Over the Moon for Paxil: Afraid to be Alive

[Content Note: Mental Health Issues, Eating Problems]

This post is part of a series in which I blog through my journey of dealing with an anxiety disorder that nearly took over my life for a few months. These posts are based off of journal entries from the past few months and don’t necessarily reflect how I am feeling write now. To learn more about this series, read the introduction post

On February 22, 2014, I started a journal about the mental health issues I’d been struggling with for months. In this entry, I tried to grasp in words how it felt when my problems were at their worst:

For awhile, it was hard to make myself eat, or shower, or even use the bathroom. That stuff meant that I was alive, and I didn’t want to be, so I would just lay there in bed until it was time to go to work.

Jesus. That sounds fucked up to me. It’s hard to admit that to myself.

I’d tell myself I wasn’t eating because I worked third shift and that made me too tired to make food or something. I’d tell myself this and I’d put it on Twitter as if putting something on Twitter makes it true. As if the lies would stop being lies once someone else besides me believed them. I don’t know why I was so afraid to just admit that I might be sick and need help.

I was afraid to be alive. There. I said it.

Shit.

Me. The kid who used to catch the biggest, hairiest spiders in jars. Whose favorite movie in third grade was Jaws. Who has an entire bookshelf filled with Stephen King novels.

Bugs and monsters and darkness–I like these things just fine. Yet what ends up making me afraid to swing my feet over the edge of the bed?

Life.

That’s all. Just goddamn-fucking-life.

I’ve been eating more lately. And not just when I have to because I’m dizzy. And not just cookies. I still have to push myself to do it, but I eat. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to nourish myself because life is okay.

I started taking Paxil about four days ago, and even though I know it hasn’t started working yet, it’s giving me some hope. I’m starting to feel like life is okay and maybe this fear of it won’t kill me after all, and maybe the food I eat will bring me something besides another day of hiding under my covers worrying about the clothes in my closet that I never wear anymore because the only time I leave the apartment anymore is when I am in my work uniform because if I don’t go to work I’ll be even more of a failure and…

Stop.

Breathe.

Panic, man. Damn these racing thoughts.

I’m tired of being afraid of life. But I’m also afraid of becoming normal. I don’t know how to be normal. I don’t know how to live without fear. I’m, heh, afraid of living without fear. What if I need it? What if my fear is protecting me?

Is there a way to feel “bad” emotions–anger, sadness, fear–without them slowly killing me like they are right now?

This is all so new.

I think I need sleep.

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