I had a panic attack while buckling my kids into their car seats. Critical mass was reached. No one can survive this without a crack, can they? Let’s not drive while we’re hyperventilating, said my better judgement.

I sat still with my hands on the wheel. Calming myself. They screamed at me. “Go! Go MOM!!! Come ON!!! GO!!!!”

I forgot the appointment to get the prescription I need to function without having panic attacks. I forgot because my mind is already strained. Strained at the seams. I’m holding too many things in the flimsy, filmy, fraying silk pocket of my ability. But there’s nothing I can put down. Is there?

I wish I was a good solid canvas satchel. Wouldn’t that be better for everyone? Why does the Maker who Makes Things make silken people? People who feel everything and break open and fail so loudly? I want to be solid. But I forget things. I get overwhelmed.

Shame and guilt and anger and hopelessness all descend as once. The four horsemen of the apocalypse. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t weep. I couldn’t possibly go on living like this… so messy and broken and mucked up. The realization hit me randomly. That I had missed it. Son dumped all his clothes on the floor and we were talking about responsibility and cleaning up after ourselves. And it hit me in the gut like a sock full of sand. And then I slowly, slowly lost control.

And now I’m ok.

We ran our errands. I cried most of the way there, but then I numbed up. I got baby-sized ice cream cones for the boys. We went to the post office.

How is it that we can be mostly alright and totally shattered all at once? Like some kind of broken snow globe within an unbroken snow globe in the puddle of a bigger broken snow globe.

Nice blobs of that fake snow fall gently around the statue of my life, as they should. They are lovely. It is good. And then there are also chunks of glass clanking up and down. Chipping off an elbow or a nose, here and there. I guess they’re ok too. I can’t get rid of them anyway.

I can’t make sense of this. I have no destinations to wiggle toward out of the morass. I am just sitting in the middle of what seems to be the inescapable mess of my own being, marveling at the strangeness of it. Wondering, Why me? And, How did it happen?

I have to feel my way forward with the written word, or it would be necessary to cut myself open to let all the giant feelings out. There are too many to fit in one medium sized body.

I’m not as crazy as I sound. But I’m worse than I appear.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.




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