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“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.’” – Edgar Allan Poe

There’s a lot to be said about being in a relationship for almost 20 years.

But sometimes… sometimes you miss the anticipation of a first kiss, a first (or even a third) date, a brush of hands, the conversations that happen when you first get to know someone. The feeling you get in your stomach when you look at them. There’s really nothing like it. And yes, sometimes I miss that.

But at the same time… I really don’t. Sure, it’s nice to dream and think about sometimes, but what I actually have – that almost 20 years with the same dude – is so much better. I’ve often told people that our relationship is like an old shoe – broken in and comfortable. But that’s really not fair. Being with the same person this long means that you know them (and they know you) like no one else ever will. You know what makes them tick. What they like, what they don’t like. Their hopes for the future and how those hopes mesh with yours. The realization that you’re going to wake up every morning with one person who just fucking gets you. You know that you can rely on that person in both good times and bad. Their fights and struggles and challenges are yours, and yours theirs.

At the end of the day I just think about how lucky I am. Even if my eyes occasionally wander (as most people’s do), my heart doesn’t. It’s stalwart.

And now to change the subject.

I managed to stave off a panic attack today. I don’t know what brought it on, but I felt it building in my chest this evening while I was at work. I managed to get to my office, close the door, and sit on the floor with my back against the wall and my knees bent, pulling my legs against me. And I just breathed. In…2…3…4…5. Out…2…3…4…5. Until the tightness in my chest slowly started to dissipate.

I fucking hate that feeling. Tightness in my chest, the feeling like I can’t breathe, the sweating, the heat rising in my body, my vision shifting. Those that have panic and anxiety disorders know that they’re no joke. But I managed to get myself centered and out of it without having to take an Ativan. I count that as a win.

I tried to trace the root cause of it, but at least for me, sometimes these things come out of what seems to be absolute no where. There was nothing that I could figure out that triggered it. It just happened. I’ve found that most of the time with me, at least, it’s very rarely something that happened at that moment that triggered it. It can take days, sometimes weeks for the pressure to release and cause a panic attack. It sucks, because it’s damn near impossible to figure out what really happened.

I hate that feeling. I hate not knowing what brought it on. I feel like I’m dying. Hell, I want to die just to make the feeling stop.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I hope you’re not going too stir crazy during these times.

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