The Panic on Aisle 9

Last night was really hard for me. I confined myself to the bedroom. Rolling hallucinations mocked me, the depression had wrapped around my legs. It was so intense. The feeling of complete worthlessness overpowered me. I had scribbled this down on paper:

What a cruel joke it was to be alive, unable to live-
to be brought into an existence,
one that is too painful to exist in.

I could barely breathe I was in so much emotional turmoil. I kept thinking that any moment, a SWAT team would break my door down and take me. I was frozen in this.

I barely slept; I was too afraid to close my eyes and lose consciousness. I was too afraid I wouldn’t wake up.

My neighbor came into the apartment today, burning sage in hand, cleansing our apartment. While I was in the bedroom, he, along with a group of other friends, were in the living room watching a movie. He said that last night, he felt a terrible energy vibrating from the bedroom. He kept seeing terrifying faces in front of him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so freaked out.

So, he cleansed the home, being the shaman that he is. He also blessed the area with mapacho tobacco. He uses this in ayahuasca ceremonies to rid the negative energy.

As I sat there watching him, I felt so foreign. I used to be him. I would sage the area around me whenever I felt the depression rolling in. But this time, it didn’t help. My boyfriend looked at me, and said, “Why don’t you have him do a tobacco blessing on you?”

I just don’t feel like it would work. He was trying to tell me that it’s just spiritual. Nothing is mentally wrong with me. I want so badly to believe that. I really do- but it’s not the case.

The smoke swirled around the room. I stared at my neighbor, who was so intensely banishing the demonic forces that were infiltrating our living room. Poor guy, I thought. I am the demonic force.

Then, after he was finished, he was trying to give me some guidance by teaching me how to turn our talismans into powerful tools. For example, we have a sword on our wall. He was recounting the story of Arjuna’s sword in the Bhagavad Gita. If I could push enough intention into this talisman, I could use that sword to ward off negative energy, using the blade to figuratively slice through it. It makes sense to me, but all the while I’m sitting there wanting to scream at him, “I NEED MEDICATION, I DON’T NEED YOUR FUCKING INCENSE BULLSHIT!”

And I feel guilty for feeling like that. It used to work for me. All this energy this, cleansing that really did work for me. Not anymore. It’s passed the point of meditation. It’s passed the point of smudging my Buddha statues. Am I wrong?

While I was at the grocery store today, I panicked slightly on aisle 9, next to the crackers as I felt everyone staring at me, the voice on the radio addressing me. My boyfriend asked me what was happening. I looked at him nervously, almost desperately. He gave me a half-defeated look and said, “Let’s get you home.”

I’m ready to feel better now. I feel so sick like this. I can’t peel it off my skin. I can’t pull myself out of it and it makes me panic.  I feel like there’s a stack of bricks on my chest as I’m trying to float above the water.

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