my jumpy heart's been beating overtime
since i was twelve.
and even before then--
when in as in first grade,
the school called in a psychiatrist
hoping to slap a diagnosis on me
and make me someone else's problem.
he said i was just anxious too.
my heart beats too fast,
there's never enough air in the room
and i can't crack my ribs open wide enough
to hold all the air it takes
to calm my racing thoughts.
my brain runs in circles
and the room starts spinning and
drifts away into another universe i can't quite
my stomach starts churning
and i'm afraid i'm going to throw up.
my chest flutters,
there's a buzzing in my head and i think
i always know i'm not,
but there's that little sliver of doubt.
my brain has been capitalizing on that sliver of doubt
for as long as i can remember
the sliver becomes a shard
stabs into the side of my head
and spreads out roots.
i fight it all i can,
but it spreads out,
and if the roots leave my brain,
it's only so that the plant can grow into my body
and it all starts again.
when my heart first starting racing,
i thought i was dying
for eight months
and didn't say anything in an attempt at denial.
when i finally did go forward
they spread cream on my chest
and attached electrodes to my fingers
and took me aside into dark rooms with pictures of hot air balloons on the ceilings,
and then the cardiologist said there was nothing wrong with me,
i was just anxious.
i missed the first day of eighth grade just to hear that.
we went to panera bread in dartmouth
and i had tomato soup and thought about how betrayed i felt
by my own body.
i understood anxiety as something that happened in your head
and you just had to conquer your thoughts.
it was there and spreading throughout my body
and i was its slave.
three years of this
and the plant grows.
i've become familiar with the way the room slides in front of your eyes
when you're about to have a panic attack.
i've learned that every spot on my body could be a cancer--
but it could, whispers the sliver--
that every headache could be an explosion in my brain,
that hypochondria could be a sign
that i'm losing my mind.
i've learned that i get less nauseous
if i eat something,
but only for a little while
and the nausea makes me afraid of vomiting
so that doesn't help at all.
seems with every passing year
i accumulate another symptom.
sometimes i think the heart has a finite number of beats,
set in it from the moment of birth,
and mine is in such a rush to get a future
that it's wasting all of the good beats
that could be used later,
and consuming the future of my life.
i fight inside of my head all the time
and usually choose to watch television or listen to music,
or do something mindless,
put up walls
but the walls fall down
and all those little slivers turn into a storm
of tiny shards of glass.
and i'm excited
for the rest of my life.
i want to know where i'm going to go,
i want to experience new things,
i want to go to ireland again,
i want to learn that you can survive these emotions.
but right now i can't think about that
because i'm so tired
of all all these shards
growing into all these roots
and all these roots
which grow to become my limbs.
i want to know where i end
and where it begins,
and how we can separate,
i am tired of this union between us.
so this is super disorganized, but is a train of thought--i was having a shitty night, anxiety wise, and it turned out that just writing this was really cathartic for me and i decided to leave it up.