So - it's the second week of classes. I get up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to hit the ground running.
Ok. That was a lie.
So - it's the second week of classes. I get up all bleary-eyed and exhausted because I stayed up too late last night reading and re-reading Foucault. And I'm not at all ready to hit the ground running. I'm ready to have a panic attack. I can feel it mounting as soon as I get out of bed. (For reasons academic and otherwise, school is a locale of pretty wild anxiety for me these days). I tell myself it's no big deal. I tell myself "you got this." I tell myself that sitting in my enormously overpopulated Foucault seminar, talking about theory that is sometimes over my head, is No Big Deal. NBD, Mama T. NBD. I tell myself "Haha! Anxiety -you aren't so tough. You aren't the boss of me." And so anxiety does what it does best - it turns around and gives me the finger. With both hands.
In writing, anxiety might look and sound like this:
************** (radio crackle and static) (nefarious cackle) We interrupt this life to bring you a panic attack. We'll let you get back to thinking, seeing straight and breathing properly when we good and goddamned feel like it. (more nefarious cackling) (more radio crackle and static)***************
----------------------more time elapses -----------------------
Andddddddddddddd. Breathing again. Whewf. Made it. About ten minutes had gone by, as near as I can tell. And I'm beyond drained. I still have time to get out my door and make it to class. But I don't have it in me. I email the prof and tell him I have the stomach flu, wondering while I do it why it is somehow less embarrassing to have the stomach flu than it is to have a panic attack. But it just is. Those who dwell in this reality from time to time will likely know what I am talking about.
I spend the morning drinking coffee, and then tea, under the softest blanket in the world, looking at the snow falling, and reading more Foucault. At first, I felt pretty horrible. I hate it when anxiety 'wins' over the iron will of my stubbornness - it's a rare occurrence, granted, but I hate it nonetheless. It feels yucky, and fail-y, and wimpy and did I mention fail-y already?
But then, the more I dwelled in those feelings of, you know, failing - the more I started to see the other side of the equation. Maybe, crazy-town shows up every once in awhile to teach me some things. For instance, like putting myself first (say whaaaaaat?), or like failing isn't the worst possible thing in the world that I could do (say whaaaaat?).
And maybe just mayyyyyybbbbeeee, in order to hold it all together, we may have to let it fall apart once in awhile, too.
*And, after that brief moment of 'navel-gazing,' it's back to cozy blankets and Foucault for this mama.