I was feeling accomplished driving my damn car again -- after about three weeks of debilitating panic and insomnia -- to leave some protein shakes on a friend's doorstep.
Since we all entered this vortex , I had been using my desperation for control and ever-present fear of death to clench my stomach muscles into a meat loaf of intestines, resulting in strange gurgles and bouts of watery bathroom surprises.
After a successful socially distanced drop off at my friend's, I got back in the car and let out a relieved fart. It felt a little dense, but I was too elated about my outing to give it much thought. After five minutes, I decided to do a dipstick test just to be sure.
I reached down into the designer workout pants my mother sent me and slopped my index finger down into my own shit.
I held it there for a minute, mulling over my options at this point while trying to maintain 20 mph on a quiet residential street. Then I did the only possible thing in such a situation: hovered my ass a half-inch above the seat (thank you, planks) and held my shit-covered finger out the window like some sort of fucked-up gesture to the families playing in their driveways, who, I was hoping would think I just got enthusiastic with a Kit Kat.
I should have been mortified, I guess, but I laughed the entire way home, relieved to be thinking about the shit on my finger rather than impending doom.
Made it home, changed my clothes, went to Harolds to pick up pre-ordered cacti.
I'm sharing this with you because I hope it makes you laugh ... with me, hell, even at me. But also because I want all you fellow panic-ers and anxiety sufferers to know you're not alone. Mine has been running rampant on me which culminated in me shitting myself. I doubt most of you can top that, but if you can, by all means feel free to share.
Even better, later that night, because I can't stop health obsessing, I began my nightly practice, of breathing really really heavily and rapidly in and out to "test" whether or not there might be some trace of resistance from deep in my lungs. Around the 6th gale-force exhale, everything went fuzzy and I started getting the Looney Tunes black out thing and all I could think was "Nice job. You shit yourself today and now you're knocking yourself out."
I managed to remain conscious, much to the relief of my pit bull, who was in my projected crash-zone on the floor.
I guess the takeaway here is: it's ok to feel like shit. We're all going through a traumatic time right now and don't need to put any more pressure on ourselves by thinking we need to be in any way "productive" or functional anywhere near the level we were before all of this.
I'll post about the surprisingly enlightening and world-smashing things I'm getting from this time as well, but for now: I'm shitting myself and I'm fine with it.