Postcards #17: Rest Cure

My passion is attacking me. The weather inside me is rumbling with thunder, shaking me, tumbling me, making me quake, sending rushing tears to choke up my throat. Chills have sent my skin numb, my heart seems to pump acid, all my thoughts spill out crooked, and my memory is clouded with drifting veils of half-dreams. I could not tell if I was dying, everything had spun out of control, but worst of all, not knowing what was happening or why added to my panic. My only cure: do not get excited. Stay away from things and people who get you worked up. Keep practicing control of your emotions. Don’t even let elation drive your heart into fluttering delight.

Funny how passion can be related to panic. How the heart attack I thought I was having was only another anxiety attack. How I went from what I thought was just being jittery to feeling faint, numb, dizzy, unable to stand or walk, and my heart hurt as if it were trying to escape my chest. When it was all over, body still shaken, lying there still begging to be released from the pain — this acid pumping through my blood keeping my mind spinning and heart hurting — the doctor half-smiled and sighed out, but not from relief, just from exasperation, that my attack was not one from the heart, that everything was normal, I wanted to argue with him.

Then why did I not feel normal?

What causes me to sway back and forth between the extremes of passion and panic? No one can say. It’s the way I am wired. No one can help. I once asked a Yogi why I am this way, he gently nodded, took one long look at me and calmly smiled. “It is all the passion you keep inside you,” he answered, “it is asking to come out.” I should not have forgotten that.

Yet, I ask you, what should I do? I am always doing something, finding some purpose, some place or person to donate my passion to and put it to some use. Yet there are times when I am told to hold back, to keep still, to shut-up, to stop. “Tina!” My folks scolded me, “Stop stepping out of line and wait your turn. Let the other kids have a chance to shine first!” And so I did. And I waited. Dying to sing, to dance, to shout, to leap! I can do it! But then I’m shoved back again. It’s not your time yet. Wait. And then when there is no one to police me, when I am no longer a child, even I begin to stop myself from doing. I start to believe it is impossible for me to break out of this shell they shoved me into. I don’t want to hide anymore!

Why are you keeping me a secret! No. WHY DO I HIDE FROM THE WORLD? I am awesome on my way to making myself even more awesome, or so I keep telling myself, but then I go through cycles of hellish, lonesome, death-grip depression that has me grounded for weeks. It is like having a lingering sinus infection that you can’t help but live with for a while until it clears up. It annoys you, hurts, keeps you from enjoying things fully, gets in the way, drains your energy, and all you want to be is alone. Sometimes the only way to get through it is to be patient, sleep, weep, and try not to let it get the best of you.

Not that I need to complain much. In my times alone, I have my memories and photographs of you. I go to bed and cuddle up to my other best friend, Mr. Snuggles the Cat. He is unusual in the way that he likes to sleep beside me almost like a human being would, sometimes lying on his back or he’ll wrap a paw around my cheek. I have often woken with a few cat scratches on my neck and cheek from him kneading me in his sleep. I don’t mind the scratches. He snores loudly at times and has vivid dreams. One time he woke up in the middle of some kind of nightmare that startled both of us. I cradled him back to calm. I sing to him as if he were my baby, but he is not a baby. He is a cat. My companion. He saves my life everyday by keeping me company.

During my dark cycles of panic and depression, I want to remind you to not worry too hard over me, but don’t stay away either. Even during times like this, I don’t have a bad attitude, I am just terribly sad, as if I am pre-mourning the death of someone. My body is hard-wired for sorrow it seems. Each time I think the grief will kill me, I find out I just got another day stronger.

When you see me again, I may have a passion attack all over again, but it won’t be so bad as long as you’re there to laugh with me!

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2 thoughts on “Postcards #17: Rest Cure

  1. “He saves my life everyday by keeping me company.” I feel this way about my Freyja – I don’t know what I would do without her.

    I haven’t suffered panic attacks before, but I can imagine they’re awful. I had horrible episodes from my social anxiety disorder where I simply have to leave (in fact there would be a voice shrieking in my head to leave) and would run off to a quiet spot and break into silent tears. I imagine a panic attack is that x 100.

    I love what the yogi told you,… and I can see that you do find ways to release some of that passion… in your writing, your art, your dance. 🙂

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