Today, as I was going anxiously about my business, as per usual, I was struck by a momentary epiphany. I found I wasn’t going about my business anxiously but peacefully, actually. Puzzled, I examined what the fuck. The fuck I felt good, I found.
I instantly knew that something was wrong. I don’t feel good. That’s just not what I do. I’m not even sure any more what it is like to feel good. Provisionally, I imagine feeling good is what it is when one lacks any pain, discomfort and anguish, physical and mental. Damn. That’s one hell of a definition.
So, yeah, I noticed straight away that I wasn’t in any pain at all, which manifested as a significant lack of something. I wasn’t even feeling anxious, which is my default setting, and for a while, I was meditating on whether or not I’m still alive. How the fuck am I supposed to tell when I don’t feel anything?
My feeling good freaked me out something fierce. Fortunately, this suspended condition didn’t last. As I proceeded to go about my business peacefully, I soon noticed I was in fact going about my business anxiously. Whew. That was close. I have no clue what people who feel good on the regular do about it but if it’s you, my sympathies to you, because this shit is scary as fuck.
Hilarious is probably not the first word that comes in mind in connection with mental episodes. Especially if you’re the sufferer. But when you look at it with the eyes of the observer, it is really the best word to describe it. Hilarious.
I just had an acute mental episode over nothing. What happened? Like I say, nothing. All I did was walking over to sit at the computer and get some work done. And whoosh. Out of the blue I can’t breathe and feel a pressing urge to peel my skin off in one piece like a snake because there’s a weird sensation all over it.
I totally get that some of my fellow nutcases bang their heads against the wall or cut themselves. Clear-cut physical discomfort is a breeze. Weird mental discomfort is—weird. Also, maddening; though I’m not sure how it applies when you are already mad.
So, doing my best to perform the breathing exercise designed for panic/anxiety attacks, I hop (limp shakily) on the yoga mat and go for a classic guided breathing meditation that I have bookmarked on my phone. Now I not only want to peel my skin off but also want to rip the headphones off my head and toss the shit out of the window because it feels crazy weird against the ears too.
As the meditation progresses, so does my panic because the exercise isn’t working. However, successfully overcoming the temptation to grab the phone and toss it the same way as the headphones, I complete the meditation, put the stuff out of the reach of crazy people, remove my shorts because they feel weird and move on to administer a Lexaurin pill.
Ten minutes later, I can breathe normally. Well, not really, I could breathe normally but I can’t at the moment because I’m having a fit of hysterical laughter at myself. As I’m putting my shorts back on because they are perfectly legit, totally comfortable and don’t feel weird at all, I’m wondering what the fuck that was.
Apparently, I had a panic attack over absolutely nothing.
Well, okay, so maybe there is a workload I’m freaking about, which might have triggered the reaction. But come on, tell me something that’s new or, even better, tell me one rational reason why I should be entitled to panic over work. It’s not like my life depends on it.
Well, okay, so maybe my life does depend on my ability to work my workload. But, so what, let’s not try to reinvent the wheel here. Same old, same old: I’m a means of production owned by the capitalist society blah blah; also, exploitation, inequity, overwork, underpay blah blah, so everything is as it should be.
Well, okay, so maybe everything isn’t as it should be. However, who is to say what should be? Not me. Not anyone, as far as I’m concerned. (I wonder if that makes me an anarchist? And is that a bad thing? — I’m glad I don’t subscribe to the good/bad dichotomy, looks like it’s complicated as fuck.) My point is: what is there to panic about when there is no point anyway? I wish my panicky brain finally got it. Duh.
I present a new instalment in my Janitor from in Hell Series, which starts with my installation in the concierge function, continues with an epic flood, and I wish I could say it ends here, but the tragic story goes on.
I don’t hate being the janitor. I fucking hate being the janitor. I’m exceptionally unsuited for the execution of this post. I know next to nothing about maintenance, I’m not passionate about the vision of making the tenement a better place and, most of all, I panic in emergencies.
The other day my janitorship struck back at 10:30 PM, while I was sitting at my office-slash-kitchen table, watching people pretending to be surgeons dissecting a tumour on Grey’s Anatomy, and munching Oreos. On which the power went off. My mother would observe that it was surely a divine strike punishing me for eating Oreos for dinner. On which I’d retort that I’m Buddhist and fully confident that the universe doesn’t give a shit about my eating habits.
