The Truth

I tell you I’m open and honest, and yet I can’t even be honest to myself. I want to write this feeling out of my system.

Some of the things in my life are too painful to think about, so I put it them in a box. Hiding the pain from myself is eating my soul and destroying my body, but the alternative seems worse.

Yesterday I wrote a bad poem about the box – the box with ”Don’t Panic” written on the side. Then I think I must have taken a look inside.

Since I learnt to control my panic, some time around last Christmas, I have been able to cook and eat meals, wash up, shower as often as I should, regularly launder my clothes, keep up with my friends (to an extent) and shop when I need to. For a couple of weeks after moving into my new home I even managed to go to bed at a fairly sensible time.

The downside of this is that I suffer stomach cramps and have taken to fainting. I had a horrible fluttery feeling in my stomach and chest when I woke up this morning, and the thought of what I’m meant to be doing today has made it worse.

I’m supposed to be going to meet family members who are in the area, and it should be a treat, but I can’t leave my flat. I want to, but I can’t. Usually when I feel this way I force myself to go out, but today it isn’t possible.

I would have to catch a bus, and go to a town 10 miles away. I can’t even face leaving the flat.

I considered just going outside and doing some gardening. But I can’t.

I need to take my laundry downstairs, but people may try to talk to me. Worse than that, I may faint in front of them.

I have to take myself in hand. I’ve fought it off before, and I can do it again.

I will wash my clothes. I’m going to post this and then I’ll go down to the laundry room.

And then maybe I’ll go outside.

© Jane Paterson Basil


19 thoughts on “The Truth

  1. Ah, Jane. I do sympathise. I’ve never been so bad I can’t leave the house, but I have had panic attacks whilst at work – in the middle of serving a customer, in the middle of conversations – and the terror of humiliating myself in front of people and passing out is almost as bad as feeling convinced at that moment I’m about to die.
    I’m so sorry you feel this way. You’ve had so much to deal with, I’m not surprised. But you’ve overcome this before and you will again. As you say, the way to conquer it is to face it. Do the laundry, potter in the garden, show these feelings of dread they don’t rule you.
    Best of luck to you. I’ll be thinking of you, even if I can’t be there to help x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You sometimes feel as if you’re about to die? That’s terrible. I hope you have a strategy for dealing with that one.
      I will overcome it. It started suddenly, when my mum died 10 years ago, but I didn’t recognize the fear because it was unfamiliar, and I used to make excuses for not leaving the house. I’d tell myself that I didn’t need to go shopping. It was only when I had to go back to work that I realized I was unwell. I had my own business, and worked one week out of every three. I had to force myself to cross the road to catch the bus, and was terrified until I reached my shop.
      I’ve taken my laundry down, and I’ll go outside soon.
      You may not be there, but you are helping.
      Thank you Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My attacks started when family members became ill and later died. Generally I’m okay now, thank you – I think after a couple of years of attacks my brain gradually realised I wasn’t in fact going to die (yet 🙂 ) and eased up the stress. I still get the odd wobble, but it’s much improved and doesn’t control me now.
        I’m glad you’ve managed the laundry and plan to go out – I hope the weather’s as lovely with you as it is here.
        It takes courage not to hide away and allow the fear to take over and you have that courage in spades.
        Take care and hope you can enjoy the sunshine x

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That post about the loss of loved ones – it was yours! How could I have forgotten? No wonder you had those panic attacks. I’m so pleased that you’re overcoming them.
          Right. The garden awaits. No problem.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Talk about burning the midnight oil – I don’t know how you do it! I’m incapable of putting fingers to keyboard after ten at night – if I do, I may as well just type ‘Fish’ over and over again! Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Did you get out into the garden? Nature’s therapy can work wonders, I find 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane, I can’t even begin to imagine how debilitating those anxiety attacks must be. I have little ones that usually happen in the evenings, but nothing that’s ever immobilized me to the point I couldn’t function. I guess a person has to do what they have to do to restore balance in their lives. If going would have screwed up the success you’ve had lately, then staying home was the right decision. I figure it’s all about baby steps. {{{Jane}}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I could have got on the bus. But I spent the afternoon in the garden! And I talked to people about weeds and roses! AND I’ve finished weeding the first border. It was in a pretty bad way, but it’s nothing compared to the L shaped one around the corner. I don’t think that has been touched for years. I’m really excited, and I’m back on track.
      My panic is firmly shut in the box again.
      Maybe in some ways I’m luckier than most. Things got so serious for me that I had to find firm coping strategies, so most of the time I can push pain away quite quickly. Something happened last night, but I’m over it now.


