WARNING! If you are easily triggered by anxiety and fear/depression……please be warned. The week was bad. The whole week. Bad I tell ya. I kept talking to my inner self, telling it, “it’s okay. You are given permission to just be sad. You are given permission to lay in bed all day and cry. It’s a process. You don’t want the meds, so this is what happens. And every time you go through it, you learn something new that helps you go through it the next time.” For the most part, I talk to myself negatively. We all do. We feel guilty because we aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. Or we aren’t doing what we think they do. Or maybe we just aren’t doing what we think they want us to do…..We have to talk to our inner self in an attempt to change our own way of thinking. Since when is it okay to tell someone, “you’re just lazy. Get your ass out of that bed and do something.” You wouldn’t would you? Maybe you would. Maybe you already have. Maybe even yourself. Stop it. You wouldn’t put your child down for feeling sick or having a fever would you? Could you imagine how it would feel? I once had the flu. Only once. Bad. I was sick for like 2 weeks. But I forced myself to go to work in a shitty supermarket because I needed the money. I was going through a separation from #2. I worked the night shift, 11-7, and I was always tired. And I didn’t eat right. And my sleep was so screwed up. That’s when I get sick. And I did. I finally called in a couple of times. And then it was payday. I got a note from a doctor, telling my boss I had the flu. I was sweating and had chills, I was shaking and had a high fever. But I dragged myself out of bed and went to get my check. All the bosses were standing in the tiny office, talking about schedules or something. I handed the older, black woman my note. I told her I couldn’t work the next day, which was a Sunday. She looked at me like I was an ass. “I don’t care if you have a note supposedly from your ‘doctor’…..I don’t believe you. You have to work, it’s Easter Sunday and our busiest day. We need you at your register, and you need to come in early because we switched you to days just for this.” I was quiet. I started to shake. Exhausted and feverish. And then……I snapped. Who the
fuck was this woman and where did she get off telling me that the little $7.25 an hour bullshit job was more important than my health?! I grabbed the note from her hand. I looked her in the eye and said, “I don’t give a shit if you believe me or not. If you can’t see that I have a fever of 104º and sweating my ass off, just to come and get my check for this crappy ass job, you are blind. I quit. Find your own damn cashier for tomorrow.” With that I stormed out and never even shopped there again. Within a couple weeks I had another job. If someone wants to be blinded by what others think, fine. That’s their problem, not yours. You can’t please everyone. That being said, last week sucked. I had heart palpitations all week. I was coughing all night long and walking around with chest pains, dizziness and shaking. The pains in my chest I finally realized were from the coughing. The heart palpitations are/were a combination of too much coffee and small panic attacks. I’ve also had some inner ear stuff going on so dizziness comes with having vertigo and high blood pressure, low sugar from not eating, and other things. I was starting to believe that I was going to die. That’s what happens when you deal with anxiety daily and also depression. But I prayed and kept on going. I had to go out and get toilet paper and cigarettes. I just had to. And going to the bus, getting on the bus, dealing with people, just wasn’t conducive to what I wanted. I walked to the bus. I waited for the stupid Chihuahua to bark at me and scare the shit out of me like he always does. But he didn’t. Weird. I got to the stop, and the dizziness was worse. I prayed I wouldn’t pass out in public and make an ass of myself. Telling myself this scenario just increased my fears and the palpitations got worse. I got on the bus and sat down. My first idea was to put on some music. But my mp3 player was at home because it was charging. So, no music. Shit. I just focused on my guys, what would they say to help me. I heard Bruce calming me. Sort of. I couldn’t hear him or the others over my own fears talking to me. I tried to listen, I tried to block out my own thoughts. “Help me guys. I am losing it. I am about to go out into the world and fall apart. HELP ME.” Clint would of course point out the stupid shit like the weirdos with strange hair and clothes, trying to make me laugh. Tony made comments about the weather changing every minute. Then Bruce spoke up.
