By | Anxiety | No Comments

It comes and goes. Finally! For some it would be a small hell, for me it’s an improvement. Able to focus again, to give time and thought to things that are important. Less frustration, less anger, less fear. There still is pain, there still is uncertainty; but it is fading. Slowly. Going through things one step at a time, not rushing anything – my version of purgatory. It comes fast, it goes slow – always trying to remember that. It will take time.

Going after things in the checklist, trying to regain some control of what’s going on around me. More involved at work, more attentive to friends, more action on things that have been left unattended, but not forgotten. Things are progressing, but not at the speed I would like them to – but I cannot think about that now, I have to give time and space, less control and more acceptance. I keep on wondering if it will stick, who will I be once this is over?

Not everything is improving, not everything shows signs of healing. She still hasn’t come back, she is still in her world – but, again, I must not react; I must wait and try to let things come by themselves. It’s not easy, not when you know how great life once was – how there was hope; and love! She took that away; she says she didn’t mean it – but I am not so sure. There is a rift, a gap I cannot close, and I just can’t seem to let it shut off itself. Fear takes over once more. The itch, the twitch, and everything comes rushing again. It’s not the same, but it’s only a distinction without a difference – a different course of the same meal. I cannot let go, I cannot let things remain the same, I cannot get more involved. Stuck. Keep telling myself: leave it be! You will figure it out at a certain point, but not know. Now you must wait and face it, everyday. Let it consume itself and wait to see what is left. Regroup after the battle, not know.

I was not made for this, probably the reason I have it. People that are ready for it don’t it. It was bad and then it was worse, now it’s bad again. Going on better. Still so much to fix, still so much to go through. I will wait. Not that I have much choice. Curious to see where this will take me.


Out of the blue

By | Anxiety | No Comments

It was scary. But they all are. It came out of nowhere, which was somewhat new. It usually tells me it’s coming. Not now. It just came. It was short, at least. Just in the beginning. I stopped it too fast and it didn’t have a chance to consume itself. No problem, it came back later. It took it’s time the second time. But I was in good hands. She did a good job, she let me have it in front of her for the exact time it was needed. Kept the session open for half an hour more after, just to make sure. The recovery was easier too, it lasted a lot less. Is that good news? Would have been better if it didn’t come again at all, but at least I handled it a bit better this time. Maybe that is progress.
I start worrying. Why is it still here? Why will it not go away? I know it will be a while, but every time it comes I feel like I am back at the beginning. But that’s not true. I handle them better. I got used to it and I know how to react. It’s still far from being fixed, but at least I know what it is. I know it by name and feeling and that helps.


By | Anxiety | No Comments

My jaw pops. Pressure installs. I have been here before, yet it feels new. How quickly the mind forgets the bad, like it never was. But here it is again.

The body reacts, much in the same way. But a little different, like it still remembers the steps. It has gained some minor coping mechanisms. I take a breath, I smile. It will be bad, but less than what it was. Little comfort to help me through. I’m not ready, but I am in a different league. I have guns now – knowledge of what it is and how to fight it, both of them.

I’m preparing myself, it doesn’t work very well. Still, it’s all I got. Will it be over soon? Will it be gone forever after this? Probably not, but I still have hope.

Together they pack quite a punch, but the blow has less of an impact. I feel tougher, but not stronger. This is what experience feels like – am I wiser? It still hurts, it still causes pain – is it less strong or have I gotten more stable?


By | Anxiety | No Comments

I descend the three flights of stairs, I open the door and tell bye to the smokers outside while I exit the office. The trip is short, so I walk as fast as possible to warm up. Before I arrive I light a cigarette, it’s usually half finished when I get there so I catch my breath by the entrance until it’s done.

Locker room. Get in equipment. First, massage. It feels good, but I’d like it harder. The masseur always chatting about things, almost always trying to get a feeling of how much money I make. The service is expensive and he (or she) is probably underpaid, hence the curiosity. I engage in the small chitchat, but I’m really not that into it.

After the massage comes the exercise part. The first couple of times I hated it, but now I like it. I feel better and it’s worth it. I learned what I have to do fast so now they stare at their phones, minding me very rarely. I like it like that, so I try to go the full course as best I can.

Back in the locker room. New T-shirt and some deodorant. I light another cigarette as I leave. Feeling good, but tired. What course should I take? A taxi or the bus? This time the bus. I wait 4 minutes and it arrives. I get in and take my seat. My mind goes places, constructing ideas and speeches I will probably never give. The music is annoying me, I have been playing the same 20 songs for months. I should probably change them.

I get home. She is on the couch, watching a show. I undress and take a shower. We engage in some sort of discussion for a couple of minutes and then it’s over. We have things to say to each other, but we don’t. After years and years of being happy it’s time for misery. We acknowledge it and move on. Maybe we will be happy again, maybe we will never know happiness together – one way or the other, we were the most important people to one another and now we are not. Not replaced, just effaced. Life took a deep turn and we did’t have a chance to get back on track yet. Will we be able to?

I make a small gesture, just a hint of trying to correct the balance. I get dismissed and I feel like I went two steps back rather than one ahead. I give up and go to the other room. I take my kindle and I read for a little bit. When it’s time she comes by my side and falls asleep. No more words tonight. I wait until she alls asleep. She has nightmares at first, but then the exhaustion makes her sleep peacefully. I get up and go to the kitchen. I make some lavender tea and I have a cigarette while it’s infusing. With the mug in my hand I go back to the bedroom. I watch her while I drink my tea. I’m sleepy now, so I lay on my side and try to go to sleep. I feels like I’m crashing, it feels like I’m having the same nightmares as her, only I’m aware of them. Maybe she is too, but dismisses them. I am bad at dismissal, still trying to learn the basics and not jump in overthinking again. I fall asleep with a single thought in my mind: tomorrow is another day and I can try again, maybe I will get better at it. I have to.