I finished my Oreos while the buffered video was still running on the laptop and then went to explore. I didn’t get farther than the corridor when I realised that the power was off, hear, hear, and since there is no god in this godless building, there was no light. The flashlight function on my phone didn’t turn out to be exactly powerful, but I managed to stalk my way in the street and confirm the worst.
No, there was no zombie apocalypse, that wouldn’t have been so bad since I’m already half-dead and why not take it to the next level, right? The worst thing was that the outage was in my building only. Which is where the janitorial hero comes in and saves the light and WiFi. I’m kidding, of course. This was when I picked the phone and called the landlord to ask where the fuck were fuse boxes in this forsaken building.
The operation was much more complex than it sounds. Apparently, you can either be conducting a call or flashing the flashlight on the phone, not both simultaneously. Don’t tell me that I should’ve grabbed a regular flashlight. I couldn’t find it because there was no light, see? If you don’t see, nevermind, neither did I. So I grabbed a lighter and kept the flame on while operating on the fuse box, which I probably deemed a good idea. It’s not like it’s the main gas shutoff valve. Is it?
Neither the landlord’s instructions nor my description of the situation proved particularly productive. I spent an hour haunting the building and hunting fuse boxes, while burning my fingers on the lighter and exchanging profanities with the landlord. Then I decided that I.WASN’T.FUCKING.DOING.IT, gave up and returned to my flat to die of exposure, since the heating doesn’t work when there’s no power. Before settling down to die, it occurred to me that I had a candle, which I duly lit, because I needed to pee and didn’t want to miss the bowl. Yes, I know I’m a girl, but it was dark enough to miss the bathroom entirely.
I retired in the bed, wearing all I have. I googled generators, in case I survive, because the next time this happens, I want to be able to boil some bloody water at least. Then I decided I’d go the medieval way and prepared to start burning books. Then I fell asleep and dreamt of an electrician alighting from a white unicorn with a rainbow horn, chanting Let there be light and resurrecting me and the electricity alike.
In the morning, the summoned electrician arrived in a yellowish van, presumably originally white, which was in the final phase of entropy. He asked what happened. Dunno, I chattered my teeth. Life, I guess. The torch-bearer worked his magic on one of the switches, which was in the off position, though I swear it was in the on position when I left it. Okay, I don’t swear, I don’t know what I was doing. On which the power went on.
I’m overworked. No, really, I’m always overworked but now I’m acutely overworked. That’s why I thought that before resuming work, I could grab a blogging break. Not a break from blogging but a break to blog. You know, so I could feel guilty afterwards for not having been working.
Overwork is an awesome way to boost your existing mental issues and get yourself new issues you didn’t know you had. At this state of overwork, I don’t have normal response to stimuli because all my brain capacity is taken up by working and thinking of working. My reaction to ordinary situations is either of the following:
none (blank stare and complete paralysis)
inadequate (like responding with a poem to a question of what day it is; also, I have honestly no idea what day it is because all days are workdays)
panicky (I just lose my shit and expect to die at the spot because the circumstances are too overwhelming to survive)
I’ve been successfully excessively panicking today on multiple occasions. To an uninvolved observer, it would probably look extremely hilarious. Even I, a very involved actor in the fits of panic, could appreciate some of the humour in it.
I had the best meltdown when I couldn’t find my favourite cat toy. Not my cat’s favourite toy, she is indifferent to all toys, but my preferred toy out of the collection of cat toys I use as home decorations. I was looking for it everywhere. Repeatedly. I blamed the cat for losing it.
I have no idea how the cat does that but she sometimes does lose a toy. She must be eating them. When I was on the verge of hanging myself on a cat string toy, it occurred to me that I must have collected the missing toy accidentally from the floor with the bed sheets I was changing and must have put it in the laundry basket.
Yup. There it was. I thought I lost it forever. I’m unreasonably attached to cat toys and I probably only have a cat because of the toys. To immortalise said cat toy, I just snapped and Snapseeded it and it goes with this post. So much panic for such a little thing. Seriously.