What is the in between? The in between is where I go sometimes...not by choice. The in between is the gray area in which I reside, mentally. It's not a choice, it's a happenstance. Since around the age of 16, I knew my mind didn't process things the right way. Even further back when I was little and put paper by my bed because I thought I would be sick in the middle of the night because...well, just because.
Anxiety and depression are words that have been thrown around in my world from the age of 16. A severe anxiety disorder. Depressed. How? Why? Cope? My first panic attack happened when I was 11 and I had to be taken to the hospital. All I remember is panic. Then...nothing. Since then, I can count the number of severe panic attacks I have had and 2 of them have landed me in the ER to get reassurance that I am not dying and that I am not having a heart attack. Not fun.
The night before I got married I had a panic attack and was frozen in fear all night on the couch, with a pounding heart, the chills, and sweating up a storm.
My second year teaching, I spent 3 days in bed, sobbing and unable to function. My darling fiancee, laid on the floor on a futon mattress and watched cartoons with me until I was able to get up two days later and shower. Not my proudest or sexiest moments.
Flash forward through to my life and all that has transpired in the last few years and it's a wonder the gray film didn't come back down, until about two weeks ago. Now, I am sitting in the in between, wondering where I am going to fall this time. Everyday that I have been on summer break has been a struggle to get out of bed, play with my kids, take care of my house, connect with my friends and just live. I am going through the motions, hoping, begging, praying that it's almost over and I can just breathe again...soon.
I don't know how to explain the in between to you. Because of the last 4 years, I constantly struggle with the idea that I am dying, right now. Every weird feeling, every cold, everything to me, to my brain, is cancer. I can't escape it and I don't take it lightly. I call it post traumatic cancer stress. My nearest and dearest friends--they make jokes to help take my mind off of it, but it's always there, lurking. My husband refuses to talk about it with me anymore and I can't really blame him. It's madness, it's exhausting, it's in my brain all the time. The fear, the panic, the worry, is real. The need for constant reassurance from someone is constant. With that being said...I am alone in this area, the in between. I am tired. My brain is exhausted. My heart.
Never being alone, because I am a mom, doesn't mean I am not lonely. Just because I am there does not mean that I am actually there. Right now, I have a loose grip and I am hanging on, going through the motions until the panic, the fear, the worry, the pain, the exhaustion goes away and I can breathe again.