Do you remember when you had that panic attack?
It was right after you sent a text full of laughing emojis to one of your closest friends, you were recounting memories from your hang out a few weeks ago.
But, behind the screen, you found that you couldn't breathe, and you were fighting back tears and were immensely confused.
It felt like part of you was genuinely happy, while most of you felt...stifled.
A Complex existence.
Or perhaps it was that time when you were in a club having fun, and suddenly felt the cloud coming back, and taking charge.
In the midst of laughter, music, giggles, and perfect company.
You felt alone.
Your existence is marked by complexities you cannot comprehend.
And you wonder how to explain your moments of joy, coated with intrusions of sadness and panic attacks.
So you decide to unplug.
Away from triggers,
Away from people,
Away from anything alive.
Then you are safe. At least you tell yourself you are.
It’s ‘weird’ to your friends, but they try to understand for your benefit.
You escape from everyone else, except yourself.
Your escape doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t make it go away.
Ambivalent. Melancholic. Alive.
You are putting in the work but sometimes, most times, you wonder what normal feels like.
You feel everything intensely.
Your senses are heightened.
Your battle is extra, dealing with this level of sensitivity on top of the normal day to day battles.
That one week, which you dreaded emails, because the thought of everything that you hadn't done yet was nauseating.
Then there were the phone calls you couldn’t bring yourself to pick up, even when you should have.
Sometimes, most times, you don’t have a language for the emotions you feel.
You understand it, but you cannot articulate it, and when you can articulate it, you find yourself minimizing it, just in case it’s harder for them to comprehend.
They don’t know how to humanize your experiences, because it is not their normal.
The intrusions to your system do not seek permission.
They are not invited, they just are.
They never leave, although they disappear for minutes, sometimes days and if you are lucky, weeks.
Their existence is forever present.
And when you stop fighting because you cannot win against them, you give in, you give them space which they had already forcefully taken anyway.
You figure now we can peacefully co-exist, and sometimes you do.
And sometimes, its chaos.
So let’s gather. Let’s find the language.
Let us all find the simple language.
Let's name it without explaining it.
I name mine "Title-less".
Words by Carole Mumbe
Caroline Mumbe is a Feminist. An entrepreneur. Telling stories is freeing