Note: This is a part of a small collection of short pieces written when I couldn’t decipher what emotion I was feeling. There I found the “in-between.” These pieces were written quickly when my brain needed an outlet and then lightly edited later.
I’m ashamed at the raw sting I feel under my eyes. It’s the second time I’ve cried in my car this week, and I’m frantically drying my eyes just in case someone looks over at me as we wait for the green light.
They probably won’t, but the “if” looms large in my mind.
I’ve trained myself to swallow my anxiety tears unless I’m in
1.) the shower,
2.) my office’s bathroom (only if it’s empty),
3.) a stairwell (it also has to be empty),
4.) my bed,
5.) or my car.
Part of my training has been tied to spending time on my makeup and scolding myself into not ruining it. I’ve broken this rule a few times when the panic attack makes me forget all of that, and I’ve cried in
1.) Dobb’s dining hall at Mizzou (RIP),
2.) the hall coordinator office at Jones (also RIP),
3.) outside of Ri Ra in Midtown,
4.) in the bus on the way to Delta Chi formal,
5.) and a Waffle House.
I hate crying almost more than I hate vomiting (which always makes me cry). Sadness (anxiety-induced or not) has been something I’ve always struggled with emoting. I feel constant guilt because my tears might as well be over spilt milk compared to the problems of others/the world.
My brain is sneaky enough to make me feel shitty about feeling shitty.
Sometimes Sunday Scaries turn into Monday Bad Moods that last all week. Sometimes a pang of despair hits the bottom of my stomach so quick that I’m numb for a second and then it’s like nothing happened. Sometimes hormones activate the tightness in my chest and the feelings I’ve tried to forget.
But most of the time I try to follow my rules. Most of the time I don’t feel the salty sting under my eyes. Most of the time the little happies hush the sads (if not for at least a little bit). Most of the time I know better.