(Note: I posted this and then decided I was perhaps being too dramatic and took it back down, but in the mean time, it got syndicated and a bunch of people saw it anyway, so here it is again.)
When I was in my first semester at Wesleyan, I used to worry I would start crying in class. The reason for this worry was that my mother had died less than a year previously. I knew that my friend Angela was planning on playing some music from the Brother Where Art Thou sound track and some Hank Williams and I had played these things by my mother's bedside because they seemed to give her some comfort. But, by the time it was Angela's term to give a presentation, I was on more solid ground.
Two years later, when I moved to Paris, I worried I would start screaming on the metro. I had anxiety, from several factors including gender, being foreign, normativity, etc etc etc and I didn't know that people with anxiety do not actually just start screaming. Nor do we die from our chests pounding. I just wait and it passes. So I never did scream.
I don't know what I'm worried about now, exactly, but lately, I often find I've been holding my breath. I feel dizzy more than is typical. I've always had a tendency to not quite be in my body, but now I sort of feel like I'm not quite in my head and that things might turn very white and blank. Which is similar to thinking I might pass out, sort of. But I think that this too will pass without coming to pass.
Reality or whatever seems to be something like a string or a thread, but I don't think it's something I could let go of. I think it's tied to my wrist like a balloon on a child at the zoo. So I'm not worried like I was in Connecticut or France. But when people ask me how I'm doing and I say, "ok," I'm not entirely certain if that's actually the truth. But it might be. In time, it will be.
. . .
I realized two things recently. One is that I'll always be crazy. I'm not screaming-on-the-metro crazy, but this tendency or whatever I've got is something I can manage, but not something that will evaporate away.
I was learning to deal with it by trying to acknowledge and even share my emotions instead of trying not to have them. And then, after that, trusting to fate. But there is no fate. Things don't happen for any kind of reason. We live until we die and that's it. There's no plan. There's no meaning. You just carry on until you don't anymore. Everything we have to sort of smooth over the abyss and make it seem nice is just a human invention. There's no soul. There's no god. There's no plan. It's just suffering with the occasional respite. And that's all.
I'd like to carry on as long as possible, but the emptiness of it all . . . is kind of a lot. It's a large realisation to get used to.