THE PROCESS

I'm currently sitting at my computer desk, fresh out of the shower, a towel around my body and hair - fighting off a HUGE panic attack that I know has been stirring for days.

People may ask what these moments feel like...
Well, let me explain to you exactly what is happening: 
- My lips are pulsing and going numb
- My hands are losing feeling to them
- Everything is starting to circle (particularly in my left eye)
- I know my breathing is shallow, because my head feels like it is going to fall over at any point from a lack of circulation in my brain. 
- I'm completely conscious of my surroundings, but I can't seem to get myself dressed without my partner helping me. 
- There's a slow and low toned pulsation that is happening in my ears, causing the walls to feel like they are coming closer and closer.  

I'M LUCKY THIS IS ALL, RIGHT NOW. 
I've hit that point of no return - on the bathroom floor of my work, unable to see, while my store and assistant store manager are handing me ice water and asking me how to get a hold of my partner/emergency contact (my bad, I put his cell number in my file, which he can't bring into his work).  

I feel mostly like a freak, when this happens.  
How can someone who can pull three full credit college courses, work a job, and direct a show be able to become so incapacitated?
How can I spout out meaningful things and think deeply about life, but yet, there are these moments where I can barely figure out how to open my phone and press a contact to come and help me? 

I'm 28 years old, I have a full and beautiful life - but, somewhere down the line...shit still totally affects my mental health. 


WHERE DOES SELF-CARE BLUR INTO VICTIMIZATION?
I understand that I can't help this - it's the unfortunate chemical make up of my brain that instead of fighting, I'll just mentally shut down.  
I've gone through HOURS of therapy.  I've gotten past most of my issues. 
But, when you hear your mother (a 54 year old woman) tell you in a heroin/meth induced psychosis that she is more than likely going to die from someone attempting to sell her into sex slavery............you have to wonder,
Am I the fault? 
Am I not doing enough to save an addict - let alone my own mother?
Every single time I speak to her, I end up with CRIPPLING anxiety - whose life is worth more? 

I HATE WHAT DRUGS HAS DONE TO THE LIVES OF SO MANY. 
...and yet, I am so thankful for them. 
The gorgeous life that I live with my partner and our little animal family would NEVER be possible without my mother.  I am so incredibly grateful for her decisions - as sadistic as that sounds. 
But, some days, I wish I could live this life without the mental ramifications and pure exhaustion.

I AM JUST EXHAUSTED.
I am so tired of living fourteen years - watching my precious mom slowly die.  
I have so much compassion for those that can do this, because Lord...I can't.  and I am so sorry that I can't.  
I live every day so incredibly sorry. 
I've heard stories of children in the projects who have chosen college and a fuller life over continuing the same cycle that their families have lived. 
maybe survivors guilt is a real thing...
...because, the truth is...for me to be close to her, I would have to live her narrative - side by side. 

The only thing to do is to continue to move forward. Because this always happens, and I act like I'm surprised each time...
I allow her to reenter my life, I see she hasn't changed, and I walk away.  
The initial goodbye is heart-wrenching. 
Each step I take, I can see her less and less. 
And the moment of break down is where she is only visible if I squint really hard.
Then, I lose it...I have a total cryfest in my shower, and then I realize...

I AM WORTH SURVIVING
...and I keep walking until I can't see her anymore.  
Each step I take, I can breath more and more. 
Until days later I say, "WOAH...that was a ride."

PEOPLE ASK
...
how I've become self-aware.  
Let me tell you, self-awareness is the only thing that has ever worked for me.  To allow processing, and to really not understand what my feelings are, until I am in a position where I can deal with them.  
Sometimes, it's hard to remember how to process, when you haven't had to in a long time. 
But, you have to allow yourself time and create a safe haven for thoughts.  

I know my family will read this, and I'll probably get a phone call from my grandmother asking if I need therapy.  To which, I will say, "no...you just read it." 

Thanks for letting me process. 
I came in here ready to fall, and this blank space picked me back up.  <3

-- Candice B.