I can’t seem to anchor myself, and the only method I know is not an option. Instead, I tried to conquer my restlessness by escaping.
I appear in the doorway wearing running shoes and a Hogwarts scarf. One of my roommates looks up: “Where are you going?”
“I don’t know,” I respond truthfully.
“Then … why are you leaving?”
“I need to practice breathing.”
Across the room, Jo nods knowingly, as if I make perfect sense. “Have fun.”
“If I’m not back in an hour, call the police.” I don’t wait for a response, because I know she’ll call. That’s what best friends are for.
It’s 10pm, cold, dark, wet, and I head for the woods. Halfway around the pond, I stop. Close my eyes and reach out sensory feelers. Listen to the rush of cars on Grapevine Road, the laughter echoing across the water, the soft fall of snow through tree branches above my head. Feel the slight shifts of weight that maintain balance in my stillness. Smell the snow in the air. A deep breath burns my throat and pours back out of my lungs.
Today is not pathological. Today is not even hyper-sensitivity. (Well, it’s me. Every day is hypersensitivity. Whateves.) But today is just life. Part of being human. I read somewhere that it’s important to face your shortcomings and recognize the value of what you failed to achieve. Or maybe I heard that somewhere? Perhaps from the same guy* who said mental illness was an excuse for personal inadequacy? Huh. At any rate, it sounds legit.
I made some questionable decisions yesterday, with classic overconfidence (also known as denial), and now I’m afraid to face the consequences. Because clearly the World will END if I fail one essay assignment. People, you should stock your cupboards and hunker down in the bathtub. Bad grades are now weapons of mass destruction. My impending transcript can demolish tall buildings in a single bound.
Breathe. There. Now, don’t we feel better?
*Side note: psychology professors who claim that depression is a good, honest emotion should be shot. If they add that biochemical models are a “bunch of malarkey,” they should also be drawn and quartered.