How Fizzy Got Her Groove Back

Hello my loves!

Not so long ago, I shared on here that I’ve been going through a bit of a mental rough-patch. I woke up one morning and my OCD was like, “MY TURN!” and it was a ton of fun.

And by fun I mean NOT FUN AT ALL.

Despite my most hopeful hoping, the funk didn’t go away. I kept getting pulled further and further into my head until things started to look a little too scary for me.

I worried that maybe the final tether to sanity had snapped and I’d be lost forever. That I’d turn into Jack Nicholson’s character from As Good As It Gets and live alone forever hating humanity and staring at my Wall.

I’m not gonna lie here, kids. I was terrified. All too often the thought crept into my head that living this way for the rest of my life was not something I would be able to take on.

I kept up with everything during the day to day, I plastered on a happy face, and I made it work the best I knew how.

During this time, my poor husband decided I needed a little mental health vacation and came up with the idea that I would flit away for a weekend to NYC to frolic at ComicCon and come back all rejuvenated.

I was very excited, and extremely grateful to have such an awesome husband. At the same time, even prepping for this trip sent me into a crazy-spiral. I freaked out over everything. Tickets, where I would be staying, clothes.

Jesus. The clothes.

I don’t know why my brain decided I needed to be so panicked about freaking clothing, but rest assured I laid in bed at night for hours over and over and over thinking about clothes.

As the trip drew near, and my anxieties grew, I had many moments where I wanted to back out.

One day a friend of mine said, “Tell your OCD to STFU and pack regular clothes!”

And that was the moment I realized I hadn’t even known I’d been OCD-ing about fucking clothing for weeks.

I’m normally on top of what is happening inside my head, but I was in so deep, something that simple escaped me.

With my pal’s words, I snapped out of my fog a little bit. I started relying more on things I knew would make me feel stronger, more like me.

By the time the trip rolled around, I was feeling more ME than I had in weeks.

And then the plane took off.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I was a mess. From the moment I left, I was a neurotic, anxious, messed up mess of messiness.

I thought that once I arrived, I’d feel like I felt the last time I’d visited.

I really did not.

Instead, I scurried through the days there, internally freaking out over every little thing while trying my hardest to not show to anyone that I was mentally freaking out over every little thing. I’d given them all warnings that I wasn’t on my game, but even I was shocked at the places my mind was going.

So I held on as best I could, and tried to have fun.

Mostly I just stared wide-eyed and cursed my entire person for being broken.

The day of ComicCon, I went with a friend, and we schleped around the Javits Center wondering why anyone would willingly desire to schlep around the Javits Center.

I’m glad I went, I loved everything I saw, but omg, I wouldn’t go back unless I was being paid to do so.

At the end of our CC day, my friend had to run off for work, and even though I was like, “OMG DON’T LEAVE ME!” on the inside, on the outside, I was all, “I’ve got this! I’ll get a cab! Carry on!”

They left, and I stepped out to hail my very first cab, and for a hot minute, I thought I might actually have this all under control! I was tougher than I thought! I could totally find my way!

Three cabs stopped, all three asked me where I was going, and all three said NOPE when I said my destination, and all three drove the fuck off.

After the third peeled away, a woman beside me yanked off her shoe and started shaking and yelling at the cabbie. I don’t know why the shoe, but she seemed really certain of what she was saying.

And yes, now I know that you are supposed to get INTO the cab before you tell them your destination so that exact thing doesn’t happen.

At this moment, a guy selling kebobs at a food cart behind me, and had been trying to get me to fistbump him for the last 20 minutes or so made even more excited gestures to get said bump. Feeling a bit defeated by my lack of cab and looking for a little moment of happy, I gave in.

The dude grabbed me by the wrist and yanked me into the most aggressive full-body hug I have ever had the misfortune of participating in.

And it was right then I knew I was about to die in NYC.

Javits, being the sentient beast of a building that it is, sucks the life out of cell phones. I had no freaking service. I couldn’t call my friend or anyone else for help, I didn’t have a clue where I was, I didn’t have a clue where I was going.

I walked for 20 or 30 blocks before another friend called asking where the hell I was and I had to confess I’d somehow landed in front of Madison Square Garden, couldn’t find the subway I needed, and had given up and was sitting on some steps.

A proud moment, you guys.

I was a hot mess. I wouldn’t allow myself to cry as I made my way through Midtown trying to find something I recognized. I was sure everyone could smell the tourist on me, and I wasn’t about to add blubbering idiot into the mix.

The next morning I woke up with huge bruises on my feet from my adventure, and a very real desire to hide in a closet where no one could ever find me.

People were asking me on average every five minutes if I was okay. My body was full of NOPE! and my brain was full of RUN! and I wasn’t hiding any of this very well.

I alternated between pretending to be totally fine, being totally grumpy, and wanting to cry about every. little. thing.

I’m sure I was a ton of fun to be around.

My very sincerest apologies to everyone who was forced to spend time with OMFG Summer.

