I’m getting suspicious. Since my panic attacks calmed down some months ago, I started noticing something: my head is never where my body is. Let me explain.
Most of the time, when somebody is talking to me, I’m not listening. I don’t do it on purpose, it’s not like I don’t want to listen. I rarely hang out with people I’m not interested in. Since my panic attacks started, only true friends stuck around, and I never looked for more. I just didn’t feel the need for it, I’m just like this. But that’s another story.
The point is, when I’m hanging out with somebody, is because I want to. And I really care about my friends, so I’m always interested in what they have to tell me, in their lives, joys and sorrows.
But then they talk to me and I can’t pay attention. It’s like a rollercoaster of thoughts is running up and down my head, and I’m not on it, but I know, I feel that there is an important thought or idea on there, and I have to catch it, but I’m on the ground, and that thing is flying at the speed of light, how can I catch them?
So, while people are speaking, I’m not even thinking about something else, most of the time. I’m just trying to catch something. And I don’t know why, but I have this extremely strong feeling that that something is something very important, or useful, or brilliant. They are talking, and I’m thinking “What was I thinking of? When did I think of it? Let’s retrace what I did today and try to recall it…” And they are talking, and I “had breakfast, but what did I have for breakfast? Maybe it’s something about what I ate…” And they are talking and I “guess it was cereals with dried fruit, might it be about the dried fruit?” And so on…
It’s similar to the feeling of forgetting something that you had to do but didn’t. Or the feeling of when you’re going to a bar and realize you forgot your wallet at home. It’s vague, and it’s slippery, and it’s moving fast, but it’s strong.
In the end, I only catch key-words or phrases of what it’s being told me and put some message together. Sometimes I answer and the other person realizes I didn’t understand anything. My sister gets annoyed when it happens with her. Sometimes I have to ask them to start again.
At first I thought it was just the new feeling of not having my mind totally occupied by anxiety. I thought it was hard to focus on something or somebody else after months being able to focus only on anxiety. Lately I’ve come to realize I can’t even listen to my psychologist talking about me. She talks, and when she stops I notice the silence and realize I have no idea of where my mind has been. The only person with whom this doesn’t happen (or at least it hardly ever happens) is my boyfriend. Friends, family, professors, movies… blackouts, all the time.
So there you go. I’m starting to wonder if something is happening. Can’t I pay attention to anything anymore?