It’s 8:05 on a Saturday night. I’m listening to M.I.A. in an attempt to get in the ‘zone’ and reassure myself that this blog isn’t as trite as I think it is.
OH, PERFECT TIMING. I just ate a hard-boiled egg, (get over it,) and my throat feels a little funny. (Yeah, ’cause there’s egg residue in it, dummy.) WELL, like clockwork, my lips begin to itch, and I start paying extra close attention to the way my body feels–as if I were experiencing everything through a stethoscope–every unfamiliar sensation suddenly a cause for grave concern. (disclaimer: the tingling lips are more psychosomatic than anything else…panic is a slutty serpent.)
YOU SEE, I am a hypochondriac. And maybe a little OCD, but for now, my counselor (a new OCD specialist who I started w/ last week,) thinks my compulsions are pretty under control. YES. Doing something right. I don’t even like saying “doing something right” though, because it makes it seem as if it’s as easy as a choice, to act normal and feel healthy.
Since it’s my first post, let’s start this off right.
Hi, my name is Beth Fischer, and I used to be fearless.
I grew up in Alaska as a wild tomboy. I played aggressive sports, went hunting, camping, fishing, you name it. I was sick a fair amount as a kid, but never anything that got the best of me. Just a little snip snip to the tonsils and a few ulcers at eight. (Stress-related. First warning sign???) I would tear across frozen lakes on four-wheelers, snowboard, be the first to investigate any creepy sound at a sleepover, and kick it with the best of my fellow adventure-mongers.
When I was older, I went overseas. I’m not talking docile school trips to Pear-eeeee, but rather months at a time in places like Cairo, Marrakech, Istanbul, etc. My trips overseas brought a lot of challenges, from nearly every man assuming me and my fellow travelers were American-Girls-DTF (thanks TV, you represent women so accurately…) to being led into distressing ‘give me all your money or die in the desert’ situations w/ ‘tour-guides’ and the like, (that’s an exaggeration, but similar scenarios ensued.)
Was I ever scared? No. Nervous? Not really–maybe planning exit-strategies, but otherwise, I knew how to hold my $h!t together. As well, a lot of my early-twenties (I’m 26, jackass,) included flying ALL the time for work, and now I can’t survive a flight w/out my best gal-pal Vodka. (I tried Xanex for a while, but after I had to start upping the dose, coming off felt like a trip to a theme park–if the park was full of wilder beast emotions.)
That’s a really good question.
I’m not going to drown you in my back-story–in my million considerations of why I am the way I am. That’s what I pay a counselor (a surprisingly HIGH amount) for. So then what is the point of this (non-trite…yes, M.I.A. is feeding me purpose-driven-assassin-like-beats,) blog?
During one of the peaks of my panic attacks, (there have been plenty,) I found myself miraculously resisting the urge to look up what HORRIFIC RARE medical condition I was dying from, and instead took to YouTube. There are some terrif, I repeat, TERRIF vlogs out there from fellow PANICKERS.
When you go through something as alienating as this can feel, it can be incredibly relieving to hear it from somebody else. It’s like speaking a language nobody understands, to suddenly stumbling across people of your same dialect. I remember watching this poor girl who was maybe 15. She was in her x hour of her panic attack, had already puked a few times, (what?) and was explaining the way she felt: “You just want to escape from your body, but you can’t.” Seems obvious, but for me, it really helped me verbalize some of the things I’d been experiencing.
So, I’m going to start writing about all of the crazy $h!t I experience whilst in the throes of major hypochondriasis. I mean after all, I’ve pretty much survived everything guys, from multiple blood clots, to brain tumors, to brain aneurisms, to an every day dose of anaphylactic shock, (OH. Just had to skip M.I.A.’s “BAD GIRLS,” my kind doesn’t need to hear “die young” in any context…) to every kind of cancer imaginable, to kidney stones, to new ulcers, to appendicitis, to black widow bites, to radiation poisoning, to TSS, to hypothyroidism, to MS, to….I MEAN give me a break! IT’S SO EXHAUSTING! In case you didn’t realize, those are all of the imagined conditions I’ve been afflicted with in this past year alone. And even though I’m a rather logical person, the threat of my imminent demise from some missed medical crisis overrides any amount of reasoning I might try with myself. SO…
A while back, when I started experiencing these moments of panic–namely at night–I started taking selfies. Why? Because it seems only appropriate that if every moment of our life is going to be documented, than I sure as hell better have a photo to go out on.
…hence THE LAST SELFIE.
I hope to write nightly. A little snippet of the many unfortunate episodes of my day. AND if you’re here because you’re going through similar BS, I’m really sorry. It sorta blows, huh? I hear that saying “it gets better” usually makes people feel, well, better…so hang in there pal, ’cause it most likely (like I’m 99.99% sure,) gets better. No, it really does. Or, it can. And I’m here to try to figure that out.
So buckle up (about 4 times,) bring your Purell, an EpiPen (if you have an extra, hook a girl up,) and ride this $h!t show with me. My chain hits my chest when I’m bangin’ on the dashboard. (last M.I.A. reference of the night. But MOSTLIKELY not of my life…if you know what I mean.)