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Archive for the ‘anxiety’ Category


02 (5)

April

Uncertainty

April 1

I was cleaning off my desk. I wanted everything to be ready, just in case. There was a pile of self help books. All designed to help you figure out what you really want to do. I keep starting them, then tossing them aside. I’m not sure I ever really performed the exercises or answered the profound questions. Why do you need so many books to answer one simple question – “what should you do with your life”? I set them aside. Possible lymphoma the doctor had said. Perhaps, if she were right, I’d go through them during chemo.

I boxed up all my paints – oils, watercolors, pastels, stabilizers, thickeners, and brushes. I doubt I’ll be using them any time soon. Perhaps I should give them to some young artist, maybe the Allen boy. Art supplies are expensive and he’s in college. He’d appreciate them.

I found the paint set I got for my tenth birthday, tubes of acrylics in a little wooden box. There were plastic inserts used to mix the paints with just the right amount of water. I used these to create my first masterpiece of a horse, Old Billy, eating grass in front of the barn. The brushes are gone, the paints dried up and the plastic inserts have disintegrated, but I think I’ll keep them just the same.

I keep thinking about my mother, diagnosed with cancer at my age, dead two years later. But I don’t have to worry, I don’t have cancer.

I sorted through some old files and found sketches I’d made in high school. When I was young, I thought I’d be an artist, a painter. I’ve been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what I’ll do with these old pictures, but I can’t throw them away.

When should I tell my family? My younger sister, Allie has depended on me since our parents died. I don’t want to worry her if it turns out to be nothing, but I don’t want to wait too long either. I just don’t want to worry anyone if I don’t have to.

For more in this story, select the Meet Me By the Gate tab at the top of the page.

 

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99nnbI love paper – old books, pretty patterns, and foreign magazines. I rescue broken books and posters from the garbage heap. And then they’re all just here and I don’t do anything with them. Tonight I have the urge to rip them all apart; keep the best parts; shuffle them around; and bind them back together, making something different.

It’s this souped up hyper feeling and all I can think about is tearing into these books. It’s an itch you can’t scratch. Why can’t I get some obsessive urge to do something positive? Will I spend the next three days ripping up books to find myself surrounded by piles of paper?

Already I know this feeling will be followed by a round of anxiety and then exhausted depression. That part I’m afraid of. If I knew I would wind up with something; a great novel, a painting, or some break through research, I would plunge ahead, depression be damned.

Maybe just tonight under the cover of darkness I’ll free some pages from their old bindings. I’ll take my medicine and in the morning I’ll try to redirect myself in a positive direction.

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penny black woman

My sister was tired of expensive cable bills, so she cancelled her cable.

Of course a cable company representative called to try and entice her back with a special offer. He asked, “I see you cancelled your cable service. May I ask why?”

I’m sure he expecting some reply like, ‘It’s too expensive’ or maybe ‘I don’t really watch it that much’.

Did my sister say one of these canned replies? No.

She said, “I canceled cable to get the devil out of my life.”

The voice on the other end of the phone was silent. That’s right, try to find a special offer for demonic possession. That story surely became call center legend.

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green jewel

Shapeless lumps of teeth and flesh surround me, clawing and biting at my arms. Their talons are careful not to tear the green, Grecian gown I wear. Together we rise slowly from the pit.

A great flash of light.

I drop to a crouch, hugging my knees to my chest. The creatures ignite falling in columns of ash around me.

I wake to blazing lights cutting across the sky, punctuated by a barrage of thunder. The storm rages outside and I am sweat drenched in bed.

If I could paint the images in my head. The cavernous hall, filled with sights and words I cannot banish. I try to chase the ravens from my window sill, but they always return wanting more.

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53 (9)

Hey Maybelle, the dish needs adjusting.

Why me?

Because you’re in charge of dishes.

I’ve been thinking again. This time about tourettes. I worked with a guy who had tourettes, but he only twitched when he got nervous. He didn’t yell out random obscenities. I thought he should just for fun. I would.

I would begin all meetings with –

“I want to apologize in advance. I have tourettes. When I get nervous I may say a few inappropriate words or phrase. Which can quickly snowball since my nerves will increase the more words I say.”

Then at some point I’ll break in with –

“Holy crap.

Damn it.

Turkey butt.

Sorry ass.

Son of a bitch.

Can those peaches, honey buns!

Sorry my Grandpa was a frugal man.”

And thus would end the meeting on a high note.

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lightbulb moth

“It’s a beautiful day…” Argh!

Do you ever get songs stuck in your head?

I have a few songs that I seem to cycle through. When I try to stop one another begins.

My usual “… I need you baby and if it’s quite alright I need you baby until the morning light. I need you baby trust in me when I say …” over and over. And I don’t even know the rest of the words.

An oldie She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes, three verses. Are you kidding me? I know three verses of that song. Must be deeply embedded from my childhood. (verses two and three if anyone is curious – she’ll be driving six white horses and we’ll all go out to meet her…)

And drum roll please. This morning’s song – It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood from Sesame Street. No. No, it’s not beautiful day in the neighborhood because that song is stuck in my head!

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horse forest

(I know it’s not a flying horse. Use your imagination.)

Instead of falling asleep last night, I was wondering if Pegasus was a flying horse. As in the only flying horse or a species of flying horses. I pondered that for quite a while before thinking, “God should have made some of those”.

If there were flying horses, would anyone have bothered to invent airplanes or would they have just been off flying around on their horses?

Would I have flown to Baltimore on my horse this week? And what kind of apparel would we need for horse flying? My outfit would have been red, linen, matching the trim on my flying horses saddle and the ribbons braided in his hair. Yeah with white pompoms on his wing covers. (It was raining, so yeah I said wing covers.)

Would there be horse flying sports and recreations? Would hotels have flying horse stables?

That’s about the time I realized one of us didn’t take our medication to stop obsessive thoughts. No wonder one of us wasn’t falling asleep.

P.S. I had an anxiety attack on the airplane and was nauseous all day long. I bet I wouldn’t have been anxious riding my flying horse.

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