Saturday, June 11, 2016

Anxiety: a Reflection

Sometimes the feelings are so great. Sometimes it seems like I jumped in the deep end of the pool and I forgot how to swim. Sometimes it seems like it is clawing at me from the inside and then it is outside and it is everywhere and it is these waves of desperation. The hair on my head stands on edge. Somebody say something to ease it? Do you like me? Did I say it all wrong? Please write me back? Call me? Text me? Make this stop. Stop thinking!!! No one can reach me now. I am lost in this flurry of thoughts that have no feet and only wings.

It is so much like the old TV screens with their bad signal. It is this start of a fuzzy corner or a fuzzy side and then there are these jagged disruptions across the screen - little angry triangles of disruption and static. And then they grow bigger and start to distort more and more of the picture and there's this buzzing sound with each of them that grows and grows. The person in the tv is still speaking. Talking and I can no longer make sense of his words. And I find myself more focused on that buzzing sound and that collection of angry z's then I do on the actual picture any more. I am preternaturally focused on the static and I can't see or hear anything else and that buzzing grows and grows until it is all that I can hear.

And the picture growing more and more distorted is life itself - life is going on. Change a diaper, cook this dinner, fold that wash, practice, teach, vacuum, get the mail but the buzzing keeps up at a more and more frantic pace and those triangles are jaggedly splaying across my screen so much so that I start to see in black and white and see those tiny boxes and pixelations. I try to pretend they aren't there. I try madly to focus on something else. Nail down a thought that makes sense. Remember something someone said that helped. But I am hopeless and lost and I can't remember anything right now. I can't organize this helpless chaos. I can't make sense of so much pandemonium. And now even those speaking to me seem so far away and their voices are detached from their mouths. The mouth moves but I hear no words and I put my hands over my ears in terror.

I remember them even when I was tiny. I used to have a flicker of something - almost as if my own voice had been rendered in a digital way inside of my head and I would get scared. I knew it might get worse. My inner mind voice turning into this sound of something unnatural and computer like. And when I was younger, I was so terrified and I didn't understand what was happening. My parents were no help. They taught that demons could oppress and if left unchecked, possess. And I would wonder if this was the start of that and I would run from it and try desperately to find a place where no one would let it take me. But then even my mom's motions seemed stilted and robotized and my brothers in motion, seemed like tiny puppets on my screen. And I couldn't reach anyone and the voice in my head grew louder and more fragmented and was suddenly broken in tiny chunks of something that didn't sound like me at all. My own voice grown strange with no inflection but only uniform tone. And I would feel myself crawling and my skin turning to ants.

I am not sure what would make it fade. Running as fast as I could thru the tall pine trees. Jumping a hundred times on my tiny trampoline. Listening to music as loud as I dared. And then these disruptions began to fade and I would again feel the grass beneath my bare feet or hear my younger brother screaming in youthful joy. Climb a tree and feel the warm sun on my tiny freckled face. Trace the outline of my tattered stick pony. Pick a small pink wild flower and place it in a jar of rain water. Those things would bring me back to this childish reality that was so appealing and I would often forget the fear of those strange moments in the interim that was all wild and free and unfettered.

And now I suppose it is much the same way but now I fear more what can come after - there is this darkness that edges in with those triangles. I notice the fuzzing at the sides of my mind. I notice that faint buzzing and I feel myself start to fear what I know will come - this anxiety that is so large as to consume and in its aftermath, this quiet that is unnatural and fearful and so dark. I feel this deep sadness and this dazed feeling - this inability to reflect and even act. I am struggling to keep the motions of life and move my hand this way or that. Piano chords are so damn heavy and cooking from a recipe seems so complicated and overwhelming. And my head aches and my joints feel soft and watery and I feel that the anxiety has passed to leave this battered calm. A calm that is more of a void.

And then perhaps it rises from there - perhaps I am back to normal more or less the next day or perhaps I have sunk again into that leaden dark place that is so hard to get out of. Sometimes anxiety is the portal to my depression. But the loud cacophony is for now silent and maybe I can be too - fill it, fill it with music, with soft words, beautiful imagery or tiny breaths of . Try to find a spiritual inspiration - try to hold it. These things are so slippery and so soft and so light. I wish they were heavier. I wish these beautiful things were as weighty as this darkness because maybe then they could displace these deep cesspools of murkiness.

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