Friday, July 11, 2014

Anxiety and X-Files

My stomach hurts, really hurts, my head hurts too. A couple of advil will do the trick as far ast he head goes, but my stomach hurts and my who self is sagging. My eyes are droopy and my torso feels like it’s curving inwards because I want to roll up like a pill bug into a little ball and roll away, roll under a shady rock and stay there hidden, out of sight.

Anxiety and stress, anxiety and stress, the gruesome twosome. I’ve made such progress staying settled and present and keeping the howling wolves at bay, but sometimes they approach, they breach the perimeter. I gave my vials of blood on Monday, no big deal, I was cheery going in and cheery going out, but imperceptively, as the week’s gone on, they anxiety has crept up. I’ve got a long weekend between now and my oncologist appointment on Monday. I can’t conceive of hearing anything other than I’m stable, that my cancer markers are in check and everything else looks good. But who out there can possibly conceive of hearing anything other than that and yet so many do. So, so, so many do.

Anxiety is like the black tar that crept into people, overcoming them on the X-Files, that’s a distant memory, oh Mulder and Scully, I loved you so. You don’t see anxiety coming and it starts slowly, but before you know it, you’re consumed and consumed, is what I am at the moment and disturbingly powerless against it. I don’t like powerless.

Anxiety, is robbing me of a precious day. Today is a precious day, every day is, i want to live every minute of it fully, with joy and at peace, but I’m not at peace and that makes me feel like I’m wasting valuable time, because that’s what it’s all about, time, and life, life and time and every minute is valuable. Anxiety affects me in such a physical way, it makes me see differently, process differently, I am sensitive and insecure.

And my stomach hurts.

I’ve been working like mad lately, fixing up my new space, cleaning, painting, making displays, ordering things, planning, so much left to do, signage and packaging and logos and pricing. Then I’m at the studio making and cleaning and purging and packing and then it’s home for cooking and cleaning and planning and plotting and the outcome of all that could be moot, unless I get my dance card punched for another five months of getting to be alive by the doctor man on monday. Living with that duality is surreal, it’s freakish. And at times, and that would be right about now, stressful.

And stressful is wasteful, a whole vicious cycle. Fear and loathing, fear and loathing. Today is one of those days I felt compelled to write, I had to write. I don’t know why I can’t just write it into a journal, I don’t know why that isn’t enough. Is it our innate need to be heard? I’m often embarrassed when I post, but I can’t help it, something in me, that I don’t understand, needs to do it.

I feel like the past few months, I’ve been masquerading as a “normal” person. I can do so much more this summer than last. Last summer I couldn’t walk to my local farmer’s market, this year I can do it. It tires me out a bit, but I can absolutely do it. I can have people over, I rarely nap anymore, there’s just so much more I can do, so I was starting to forget, but I’m not “normal”. I’m travelling around with a guillotine over my neck that can snap at any moment. I know that essentially, we all are, the difference is I’ve met mine, I know it’s name and that makes me a circus sideshow.

The other day, I learned that a lovely, lovely woman in my neighborhood, who I’ve known casually and peripherally for years, and is my age or a few years older was just diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I have a friend who came back from that same diagnosis ten years ago and she is a funky, spunky, monkey. So this woman has a long and arduous road, but there is hope... at least I hope there is hope. She has a large, supportive family and tight community, which is all good. She is in my heart and thoughts and maybe I’ll find a way to be helpful, I hope so.

The reason I know is because someone told me, not even knowing that I knew the person, but once you’ve had cancer, everyone tells you about all the people they know with cancer or who have just been diagnosed. You become a repository for everyone’s cancer stories and that makes cancer even more disproportionate to your life, if there can be such a thing after you’ve been through surgeries, chemo, rads and disability.

This week I’m a cancer survivor, next week, maybe not. That’s why those cancer words suck. Survivor, fighter, warrior, battle, succumbed. They try to give order and meaning to a situation that has none.

I had to leave work, couldn’t manage, I’m sitting on my porch, beautiful porch, but instead of seeing, feeling the beauty of my oasis, it’s tinted with my ugly stress and anxiety, so much seems grey instead of bright, 70% opacity. Such a waste of time, I wish I knew how to get a grip, be the mistress of my emotions, of my destiny, even if my destiny is one day long, I want to be the boss of it.


  1. You're doing it. You're getting a grip. Your grip has probably already been got by this late hour!

    I hope you'll update us all on Monday. I can't wait to hear the good news AND to hear the news of when your new shop will open!

  2. inspiration? to anxiety monkeys? i was getting a grip last night, settled down enough to finish a novel, but this morning, woke in the throes of free floating anxiety and more tummy ache on this beautiful, gorgeous day. and the shop... is slated to open 9/1... right after i take tall one to college. soooooooo much to do, don't have time for this nonsensical paralysis.

  3. Anxiety and I are old friends, alas. You have every reason to feel overwhelmed. Maybe try surrendering to it for now... sometimes you can't fight the demons.

    Wishing you nothing but GOOD news this week. (Also, I am very excited to read about your new shop!)