I woke up around 4AM today in the throes of a panic attack. Even now, if you were to see me, you could tell I’m visibly shaken. I had to tear the ring from my left index finger off because it felt like it was too tight, and if I had to suffer it being there any longer, the blood flow would be cut off permanently, and I would lose the finger.
Not exactly a sane thought, but when you aren’t sure what’s all in your head and what’s real, you go with it.
As I write this, I can’t help but tear up, looking at my daughter sleeping on a friend’s futon, cuddling her soft fuzzy pillow and dreaming of days better than these. She has to live with a father who has been locked in trying to get his life together for longer than she’s been alive, and I have to live with having such a great kid and feeling like I’m falling short in every aspect of being a parent. People will tell me that’s not the case, or kick out some other nonsensical platitude that I’ll graciously accept, while silently acknowledging they’re full of shit. I’m bad at this. Let’s all just get to that point of understanding before proceeding any further. That doesn’t mean I’m not trying to get better, however.
The facts are as follows: over the last few months, I’ve been evicted from my home for the last ten years, followed by losing my father a month later. I had spent these last years taking care of my father in his declining health, only to no longer be able to do so, and that hurt. Losing him compounded that infinitely. The company I had invested more time and energy into than anything else I had ever done is dead in the water, with me left sitting here and wondering why I ever wasted time doing it, when my writing had been doing well beforehand.
Not as well as it had been around the time I got married, but that’s a whole different bag of snakes I’ll lay out straight for you, one of these days.
Now, it’s just me and the kid, and I’m left with no home to make our own, very little family, and the daunting task of having to create a life for us from the ground up, alone.
That’s why I dove back into writing, and I don’t care how well I can swim. With each One Page Story, blog post, pie-eyed project, and edited paragraph, I’ll fucking learn. I’ll get to something solid in those hours between driving to hell and back in my car, and ringing up the booze hounds’ half-pint of bottom barrel vodka. I will keep going until I do. I have to, because it isn’t for me.
It’s so I don’t wake up in the middle of a panic attack, shaking because I don’t know if I’m ever going to be what my daughter needs me to be.