There’s a constant sense of foreboding, like something’s not quite right. Like any minute now, it’s all going to come crashing down, all hell will break lose – anarchy, chaos, all hope gone. It’s a permanent mild panic these days, coupled with the odd full-on panic. The tears are always there. On some days they’re further away. On some days I can believe they won’t visit but that has yet to happen. They always pop up and surprise me even if just for a minute or two, no matter what I do.
Today so far they sprang up when I woke with a start at 4am, brain wild with nightmares and bumps in the night, and again at 7.30, brain exhausted and paranoid. When I got up at 9 they accompanied me to the shower with reminders of who I am and what my day is going to be, and they tried to prevent me applying the mascara that makes a tiny contribution to attempts at looking normal. They then hit me at work and forced me to sit in a toilet cublicle in the dark for several minutes and then several minutes more when I saw my face in the mirror (to be fair, they didn’t force the darkness; the bathroom light is on a timer and I got tired of flicking it back on. Besides, darkness is more fitting, right?). They disappear in the afternoon, although they leave gentle reminders that they are not far away, but come back in force when I’m alone again, when no one is replying to any messages I leave and they keep my company all evening and into the night.
And all the time my brain is ticking away – something’s not right, something’s going to happen, something’s wrong, you’re wrong, it’s wrong (whatever it is), your decisions are stupid, no one cares, no one should care, you’re alone, you should be alone – and my chest is tight and heavy and my stomach twisted. And it’s not much, it’s not like panic attacks when there are no thoughts, but it’s there and it’s constant and it’s really bloody annoying.