i had my severest anxiety attack a few years ago. it happened while i was setting up an art display in a public library. i wondered what the hell i was doing there. couldn’t the people in my illustrators group see i was just a fraud? an impostor? i didn’t deserve to have my pathetic shit shown alongside the work of actual proper artists. me being there felt like a mockery of everything the showcase was about.
it was awful. i was crouched on the floor for what felt like an eternity. i was lost in the crippledness and yet acutely aware of everything going on around me. outwardly, i willed for people to ignore my melodramatic nonsense. inwardly, i fell apart. it’s as if a swarm of carnivorous jellyfish was eating me from the inside out. all this while holding prints of carnivorous jellyfish in my shaking hands. yes, my hands were actually shaking. i couldn’t believe it.
fortunately, a colleague came over and helped me to finish setting up my display. i’ll always be grateful to her for doing that as soon other colleagues came and helped too. i don’t think i’ll ever know if they realised something was up and decided to come to the rescue. i never thought i had anxiety before. depression, yes, but not anxiety. that one incident convinced me that i’d been in denial about it for far too long.
so, why the story? well, since it’s a brand spanking new year and all, i’ve been reflecting on the past while cautiously looking to the future. i find myself coming out of darkness and squinting in sunlight… as if for the first time. the transition hurts a bit. frankly, i want to crawl back. however, i also want to move forward. really, i’m just scared of standing still, and i hope i’m not wrong about whatever it is i’m yet to be wrong about.
i hope i can do whatever it is that i need to do this year. i hope you can too. we owe it to ourselves. i don’t think we’ll ever be satisfied with even half the things we set out to do but maybe we need to be okay with that. maybe it’s good to be a little bit driven in the face of uncertain outcomes. life’s a journey and all that hoary jazz. so they say. yeah, I might just start walking now…