For the past three days I’ve been doing pretty well. By noon I’m relatively stress free (as stress free as I get anyway) and I’m able to deal with things like bills and the mortgage company. I didn’t even spend my weekend fighting off emotional crisis and instead was enjoying my children by the early afternoon. It’s almost like life is coming back to me and maybe it is somewhat. It’s just too bad that it’s not the whole story. It’s too bad that I wake up every morning in agony.
At first there are no particular thoughts, just the faint awareness of who and where I am and that I have to get up. Moment by moment I become aware of the sensation of a body that’s tense and twisted. I start to feel the chill of worry curled up my spine and I can hear my heart beating against my compressed lungs.
I’m up! I start to get dressed and I pull on articles of clothing like worries for the day. Pants are the things I have to do at work. My shirt is the uncertainty of where we’re going to live should the probable outcome of losing our house come to fruition. Each sock is a money worry and my glasses are the sudden ability to see everything that’s currently wrong in my life.
I try not to think about it as I get my two school aged kids out of bed. The physical sensations keep pulling me back and as my younger son gets dressed I start to gag on a lump in my throat and I’m suddenly in the bathroom throwing up. Lunging and undulating, my body tries to painfully purge the nothing in my gut. Finally there’s some small relief in a half-cup of bile and a head covered in sweat.
I get the kids to school, shower, and head to work. I pop a Lorazapam and smoke. I used to drink an espresso but those days are long gone. You don’t drink concentrated caffeine when you’re emotionally hot-wired. The commute takes an hour or more and I secretly wish someone would just institutionalize me. Just pull me out of this life and give me peace. I realize these thoughts are bordering on suicidal so I shake them off and turn up the radio.
At work the plan for the day is as soul crushing as a foreclosure but I’m good at what I do so I focus in. I check in with the shooters or editors or animators I’m working with that day and we crack jokes and discuss the project of the day. I do meetings, emails, graphics copy, shot lists, and before I know it it’s lunch. The anxiety is a faint ache, an itching scar after painful stitches. Outside smoking the sun feels good and food has replaced the pit in my stomach.
The rest of the day has a good shot at being pretty ok. My muscles ache a bit but nothing upsetting. My mind isn’t cluttered or racing, it’s organized, creative, and productive. I’m not happy but I can spot slivers of hope piercing like rays of sunlight through the clouds. I light a second cigarette and wonder, “so what the fuck was the problem this morning?”
I wish I knew.