Monday, February 18, 2013

Where Does This Come From?

My old enemy, anxiety, has shown up today. From whence it comes, I do not know. It just arrives, unannounced, no precipitating event as far as I can tell.
"Here I am," it says, taking off its sweater. "Let's get a little torture going here. You look entirely too complacent."

Or so it seems, anyway.

I had a good, lovely walk this morning, three miles, not too fast but the sky overhead was blue as cobalt's dream of itself, crisscrossed by contrails. I stopped and chatted with Miss Iola who had the stomach flu too, and is still experiencing the aching misery in the back and leg muscles. But she had hung her clothes on the line and said she was trying to move around, do a little raking, trying to chase it away. And when I got home I went and worked in the garden again for a good hour or so, my progress slow but pleasant and then I moved a few iron plants to a bed in front of my bathroom, a little shovel work, and somehow, during all of this, the anxiety was niggling its way back and then somehow it was full-blown, okay, maybe only a five on a scale of 1-10, or maybe not even that much but enough for me to have to talk to myself about it all. To accept that I was feeling it, to try and use logic on it which never works, but one must try, at least. I have found that there is nothing in this world logical about anxiety and since it is the same mind which holds it that is trying to talk itself out of having it, it is sort of a fool's errand.
But. It doesn't hurt to acknowledge it. To realize that the sky is probably not falling, even if everything within me is insisting that it is indeed falling and something. What?
One never knows. At least not me.
I tried lying down for a little nap. Sometimes it's as if I can reboot the brain but today's attempt at that did not work. I slept for a little while but awoke in the same state of mind and it was hard to uncurl from my fetal position and get out of the bed but I did and here I am. Here I am. Here I am.

It's so hard to explain anxiety. As with the word "depression" the label doesn't begin to actually describe the situation. It's more like a low-level (or a high level when it's really bad) of panic than what I personally think of anxiety as being. That fight-or-flight feeling, the gut's reaction, the overwhelming sense that something is very, very wrong despite all evidence to the contrary. The feeling that everything I have done in my life is for naught and will lead to only bad ends, that it is all a false dream, I am nothing more than a fake, a pretender, a Very Good Actress whose skills are failing her, at last.

And so forth.

Ah, it's a most uncomfortable thing. I am drinking some teas that are supposed to help you sleep- Valarian and that sort of thing. I think about the article I read on Salon where a guy talked about drinking poppy-seed tea. That was his gate-way drug to heroin use (it was a painful story) and I sort of wish I had a good, hefty stash of poppy seeds although I really do not care to move on down that particular road to having to go to NYC and score heroin after the poppy seeds begin to fail which is what he did.
So I drink my tea and I will heat up leftovers for our supper and watch some TV and read and take a shower and do all the normal things and hopefully, this is just a little visit. A pitstop for anxiety on its way to somewhere else. Back to hell from where it comes, would be my wish but I have no control over that.

And no, we did not go to Dog Island. Again. Mr. Moon thought until the last minute that he might be making the trip to auction but he did not and so here we are and I have plenty to do this week.

So it's okay. It's all okay. And this is nothing, just a little thing, a small disturbance in the gut, the mind, it makes the thoughts race, the blood simmer with the tiny bubbles of fizzy worry but I have experience here and I know that this is not The Big Deal, which of course is what I fear when anxiety shows up and takes off its sweater. Being anxious about anxiety is ridiculous but there you go.


I don't think I've ever used that word before but now I have.

Peace, y'all. Peace.


  1. Peace to you, Ms. Moon. I certainly understand anxiety. I hope your insides find some equilibrium.


  2. Gracious. You had your Sunday today. I'm glad you didn't go to the island.

  3. And now it is night. I find that sometimes the unsettled feeling eases after night falls. The twilight hour is the worst. Peace to you tonight dear Mary.

  4. I missed this post somehow today, and I am sorry. I would have loved to have held your hand right after your wrote it. I don't know your anxiety, but what the hell is going on in the air? These ups and downs. I've felt downright icky all day with nothing to put my finger upon. Dread and trembling and weird.

  5. Nicol- I wish none of us knew what it was like. Thank you.

    SJ- Yes. Both. Thanks.

    Angella- For me, depression is always worse at the twilight hour too. Anxiety doesn't seem to ebb and flow as much. I hope you are feeling better tonight. I am, I think. A little.

    Elizabeth- Dread and trembling and weird sound a bit like anxiety to me. I swear, too many of us fall prey to the same things at the same time for me to really believe anymore that it is all coincidence. As I said in a comment in Angella's post today, I am starting to think that there is something which affects us which science doesn't even begin to recognize, much less understand. Does that sound crazy? Because I don't feel crazy. Just...anxious.

  6. I hope you're feeling better today, I missed this last night.
    It had it's sweater off, boots off and feet up on the table here, over the weekend!
    And yes, Poppy seeds and their close relatives do work for anxiety but, as you say, tolerance builds up. Coming here and reading your post; knowing I'm not alone, helps too.
    I really hope it has left your place by this morning. Peace and love to you x

  7. I have never been able to explain my anxiety to anyone. The best I explanation I have ever been able to come up with is that I am going to hell and that is where I am going to be for all eternity. And there is not a thing I can do about it because I really am a piece of shit.

    And I have passed this fucking anxiety on to my beautiful son. He is the sweetest most gentle person. Last week he had to go on medication. I hate myself for that.

  8. I started taking an anti-anxiety medication a few years ago. I guess I need to blog about it sometime. It helps me to stay pretty level and simply not worry. But even then I have moments when I get some kind of gut clenching anxiety that makes me miserable. It's not common but nonetheless does occur. I am glad to have the medication but it is a drug that I cannot just stop. I would rather be on nothing.

  9. I can almost hear you say it: MEH… with a little whisp on the E.

    And Birdie, you need to stop saying that you are a piece of shit. There are no shitty people commenting on this blog as far as I know.

  10. Bugerlugs- I'm just so glad you come to visit.

    Birdie- I know those feelings well. But look- you can't blame yourself for passing on genes. I mean, we did not ask for them either.

    Photocat- I've never said it out loud!

  11. Syd- I missed you! Hey- when I had anxiety so bad a few years ago, I absolutely had to get on medication. It was that or, quite simply, kill myself. I could not live that way. I understand perfectly. And like you, I'm sure, I did everything I was supposed to do to combat it myself. Exercise, diet, etc. Nothing helped. At all. It took chemicals. And I was grateful as hell they were available.

  12. Anxiety is such a THING, isn't it? Ugh, it's the worst. All you can do is hop on your surfboard and ride the waves back to the shore, hanging on for dear life. It's all you can do. Ride it out.


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