HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams
What do you do when all your dreams are taken away, not given freely, but stolen? I haven't been able to forget my dreams, even though now it seems likely that none of them will come true. I've locked myself away in this tower for so long, that looking out at the world is frightening. Two years now, I've been too terrified to leave home and seek out my dreams or search for new ones. I could have done anything before this, I was capable of doing almost anything. I don't even know what to hope for. When I look at class schedules I have panic attacks. What is this? I am 29 years old, and I have no debt and I have a little money saved. There is nothing hanging over my head that should stop me except for these damn anxiety disorders. I can't leave my house under my own power. I can't be around crowds of people, or even walk down the street alone. I'm so confused, and I try hard not to think about it at length, because it makes my throat close up, and my heart beat too fast, and I lose control of my breathing, it's too hot, and I want to run, but where do I go? My chest aches, and now my head is spinning, and oh God where do I go to hide? I can't let people see me like this, I can't let myself get trapped like that, it's too humiliating. When the panic finally stops I start hating myself again for my weakness. I can't get anything accomplished, because I've spent half the day hiding, so now the depression starts. I'll just go crawl back into bed with my favorite blanket, and my teddy bear, and my gun where I feel safe, and rest until I feel better. As soon as I feel better, I'll get some work done, and everything will be fine once again. I end up sleeping for four hours, and the rest of the day has slipped through my fingers. I wake up with a raging headache from so much crying and I feel sick, and angry at myself again, and I just go on feeling like that until everything goes numb. Then I don't want to go to sleep at night, afraid of the dreams, the nightmares, or maybe just wanting to punish myself for being such a failure. Such a failure. I was a combat soldier! I served tea in a firefight, I did air assault missions, and patrols for two weeks straight with no rest, and these little freaking panic attacks are going to hold me back? What a weak pathetic person I've turned into.
For two years. That is what my life has been like for two years. So what dreams am I supposed to reach for now? Where do you go from all of that? I don't even recognize myself half the time anymore. So much time has slipped through my fingers. I've painted myself into a corner, and have very little choice about where to go from here. Try, try, try again. It makes me so tired to think of the future when even the present is almost unbearable some days. The therapists say that I'm not the same person I was before, and that is normal. They say figure out what you want to do and then make a plan. Every day take little tiny baby steps and before you know it you will be running again! Yah! What the hell do they know about anything? They only deal with theoretical situations. God only knows when they will get my brain chemistry sorted out again.
This isn't even as bad as it gets, and I'm pathetically grateful for it. When it gets really bad, I don't even bother getting out of bed. I just lay there and wait, knowing that every day I survive, is one day closer to dying. How bizarre that such a thing would be so comforting.....