State of the Brat: Mental Health/Reflections

I had an anxiety attack/mild panic attack last night. That’s not actually alarming news for me; I have underlying stressors at the moment which are Just Part of Life, and I’m pretty happy with how I dealt with it – I took myself out of the space I was in, gave myself room and sat it out. And, most important for me, I believe I told the people who contributed to the triggers,  exactly what happened, clearly and blamelessly.

One of the more random stressors in my life recently has been — not so much aging, but the celebration of birthdays by a few people about two years younger than I, which brought back memories of my birthday from that age. It’s strange how much my brainstate has in fact changed in recent years. Two years ago, separated by an ocean from a stressed family and a seriously ill nephew, I hadn’t had enough time to establish a proper support network in my immediate vicinity and I was mostly dealing with it on my own. And I was desperately lonely, because I was stupid enough to try and deal, on my own, with that; and work anxiety; and oh yes, all the things that happened between then and a year ago, when I hit a serious episode triggered by a weekend I still don’t know how to talk about.

(This is probably because I still haven’t talked to the people who I should have talked to then, and now it’s far too late.)

Those are some pretty long sentences. Where was I? Oh yes.

Two years ago, I was desperately lonely in New York.  I just realized on the subway the other day, that I’m not, anymore. Haven’t been for months. Which is good, because I’m hoping to stay, so  you’d think I’d have noticed. But I didn’t give myself the time. I want to stay, I think I’d be happier here than returning to London.

I no longer compartmentalize ‘fannish’ and ‘real life’ friends. I have made friends in New York who, like my friends in London were, are my friends and not friends-of-a-friend or colleagues or people who tolerate me in group settings. This is important for me: I can’t perform socially for long periods, but I need society to refresh. It’s so bizarre that I can’t even find a decent metaphor.

The days are ridiculously short, now. I’m about to head into what is usually a terrible time of year for me, and because I can’t leave the country right now, I’m going to head into it without seeing my parents or my sister or my niblings[*] (though on the other hand, I’m going into it without the stress of seeing them, too.) If this winter is like every winter ever, in a month’s time I’ll be less good than I am now. In two months time I’ll be miserable.

But, long story short, I’m doing okay now, in this moment.

And I wanted a record to prove that.

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