not be able to write at all. This is especially frustrating because writing helps. Yesterday was a bad day and I couldn’t focus my thoughts into creative coherency. I was close enough to the river of despair to stick my foot in, and the fact that I was that close brought anxiety along with it, so that run – run – run – run was the disruptive drumbeat in my head.

My flight or fight response feels particularly useless in the modern era. There’s no physical danger to flee or fight. The problems that leave me feeling threatened aren’t actual active threats to my life, they’re threats to my well-being and happiness. Running away or fighting would only make things worse, not better. The primitive regions of my brain haven’t figured that out, though. Run – run – run – run.

Afraid of a future with no good choices? Run! Feeling stressed because of someone else’s emotional state? Run! Surrounded by people in a brightly lit room? Run! Feeling overwhelmed by the minutiae of domestic existence? Run!

It’s at times like these that I’m grateful for whatever quirk in my brain prevents me from losing control or being overwhelmed by my emotions. I can feel my adrenalized state, that drumbeat of run – run – run – run, feel and see that I’m physically shaking because of it and not have to worry about my brain shutting down in a panic attack. I get to observe my body’s panic without the worry of being mentally integrated with that panicked state.

When it happens around other people I wonder, ruefully, if those other people ever spot the shaking or hear the tremors in my voice if I try to speak. I envision myself explaining the problem. I’m sorry, don’t mind me, my body has decided other people – all other people, especially people I’m trying to socialize with – are an existential threat and it wants me to run away and find a place to hide right now. Run – run – run – run.

Don’t mind me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s