Working on it

By | Anxiety | No Comments

Inhale. White clouds when I exhale. Lungs filled up with smoke, one of the small pleasures of life. It’s going to kill me. It has too. These pleasures never go unpunished. Right now it’s something that keeps me steady, everything can wait while I have this cigarette. Nothing but the sole purpose of doing nothing, and it cannot be disturbed.
As the smoke evaporates my mind goes places, it scans my body. It becomes aware of the headache, the pain in my ribs and chest, and of the numbness in the left side of my face. My heart rate is increasing one beat at a time. It’s at the door, but somehow I still have power to keep it out. Maybe it will come crashing through it, or maybe it will go away. Good days and bad days, nothing more.
I go downstairs to the third floor and I melt in my chair. I stare at the screen on my laptop. So many things I would do, but I have energy for none. So I just stare. Scrolling down, hoping to reach an end. But the end is not in sight, it’s just a newsfeed that goes on and on. I mechanically check everything and reassure myself that all is fine, things are covered. Are they really? Probably not. I am not fully there, so I cannot be sure. I have to have trust. But I don’t. I just don’t care.
Someone comes to tell me something and to make a decision. I listen, but I really don’t. It’s a story I’ve heard many times before so I dismiss it. Did I do the same with the previous ones too? Can’t remember. I might have, or I might have done something else. Who cares?
I come in late and I leave early. Most of the time I am not even there, mentally mostly. It’s not exciting anymore, but it does have it’s moments. There are times when I have a vague remembrance of how it was before, pure excitement. There where times where a goal meant something, now it’s just an annoyance. Maybe things will change, or maybe not. Ever the dreamer, I still have hope.

The emergency room

By | Anxiety | No Comments

Numbers on a screen above my head. Pretty colors, but no time to admire or enjoy. Staying in the hospital bed I’m trying to make sense of what those numbers mean, afraid that one will show something serious. Panic sets in when the monitor starts beeping, but a nurse comes and presses a button. It stops.

First medication for pain doesn’t work and another one is on the way. My left arm and the left side of my face is numb, cannot relax and I start looking around for something to distract me. Everyone is busy, but no one looks like they have anything serious – small relief, but not much to take me out of my state. My attending comes to check up on me, asks me if I’m sure I don’t want to do the head CT the neurologist that saw me minutes before recommended. I decline again and she sees through me. She figures it out and makes the nurse go for a benzodiazepine to get me out of my state. The pain is gone and so is my fear, now I am just tired. I have been here for approximately 4 hours and all I want to do is go home and sleep – it can’t be much longer now.

Before I go another doctor needs to check up on me. A cardiologist. That makes me feel anxious again, what is wrong this time? A nice man in his forties comes followed by 3 residents. He looks at my EKG and tells me that a line is a bit off, might be something serious or not. I tell him I have had EKGs before and we decide I should bring them tomorrow morning so he can look at them. I am free to go.

In the taxi I start thinking about failure and how often we experience it in life. Where have things gone wrong? Is it something I did? Stupid questions that have no real answers, just my mind circling around in a state of horror, trying to solve something that has already been solved. Still, I am not ready to accept my diagnosis, there are other things I need to check out. A little voice in the back of my head tell me there is none, it is all in my head and I need to make peace with it. Can I?

I meet the cardiologist the next day and he says everything is fine, there would have been something to show on those papers, but it isn’t. No heart is perfect and mine is pretty average, which means I’m healthy. He tells me that it wouldn’t hurt to do a stress test and we make plans to have one the next day. I go to work and keep my mind occupied, but my days are unpleasant at best and torture at their worst. I go through with it any way, I have no other choice.

Stress test went fine, nothing to show again. As I leave the hospital I try to make myself think straight. It partially works, but no more than that. Everything is as before, nothing has changed. I keep on walking and trying to find solutions. What if there is none? What if this is it?

I am here

By | Anxiety | No Comments

An itch. A twitch. Just one second and I am no longer myself. A nerve goes haywire and my body instantly reacts, it transcends to a war zone in which the battle is already fought and won and I don’t even know it. The restlessness is immediate and powerful, it encompasses my thoughts and my reactions.

First line of response should be a cerebral decision, one of dismissal and acceptance – it happens every day – but not this time. Now I have to see it through, like Virgil following Sibilla in the Inferno, I am a mere spectator to the show my mind creates. It is subtle, but fierce – it isn’t about me, but it takes place in my body. It shouts: pay attention to me or I will hurt you. It is true, I have seen it.

Sometimes it’s like chamber music, barely noticeable and yet very much there. Other times it’s a violin concerto, short and brisk. It can be a symphony, elegant and powerful. But those are manageable. When it becomes an opera, intricate and with variations, you see for what it can really be: passionate, precise and poignant; elegantly tuned so it ravishes all your senses – this is no mere doodle, it’s the highest form of art that you can experience.

It comes in the morning as I wake up, just a little daze – insignificant, but powerful enough to let me know things are not how they usually are or should be. Sometimes it goes away in minutes, other times I carry it with me for hours, either constantly or on and off. But the hardest part is always at night, relaxation is the enemy and it comes after me with a vengeance just so I cannot accept it. Like an Ouroboros it feeds on itself, but it does not consume itself – the goal is to cause chaos, not to damage – but chaos itself creates the most damage – the alterations are sufficient to last and by the time I shake it off another one is ready to come take it’s place. Convinced myself that one area is harmless? No matter. It will move somewhere else. It is me fighting myself, and I will always know the strengths and weaknesses of my guard. Like Sisyphus, ever fighting.