I learned a new word, “reticent.” Google defines reticent as “not revealing one’s thoughts or feelings readily.” I don’t remember where I read the word yesterday; but anytime I run across a word I don’t recognize, I look it up. This one stuck in my brain. Merriam-Webster defines reticent as “inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech.” It’s the perfect adjective to describe my inability to communicate. While experiencing (what feels like never-ending) waves of depression, the amount of force I need to push myself to share my thoughts and feelings, often isn’t there. I’ve been silent for so long (verbally), reticent throughout my isolation, reluctant to allow anyone close enough to see the pain.
As I sat writing the above paragraph, my thoughts were distant, difficult to ascertain. I began writing without knowing exactly what I wanted to write about. That single word kept repeating in my mind — reticent. I wrote the paragraph and promptly got pulled into a spiraling mess of despair. An incident over the weekend has me, yet again, questioning my sanity. I’m choosing to believe the incident was nothing more than a nightmare, not reality. I had other nightmares that night, so it’s not a stretch to believe that this was too. I didn’t get much sleep that night.
Anyway, I wrote one paragraph and spent twice as long attempting to distance myself from overwhelming thoughts.
Then, at some point around 7:30 pm, I saw a bright light outside my kitchen window. I got up to see what it was and saw a police car sitting in front of my house! Immediately, my thoughts began racing — what if “they” are monitoring my internet usage (yes, I get paranoid over shit like that), I shouldn’t have taken that depression screening online, what if they know I’m feeling suicidal? thinking about suicide?, thought police, 1984 (no, I’ve never read it. I don’t need anything else to stress/feel paranoid over), what if something happened to KR?, what if something happened to my son?, what if something happened to my mom? — so many thoughts within an incredibly short span of time while I rushed to close my browser before I heard a knock on my door. Time, as well as my heart, felt like it stopped.
I opened the door. The police officer asked if a certain person lived here. I had never heard of that person before. He asked how long I have lived here. I answered since July last year. I should have told him that the house had been vacant since November 2012, prior to KR and me moving in; but I didn’t have the presence of mind to do so. He confirmed the address. He asked for my name and phone number which I gave; and then, he left after apologizing for frightening me. Was it that obvious?! Apparently, so. I felt like a deer caught in headlights. The police car sat in the driveway for a few more minutes before driving off.
Rather than relief, I had a panic attack. It took me the better part of 45 minutes to calm myself down afterwards. Why do I let anxiety and fear get the better of me? Everybody and their Great Uncle with an opinion on the matter would have you believe that anxiety can be managed by being aware of your thoughts and challenging them. Yeah, sure, that works sometimes, provided there’s enough time to grab one thought and challenge it before another pops up in its place. When it comes to severe anxiety and panic attacks, though, it’s like every sense in my body is being overloaded all at once. I just have to ride out the wave, like with the depression….