Bruce: “While we’re here, you should see if they have some movies you might like. You need to relax and just walk a little.” Me: “You’re right. I will go up and down every aisle and see what else I want.” “We” walked up and down the aisles, searching through beauty products and Easter candy. Then grabbed the toilet paper and walked down the soft drinks aisle. I grabbed a couple of diet Pepsi’s and added them to the basket. I looked through the Easter plush. I love to feel the soft squishy bunnies against my skin. It’s comforting. Clint was telling me to get them. But I already bought one I like better last year. Then I pushed a button on one bunny’s foot and it began to dance and flap it’s ears. “We” all laughed and giggled at it, listening to the silly “Here comes Peter Cottontail” it played……and played…..and didn’t stop so we ran away and pretended it wasn’t “us” who set it off. lol. Then I looked through the dvd’s and didn’t see any I wanted. So I went for my cigarettes. The cashier was a seventeen or so year old kid I had only seen once or twice. Personality worse than a barking little shit Chihuahua I know. His pimpled face staring blankly at me. I have been there, I know it’s not his fault. But he just irritated me because he was just there for a paycheck…I asked for the cigarettes. He barely cracked a smile. No “thank you for shopping at Walgreens.” No “have a nice day.” Nothing. I took my bag and walked back to the bus depot across the street. I could feel it. It was coming. But I kept suppressing it. When I got to the depot, I remembered the asshat guard who chastised me for smoking the last time. They put cigarette bins everywhere and I don’t understand the logic in telling you you cannot smoke if you’re obviously putting receptacles there just for cigarette butts. And not one ‘no smoking’ sign anywhere. So I didn’t smoke. I waited less than 5 minutes and the bus to downtown was there. I was thrilled. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all? I rode the bus in silence. Someone was yapping behind me in Spanish on the phone. Loudly. I ignored her. I thought about my ex who enjoys starting conversations with every Spanish speaking person just because he can. I didn’t know what she was saying, but a few words about dinner and what she was getting at the store. I just wanted to get through the next 6 stops and get off. Then I could go home and not worry about fainting or dropping dead in public. It was coming. Still coming. I knew it, but I silenced it. Even the Avengers were quiet. I couldn’t think about them or what they would offer for help right now. Maybe the monster has squashed them and they couldn’t talk….Okay, one more stop. I pulled the cord for the next stop. And the bus kept going. Right past my stop…… I was pissed. And I had to go to the next one to get off. So I pulled the cord… again. Asshat. Another stupid asshat. Can’t even stop at the one stop I asked for?! I got off 4 blocks away from my own, and stomped off the bus. I was pissed. I felt it. It was coming soon. Gotta get home……now. I walked along, muttering under my breath, and in my head about how
fucking stupid the driver was. He just made things worse by keeping my home ever farther away. Maybe he was having a bad day, or listening to his own “voices” in his head and not paying attention. I didn’t care. I got to the alley behind my house. 2 blocks to go. Now I started to talk to myself. It was close, ever closer and waiting to explode at any moment. But then Bruce suddenly chimed in. “It’s okay. You’re almost there. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Just remember BREATHE. You will make it, I swear Cat, you will. I am here.” I fumbled for my keys. I unlocked the door and shoved it open. Then a few feet to my own apartment door. I couldn’t get the key to work. “It’s okay. Just relax. We’re almost there.” I tried again and it turned. I opened the second lock and pushed the door, threw the cigarettes and toilet paper, sodas on the counter and locked the door behind me. I’m not breathing. I can’t breath…….I can’t breath………help me God, help me Bruce, anyone help me please…… Bruce: “Breathe Cat. Just take a deep breath. You’re home. You’re safe. You can let go now. Let it go……let it out.” I began to breathe. I took several deep breaths. I started to shake. I felt my whole body convulsing. I was cold. And the room was spinning. I cried and held my body against the counter to balance myself. Bruce continued to calm me.. “It’s okay. Sometimes you just can’t calm the monster inside. Let it out. It’s part of who you are. Breathe. Just breathe Cat. I am here. I won’t leave you. Are you breathing?” “I don’t think so. I….can’t……..Don’t want to…….it’s too hard.” The tears were there, but I fought them. Suicide….here I am again……remember me??? ….no. Not going to think about that word again. No more……Leave me alone. Bruce: “No, you don’t need that. You know you can do this…..breathe. Just one deep breath…….try…….just try.” I stopped, listened to myself…..listened to Bruce. Listened to my heart. And all at once I took one deep gulp……a deep breath…….and started to breathe again. More deep breaths, more tears, more shaking…….but I was alive. I just stood there, leaning against the counter like it was the only thing supporting me. I was shaking easily, very cold….scared. I didn’t know what to do next. Do I call someone? No, I told myself I can do this alone. And after all, I wasn’t alone. God had put Bruce in my head. He knew I needed something relatable to cling to…..to calm me. To calm the beast inside. Bruce: “Good, you’re breathing. You’re okay. Now, go to the bedroom and change into something soft and warm, something comfortable.” I walked into the bedroom and grabbed my soft sweatpants and my favorite long sleeved shirt. Took off the bra and slipped the sweater over my head. It was warm. I put on the pants and slipper socks. My favorite purple slipper socks. I lay on the bed, pulled the covers around me like a soft warm hug. I grabbed Phoebe, my favorite rabbit, who has the softest fur, and clutched her to my face. She smelled of sweet room spray I had sprayed earlier in the day. I cried and thanked God and Bruce for getting me home. The tears rushed out….wetting the pillow….down my cheeks. I sobbed hard. I was letting go of the pain……the fear. I fell into a deep sleep with tears soaking into my pillow and on Phoebe’s face. It was a short sleep, but longer than I had had lately. “Thank you Dr. Banner. You calmed the monster……I’m not going to die. Not today.”
I hope someday someone in the cast sees this…..He knows who he is. He has a gentle heart and kindness that I see in Dr Banner and in himself. And he got me through a lot of tough times lately. Hawkeye and Renner are my first loves, but Dr Banner/Mark Ruffalo, got the monster out of me that day. No suicide. No more thinking negative thoughts…..Just breathing. The Hulk is like my monster, the suicidal voice in my head which he and the rest of the Avengers chase away by talking to me when I need them most. Each of us has a little “Hulk” inside, waiting to take over……but we learn to cope in strange ways……I thank them for that. Mark/Dr. Banner, Thanks for not leaving me when I needed you. And please tell Jeremy he’s cute and makes me feel beautiful….and funny. At least in my own head.. 😉 ❤