• Rebecca Lerner

I feel seen

A lovely walk through a mild panic attack

I am, for some reason, undone over a conversation about supermarkets.

Talking to my neighbors over zoom while we all eat dinner within a quarter mile radius, discussing which are doing it well and which aren't social distancing, what it's like to order groceries to our homes, if liquor stores in Virginia will deliver to Maryland.

Nervousness makes itself known in me. My heart races. My skin itches. And I know that there is no reason to be anxious right now more than any other time but god, why am I sweating now?

I try to think of my breath, which has kept me company all my life. Isn't it the most irritating thing when you're absolutely freaking and someone tells you to breathe? Nothing makes me want to hold my breath at them like an insolent child more.

And now for the hard part — trying to find logic in the illogical feelings. Off the top of my head, I guess I'm scared to stay as we are (people I love struggling in so many different ways, feeling stagnant in some aspects of my life as the world stands still) and I'm scared of going back to a changed world. I'm worried about having to get on the subway one day or go to a laundromat or be too nervous to go to a laundromat so I never have clean underwear again and I become a nudist out of necessity. The stress hives are threatening to make an appearance, though the thought of being a nudist is comforting.

My friend said to me today, "I wish I could just go to sleep for about six months and wake up when it's over." I want to google the answer but I don't even know the question. I'm pinching myself, I'm awake.


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