My lowest moment came during brunch on Saturday when, still feeling vulnerable and terrified by my Home Alone 2 afternoon the day before, I saw a caterpillar fall by our table and it didn’t move.

How many times did I check on the caterpillar while we all ate? I’m thinking 30-40 times. I couldn’t stop. And the survival of this caterpillar was somehow directly affecting my own survival.

Do you have any idea what it feels like to be sitting with people you adore in the most amazing city in the world and know you are about to burst into hysterics because you think a caterpillar just died?

It’s a blast.

And how do you explain that to sane people? How do you explain that you’re sorry you keep looking at the ground, but you have to make sure the caterpillar lives or you will simply stop living yourself?

You don’t. And I didn’t.

I soldiered on, hoping to make it out alive. Because at that point, I was genuinely convinced I was going to die either because my body just gave up, a train would run me over, or a hundred other possibilities that kept flashing through my head.

I don’t know what I might have done differently to try and ask for some kind of help at the time, but I couldn’t think of anything anyone could do other than feel really fucking awkward because holy shit Summer, it’s a caterpillar, get a grip.

The entire weekend felt like this for me. I feel terrible for the people I was with having to deal with my twitching eyes and moodiness. I honestly was embarrassed in ways I never knew I could be. Normally when the crazy comes out at home, it’s just my poor husband who has to help me sort it out.

Let’s just sum this up by saying by the time I made it back to the airport, I had a lot of feelings. A looooooooot of feelings.

But as I sat there waiting for the moment we could board the plane, I had a thought.

Holy crap. I survived.

I SURVIVED.

Before I went on the trip, I had so many fears. That I’d get lost in NYC. That I’d break out my OCD-self around everyone and freak out. That something weird would happen. That a hundred things would go wrong.

And you know what?

ALL THOSE THINGS HAPPENED.

But I totally survived!

Even more than that, as I looked back on the weekend, before, all I could see was the anxiety as I was living it. The constant fear and panic.

The hindsight showed me so many genuinely great moments of fun, and friends, and shenanigans.

I got to see the most amazing reading at Alison Cherry’s book launch party. I got to teach Janet Reid what “Gogurt” was. I searched Brooklyn for gummy cherries to take to the CHERRY MONEY BABY book launch and actually found them. I got to see the most amazing view of Manhattan during a roof party in Brooklyn which is one of my Top Ten Moments in life, ever.

I spent time with friends, I laughed, I had fun, I ate a salmon hash that may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Honestly, I’d had a blast! I couldn’t see it as it was happening because PANIC, but sitting there on a chair in LaGuardia, waiting for my ride home, all I could do was smile and think of those awesome moments, but also how I’d been so much tougher than I thought I was. That I’d made it. I’d lived. Everything I had been afraid of happened, and somehow I’d made it out completely in one piece.

And that was it. That moment. Right there.

My brain made peace with itself, and I was me again. The OCD voice in my head was pushed back into it’s corner where it normally exists as an irritating background noise that I can manage easily enough. That was it. A switch flipped and all was well. My brain is so annoyingly simplistic sometimes.

The moment I had been scrambling for two months to reach hit me right before I stepped onto that plane, and I came home me.

It was in a very different way than I expected, but my hub’s plan totally did the trick.

I’ll take the win, you guys.

I really missed Me, and I’m pretty jazzed to be back.

I hope you all are having a spectacular week!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Caterpillars

8 Comments

  1. I read through this post with tears in my eyes. Not pity-tears, those are all right, but also sorta lame sometimes. I read with empathy-tears, because I’ve lived this kind of trip. Where all the crazy piles up so high you can barely see the “real” anymore.

    So glad you’re you again. I know what it feels like to have that other thing to take over, to be flailing in your own body, wishing you communicate that yes, there’s still a sane person hiding inside, they’ve just been strung up with duct-tape and shoved into the corner.

    And then, when you shoved the OCD into that corner. BAM. Bammity-bam-bam-BAM. Glad isn’t a big enough word for how it felt to read that, never mind live it. But it’s the word in my heart right now and I’m going to embrace it anyway. GLAD.

    *snergles* Welcome home.

  2. Oh Summer! If I’d known any of this when we hung out Friday night, I would have hugged you EVEN HARDER! Granted, we didn’t spend tons of time together but you totally had me fooled because I didn’t pick up on any of this!!! I’ll have to settle for sending virtual hugs now and saying how happy I am you had your epiphany and it’s holding strong. Go on with your bad self.

    • Aww!! We came directly to the party after my lost in NYC adventure, and I was about to either drop or cry, so we didn’t get to stay that long, lol.

      But I am so, SOOOO glad I finally got to meet you! And I’m still so sorry I didn’t get to officially meet Alison!

  3. You never cease to awe me.

    *hug*

  4. Wow! That is strength…soldiering on, in the midst of internal Armageddon. You amaze me. Your willingness to open up and share honestly amazes and humbles me.

    You are so dang awesome!

    Thanks for being a role model. Seriously.

  5. I’m glad you shared your story. It makes me feel not so alone. I suffer from panic attacks when things feel to overwhelming for me. That’s definitely not fun.

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