by Kat

“Write about enough… or not enough… good enough… enough is enough.”

I am enough – these words flow through my brain, my notes to myself — There’s nothing wrong with you, except maybe the fact you’re convinced something is wrong with you.

Is the conversation, maybe argument — pathologizing myself — that I have with myself, as I sit in the corner of my favorite cafe trying to breathe — breathing, we just do that, right?

Can anyone else see me — hands clasped firmly on my diaphragm, painfully aware that I’ll tell several versions of this story to people sitting across from me. So I think this is what happened.

It’s like a wave, the story often starts, I sit in it, it passes eventually, never entirely overwhelming me — but disconcerting nonetheless.

I wait for it — it doesn’t wait for me — enough! I said. I know what’s happening, I’ve seen you before, I declare as I attempt at confidence. I see you wave — you exist, so will you go away now?

Not yet, says the wave, you’re here in this place where people say they like having you here — and we’re going to just be for a bit — but you should grab another cuppa tea anyway.

So as I sit, sipping hopefully at a cup of chamomile tea with the rising and sometimes falling of my chest, we sit, painfully aware that I’m not alone in this room. I find myself longing to share the experience with someone.

And so a text goes across town as I try to describe whatever triggered this, knowing it may not ever matter — yes wave, I see you — you’re here and I can’t make you go away.

I feel as if I’m slipping away and find myself with pen to paper, too distracted to read about experts and their performance; this feels like a performance — pretending to be normal as the very definition eludes me.

I’m that lady sitting in a cafe waiting in the waves for them to pass — Could I trouble you for some more tea? No trouble at all. * Avoid eye contact and skulk back to my seat. If they can’t see me, I’m not here. *

This feels familiar — if I can’t see it — it’s not here, unacknowledged this will pass — that was my long-held assumption — the one that failed me miserably.

So I sip tea and tweet about the anxieties of wave metaphors and find myself back in my seat — worthy of some kind of adult merit badge. It’s not so much a victory as a stalemate, but I nonetheless feel a win — these come few and far between the dialogues, the reassurances that will be enough, not to keep the anxiety at bay or even to contain it sometimes, but to sustain myself meanwhile.

As I sit in the storm acknowledging its presence, I am enough.