  3. Dear Jane.

    I haven’t liked, or commented on your posts before now, but I have read each of them with complete admiration and respect. I have to admit that I know you in real life too. Although not as well as I would have once liked. I am not liked by some of your family, and because of this I remain only an unspoken voice, hence why I have not liked, commented, etc… But, I wanted to say I am in always in awe of each word that you weave on this blog! You are a beautifully talented writer, and a stronger person than I think you realise. Life is hard, and you have faced things that would brake so many people, yet you are still here fighting. I hope that you one day see this strength, and it helps you move passed your fears. Life is to short to hide away!

    I will leave my words as that, but I wanted to also wish P. the best with his recovery and moving on from his demons, and that L. finds her way too. And I will remain an admirer of your words, always. Please take care.

    Kind Regards,
    Unspoken Voice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel very moved by your comment. Although I have no idea who you are, I think that the dislike of which you spoke is probably ancient history, so I’m guessing you may be from SM. I’m sorry you can’t let me know who you are, I’d like to put a face to those kind and generous words, and maybe sort out the differences between my family members and you. They probably don’t dislike you as much as you think anyway.
      You probably found me through my facebook page. I set it up without considering whether I wanted people who know me to read it, and sometimes I’ve wished I hadn’t; I show people my most intimate scars on this blog. But you have changed my viewpoint. I thank you for that, and for all of the kind words and wishes,
      I hope you won’t stay a stranger forever…


      1. Ah, I’m glad I had a positive effect! You truly are a very gifted poet and you have definitely inspired me. I didn’t know you from SM, but from those who became your family in a way. I have to admit, I wasn’t always a good person and hurt someone who never deserved to feel such pain. So, I don’t expect forgiveness or (in my opinion) deserve it. Yet, it has been many years and grudges burden the soul. I am human, I made mistakes. So has everyone else though. Forgiveness is mine to give to others, but I have trouble accepting it from them though. Does that make sense? Although saying that, one of my favourite quotes is:

        “He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.” – Thomas Fuller

        I have to also admit, I didn’t find you though Facebook either, but I stumbled upon your blog through WordPress. I also write, but I wouldn’t say I am in the same league as you, although our styles are very different, so maybe I shouldn’t compare. But you have definitely inspired and helped me to become a better writer.

        You are a fantastic blogger, and your honesty and ability to reveal your scars is definitely a needed gift in the society we live in today. People to often shy away from truth and openness, content to hide behind walls. Your experiences and honesty have probably helped more people than your know.

        I wish you all the best in life, as well as your family. I hope you continue writing, even through the hardest times. Life is a gift and every moment an adventure. I look forward to reading yours. Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah! A sprinkling of subtle clues… I only remember one family which I became a part of, and I only remember one person who hurt them when he moved abroad with his family. He was absolutely gorgeous! His dog went to live happily with my brother, his ex-girlfriend is still married to his successor, I wrote a daft poem about her brother L., but changed the names and embellished the facts a little, her mother died years ago, and her father died years before that. Ancient history, and it would be amazing if that was you.
          Or am I miles off track?


  4. Yes, subtle clues, but I am afraid that was not me. Deduction is always fun. It would be great if I could be that for you, I am sorry I am not.

    I don’t want to give to much away. But, I knew you very briefly at TP. And I was a broken soul, who hurt a pure soul, who was, i guess, your step family, for my shame. I probably didn’t even register on your thoughts for being a poetic admirer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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