a candid talk about mental health
I am an anxious being. Sort of. I have an excellent cover, I think. People don't notice. I smile big-eyed and laugh sometimes. I ask how your weekend was, show you a thing I saw that reminded me of you. I brush my teeth and take my medicine. But when you look away, when I'm alone, the veneer cracks. I can't breathe. I've sweat (sweated? swoot? swat?) through two+ layers of clothing. My chest hurts.
In 2012, after two years of legal battles, Nik Wallenda crossed Niagara Falls via tight rope (this was hot news back home). I think about that moment a lot because that's the best way to explain myself. Guerrilla Rain is a person on a tight rope. Quite the show. Lean too far to one side, go too fast, unsteady, sneeze, and plunging into Niagara Falls I go. (Another fun fact about my home: Niagara Falls experiences more than 700,000 gallons of water flowing per second.)
Thankfully, this is a metaphor and not literally because I've been to the Falls many times and issa no for me, dawg.
I have to remind myself to be steady. To breathe. To postpone. To deal with it later. To put it down and step away. I have to remind myself to slow down and eat sweets, to smell the fresh air. My body, my brain is an untrained puppy and I have to be its keeper. Sit down. It's okay. This thing won't hurt you. Maybe you shouldn't let your curiosity get the best of you with this thing, you are not in a state where this is a good idea. Wait for adult supervision.
I think I am better with medicine. I don't run crying when I feel weird textures. I don't scream at people. I am not catatonic.
Sometimes I still look away for a long time, go wherever it is I go when my brain gets quiet and calm. I get lost in the stillness. And I still like it there. I don't think I'll ever stop going there.
But for now, I am aware that I am on a tight rope. I see how thick and sturdy the rope is. I see its weaknesses. I know what happens if I lose balance. I know how to steady my fee. And I guess that is enough for now.