Drapetomani, an overwhelming desire to run away from a place or city.
That’s a word I recently learned and felt like so many unexplained moments of my life have been summarized in one such word. Suffering from anxiety is obviously not a walk in the park, definitely not the one where you watch sunrises and sunsets. It’s probably one with a moonless night, a deserted long lane on your way back home. A street you have known forever yet you need help getting there and believe me the GPS doesn’t work.
No amount of coaching or advice works, you just have to wait for the moment to pass. You have to wait till that want to be swallowed by the earth to go away. You have to wait to start wanting this life again. You have to wait. That wait involves panic attacks, breathlessness, overthinking, jumping to the worst conclusions and mostly running away.
Getting yourself so far away from where you are that you no more feel anything. You feel nothingness enough to just be able to think clearly. You need space but your mind is constantly spinning new theories to make you hate yourself. It’s creating images of scenarios that’ll most likely never happen but you still feel the hurt from those savagely built episodes of a non-existent life you don’t wish to have.
I run out of fingers to count on how many times I’ve thought of running away from here, there and everywhere because sometimes the people around create a lot of chaos for me to deal with and sometimes it’s the silence that I can’t deal with.
Every now and then, when the calm settles, a light breeze blows by and the pieces that have been put together ache to fall apart. Most times they do, and I spend more time fixing myself. I’ve become a live project for myself to work on with no deadlines but constant surprises and roadblocks.
I struggle to explain what I’m feeling because I don’t know how best to make sense out of it for someone who doesn’t understand anxiety but wants to help. I feel guilty for their helplessness, I’m so fucked up that expecting any aid from those around almost feels like a bad idea. I mean why burden them with my baseless worries?
Honestly, these are the people that make me want to stay every time escaping feels like my only option. The only thing I expect is for them to let me know they’re there for me because I know they’re worth staying back for.