When the body knows…
I haven’t written in three months.
I mean, I have, of course, but it’s been dreck, drivel, little whiny bursts to prove that, in that tiny moment, I was still kicking even as I sank into the dark, cold, airless abyss.
Every word felt hollow. Every concept felt impotent.
So many things to address, so many feelings to explain, so many connections to attempt, and yet even beginning to attack them left me exhausted and empty.
And so yesterday I ended up in a doctor’s office.
I never go to the doctor’s. It’s a constant battle with the GF, whether or not I get to my physical every year. But a few days ago, noticed that my heart was just…flying. Fast beats, making my hands tremble, pulling me out of sleep, short breaths. The first two days were pure physiology and I could kind of marvel at it — what could be causing this? Does meditation help? Does anything change it? And then logic kicked in and I realized that I was experiencing, possibly, the symptoms of a heart attack. And then, suddenly, it became panic. Full on.
So, the doctor’s office.
Where I explained that yes, while I’d had “panic attacks” before, they were short and I knew how to work through them so much so that you’d never really know that one was happening. Anyway, I was never diagnosed or anything. And they never felt like this. Not like this. This seemed different.
So armed with my heart rate and blood pressure, following an EKG and a volley of very sympathetic lady doctors and techs and nurses, it was determined that I was probably just in the middle of an incredibly protracted panic attack.
A panic attack! For FOUR DAYS.
The nice NP who was working with me asked if there had been any triggers and I just looked at her and laughed sardonically, “You mean, like, the world?” And she smiled and wrote something down (I’m assuming it was shorthand for, “yeah, she’s nuts” or the like), and said, kindly, “but nothing specific?”
“No. Nothing specific.”
“Maybe,” she suggested gently, “your body knows something your head doesn’t.”
Maybe my body is watching the rights that define my country stripped away with speed and calculation without an opposing voice anywhere but from those of us who are powerless as best, mocked and derided by our elected officials, at worst.
Maybe my body is scared for the future, because for so many of us, it is so, so uncertain.
Maybe my body has just had its fill of callous, cruel people who live lives so far away from what the majority of us experience being in control of so much.
I keep wanting to appeal to compassion, “the kumbaya”, as some among us call it. Because I do believe that history has demonstrated that to change minds, you have to appeal to the heart. Protests may effect legislative change, but what we really need is for people to change. It’s slow and tedious but I believe that that’s where lasting change comes from.
But at the same time, I’m at the point where punching nazis and telling those who support the Dear Leader that there are no redeeming qualities that I can see in them or him is all I got. I believe in compassion, but I’m too tired to coax someone through to seeing that someone deserves the same shit they have, regardless. I’m too tired to explain (again) that your beliefs have no place in government when they take away my rights to health and safety. I’m too fucking tired to try to figure out ways to fight a government that is hell bent on denying information to its citizens.
And so apparently, (back to the point), my body knew. I was trucking along, thinking everything was fine, and my body finally said, “Nope. Shit is fucked.”
Anyway. I’ve written something now, and maybe tomorrow my heart will decide to settle on some beats-per-minute that are less…terrifying.