i make a funny post about my feelings of numbness; a person points out i have executive dysfunction. for a second i snort; i know i have mental illness, nothing new here under the sun. but then i realize how many of my symptoms i forget are symptoms. that it’s not normal to be tired all the time. that it’s not normal to get angry for no reason. that the fact i carefully balance between depression and anxiety isn’t a normal railroad track to be walking - i know that it’s not normal to constantly wonder if the train is coming; i forget other people aren’t standing in the way, that being hit isn’t even an option.
there are a lot of posts that make me laugh at first. “do you ever feel you’re running out of time for no reason?” the person asks. “anxiety,” another replies. it’s sort of sad-funny. but i wonder how many of us are asking “am i okay?” “is this me or a symptom or normal?”
how very sad none of us know what to expect out of this. i have a diagnosis and i still wonder if it’s normal to panic on buses. is it normal i’ve been having panic attacks since i was young? i picture my seven-year-old self with new technology. would i have typed into google why can’t i sleep or would i have assumed everyone constantly feels like they woke up from a bad dream?
do people who are healthy ask “does anyone else”? do people who are healthy ever have to wonder if they’re in one piece? what is it like?
“anyone else get bad feelings in classrooms?” i wonder aloud. somebody looks at me with pity. now it comes down to the question: is it me or anxiety?
there are a hnadful of people on that post pre-apologizing for their response, “oh no what I think is romantic is weird or violent!!!”
which—I understand your reticence, but nasa discovered potentially habitable planets today and I saw a nonzero number of twitter posts/facebook comments about fucking aliens. so like. that’s just being super consistent with who we are as a species, and have been, and will be, world without end amen