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  • Writer's pictureKim Nork

My Daily Struggle

I have been working really hard on myself this summer. Since I lost Parker I now suffer from anxiety and PTSD along with debilitating grief and learning to live life without him. One area of my anxiety is that of a social source, where it lives in my chest when I am not at home. When I am out, even to do a small errand, it's there. I feel like I am going to crawl out of my skin if I don't get home as quickly as possible. It is there when I see people that I know. I never know what they are going to say. Most of the time it's a quick hello and how are you doing. Sometimes it's a quick hug with no words at all. Those are the encounters that I prefer. People have the best interest at heart but words fail to come out the way they anticipated. It is there when I see people I don't know, always guessing that they do know me, and look at me with such pity. Such sadness. People behave strangely around me which triggers panic attacks. Panic attacks which I still can not manage. Panic attacks that terrify me and those around me. Panic attacks that I have no control over. Panic attacks that happen in front of Payton. Payton, who is now someone I feel like I can't go anywhere without. Payton, who is my so called "handler" that has a plan in place for such events. Payton, my newly 12 year old daughter that is saving me. Not the other way around.

So please, when you see me out and about, know that I am trying and suffering at the same time. Just act normal. I am in there somewhere trying to find my way out. If you find you don't know what to say to me, just give me a hug and I will understand.

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