Inspiration Song & Lyrics
You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn’t mean you’ve won
‘Cause along may come
A bigger one
And you’ll be lost
Marilyn Manson – Great Big White World (Warning: Explicit)
In space the stars are no nearer
Just glitters like a morgue
And I dreamed I was a spaceman
Burned like a moth in a flame
And our world was so ******* gone
I’m not attached to your world
Nothing heals and nothing grows
Because it’s a great big white world
And we are drained of our colors
We used to love ourselves,
We used to love one another
Uncomfortable in My Own Skin: Reclamation Project II – Lost
Space between engulfs
Do stars yearn for something close?
Touch me; bring me home
I don’t know the exact age I had my first panic attack. I have not had any in the past year since I have been focusing on my health with my lifestyle change; I used to have them very frequently. Because of this shift in my life, I can look back and I now know I had them regularly in college. Looking further back on my early childhood, I feel pretty confident that I was having them as early as 5-7 years old.
Panic attacks, also known as anxiety attacks, are periods of intense fear or apprehension of sudden onset accompanied by at least four or more bodily or cognitive symptoms. The most common symptoms may include trembling, dyspnea (shortness of breath), heart palpitations, chest pain (or chest tightness), hot flashes, cold flashes, burning sensations (particularly in the facial or neck area), sweating, nausea, dizziness (or slight vertigo), light-headedness, hyperventilation, paresthesias (tingling sensations), sensations of choking or smothering, difficulty moving, and derealization.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night as a child paralyzed by fear. I tried to communicate my distress to my mother, but there are not words for the crushing feeling of annihilation I was feeling. The closest I can describe it goes like this:
Imagine you are floating in space. You are very, very, very small in the universe. You are far, far away from any stars or warmth or light, and you can sense your smallness as you float alone in the black void. It is like you are less than zero, and infinity is standing on your chest.
I yearned for human touch when I felt that way. Sometimes I would wake up and crawl and lay on the floor outside my parent’s bedroom. Sometimes my mom would hold my hand for a while.
I started the project with some very small piecing. I used a very small scrap of Kona Snow to form the center of the piecing, and then added in a bit of Kona Corn Yellow and Buttercup. The width of the yellow strips finish out at 1/4-inch wide. Next I added in Kona Delft and Cornflower (finishing at 1/2-inch wide) before surrounding the piece with Kona Black.
I wanted the small piecing to have sharp corners to represent the harshness and pointed fear that accompanied my early panic attacks. The very small sliver of white in the center is my sense of self, floating in space, surrounded by the small dim glow of hope and my call for help.
I started quilting with 50wt Aurifil 2130. Using my free motion foot on Olive (my Bernina 820), I created a tight spiral over top of the piecing that quickly enlarged out and away. I then came back with 50wt Aurifil 2692 and went back and forth over top of the same spiral to obscure and darken in on top of the bright yellow. Then I filled in all the negative space with a shifting series of quilting patterns. I chose to quilt directly on top of the piecing to continue to obscure and hide the brighter parts of the quilt.
I think the back of the quilt is just as effective as the top of the quilt. The quilt finished at 23.5-inches square and is bound with more Kona Black.
I hope that you never experience the sense of unreality or how quickly things can spiral out of control in a panic attack. I have felt my heart skip beats (I wore a heart monitor during my senior year in college). I have been shaking so much that I was convinced I was living through an earthquake.
I hope that you never feel this lost.
If you do, please reach out and know there are willing hands extended to help guide you home.