Words Are Empty

Fine, I’m going to do this. I don’t want to deal with the fallout, but sometimes words have to be said. That and I’m out of medication again because the government would rather criminalize the weak than lift them out of poverty. So I’m going to rant and you get to not read it as much as you want.

Believe it or not, I hate talking about me. I honestly do. More and more every day. That’s why I try to put feelings into poetry rather than spoonfeeding my every problem to anyone who’ll listen. But that doesn’t mean I get to keep my mouth shut all the time, and it doesn’t mean I have to feel like garbage for needing you to understand me.

And yes, I considered not even posting this and allowing self-discovery to buff these wings, but I don’t believe in throwing away the truth either. So I’ll post it here like everything else and leave you to figure out what to do with it.

I’ve heard it a thousand times. “Oh, I have anxiety too.” That coming from somebody who has no trouble showing up to work showered, who has no trouble doing the dishes on a day with absolutely no other apparent responsibilities. Who has no difficulty getting out of bed onto their feet instead of their knees…

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I don’t fit under our bed. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’d rather die than go back to any job I’ve ever lost. And I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’m thinking about nailing my hand to something inside the apartment so that I don’t jump off of the balcony. Sixty feet would do the trick a lot better than most people’s advice.

Maybe this is why I don’t talk about this stuff all the time. Maybe this is why I’m so afraid of even researching my problem. I hate the word “anxiety” so much. People use it to describe waiting for the bus, gas prices going up a few cents a litre (Waaaaaaaaaa! So you paid an extra five bucks for gas,) or feeling your knees shake on stage. Those all fit the definition, but you haven’t been diagnosed with it.

You don’t even have a doctor who knows what the word “generalized” means, or what implications come up when you tack it onto “anxiety.” You don’t have a therapist who has spent months on you and still has no idea what to do when you walk in. You don’t have old prescriptions for medication that was even WORSE than going without. You’ve never quit SSRIs and benzodiazpines and sleeping medication cold turkey at once. You’ve never gone a whole week without a wink of sleep and still showed up to work every day because you were terrified you’d get fired.

So it’s hard to even put these words down. It’s hard to think about anybody reading them. But it’s even worse to hear you go on and on about your “anxiety.” I’ll bet you’ve never beaten your head until you spasmed and fell unconscious. I’ll bet you’ve never been afraid of falling asleep because you punched your own head so hard you’re afraid you have a concussion. You’ve never even considered what happens when your knuckles are the size of goose eggs because you’ve been trying to beat yourself to death.

So yeah, go on about your problems. And if I seem a bit quiet while you whine, maybe it’s because I spent yesterday under the bed and you’re standing with your back straight while you talk as if you actually have issues you’ll acknowledge.

Bitter, bitter me. I’m sorry. I have problems and you have problems, and that’s the way life works. But my problems are not smaller than yours. I’m not unemployed because I don’t want to work; I’m unemployed because thinking of working makes me weep. I will not tell you what kind of tears they are. You should know what I’m so afraid of if you’re so anxious all the time.

Oh to have real, legitimate problems instead of these “fake” ones. Oh to have pain diagnosable by the layman and not just doctors. Oh to have people around me who don’t try to change my pain into something they can manage.

I think I’ll have another cigarette while you shake your head at the one who just wouldn’t listen.


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