Today, the first one II

9:22 am

Well I’ve at least got some housework done (“Gimme the points!”).

Before leaving for the out-of-the-house tasks, I was fucking around on the internet again, nothing as good as Zoella or Superwoman though.

Yesterday, I was listening to an audio book version of Girl Online and the main character Penny talked about going online to look at things she knew would upset her, as if compulsively. She called it something along the lines of a self destructive path. And that’s what I felt compelled to do this morning waiting for the bank to open: self destruct.

My junior year of college my best friend and I had a severe falling out. I don’t know her side of the story because she stopped communicating as soon as she figured out that I knew she was lying to me. I was heart broken and felt incredibly vulnerable and raw. I had panic attacks so harsh campus emergency services were called to help me breathe. I was terrified of her, I skipped classes and ate in my room- or just didn’t eat. I stopped going to social things, except to drink nearly every weekend because I knew she didn’t go bars. I would burst into tears randomly and uncontrollably in public. I was miserable and afraid all the time, I felt as though she had turned every one in my life against me. It took me months to feel normal again, and even a year later I’d get panicky if I thought I saw her somewhere.

She has a blog and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly low, I get overwhelmed with the need to see how or what she’s doing. Maybe today it was a mix of exhaustion, frustration and fear that made me search her blog title. I don’t know. But two of her latest updates really shook me to my core and I felt the same old prickly heat and shivers that preempt a panic moment, my vision spun out of control and I felt sure I would throw up.

It’s in those moments that I think about all the terrible things that happened to me because of her, either because of lies she told me or people in my life, or because of my reactions. I think about how I would spend nights and days staring at my ceiling wondering how long it would take me to pack all my shit and leave Bonaventure and if my parents could afford a flight on such short notice. I think about how many people walked past me while I sat on a curb with an oxygen mask on my face, tears streaming down my cheeks, limbs limp, but lungs and chest so tight I thought I was going to die the first time I had a panic attack. I think about the pangs of hunger followed by the waves of fear and isolation when I started skipping meals to escape the possibility of more confrontation and panic attacks in the dining hall. I think about the people that started avoiding me, not because of any thing she had said to them, but because I was just too miserable to be around. I think about how many times I would put on my party girl face and get drunk so I could use ‘hungover’ as an excuse for staying in bed the whole weekend.

But normally, just before all the memories and heartache send me over the edge into the darkness and isolation, I remind myself that I lived through it! I tell myself that if I survived it, I can certainly survive the memory of it all.

Today though… it just doesn’t feel as easy as that, because I’ve been pretty low lately. And when you’re low, the people that you see as enemies or villains aren’t allowed to be happy and successful. At least that’s how it feels. My head is telling me that no matter how well she’s doing or what incredible news she’s writing about, I’m still allowed to succeed, I’m still allowed to be happy. But it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a race, it feels like there can only be one winner. It feels like as long as she’s doing well I’m never going to accomplish anything or lead a good life.

And that is so fucked up.

Anyway, I think the bank’s open.


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