Posts tagged with "anxiety"

Helpless Wondering

I’m almost ready for spring. The win­ter isn’t get­ting on my nerves quite yet. The only thing I miss right now is being able to drive com­fort­ably with­out a heavy coat on.

I’ve been feel­ing ter­ri­bly help­less lately. There are so many things in my life that are out of my con­trol — health, love, money, work — that I’ve actu­ally con­sid­ered doing a thought record for the first time since I fin­ished ther­apy. Last week I woke up chok­ing in the mid­dle of the night. Then half way through the day I started devel­op­ing mod­er­ate chest pains. I try not to worry when I’m awake, but at night, in my sleep, every­thing comes out. Maybe every­thing is start­ing to get to me.

I want things to hap­pen quickly. I’m impa­tient. I want to be proac­tive, but there’s not much I can do. Verse 42 of the Tao Te Ching has been speak­ing to me:

Who knows what fate may bring —
  one day your loss may be your for­tune
  one day your for­tune may be your loss

While I usu­ally crave the flux between con­stancy and change, I pre­fer it in one thing at a time. It feels like I’m going through another tran­si­tion period. Nothing around me is settled.

All I can do is wait to see where I end up.

Long Exposure

It snowed all day yes­ter­day, and well into the night. The white­ness out­side reflects the sky and has filled my house with bright light. It’s the week­end and I’m awake.

Banana smoothie

Banana smoothie

I’ve fallen in love with smooth­ies. They are usu­ally com­prised of three bananas, three tan­ger­ines, a third of a pineap­ple, yogurt, juice, and frozen 4-fruit berry or sum­mer fruit salad. I have three a day. This makes me poo like crazy.

Life has been exhaust­ingly busy. The photo ses­sions are over, post-processing is done, and my pic­tures are all printed. The only thing left is to get them framed. I had my first ses­sion with my psy­chol­o­gist. I’m can­celling my Tai Chi tomor­row. I have to plan my relax­ation, and this doesn’t make it very relaxing.

This week­end I hope to:

  • catch up on my e-mails
  • fill out a bunch of forms my psy­chol­o­gist gave me, includ­ing a mul­ti­modal life his­tory inventory
  • order some Moo cards
  • work on a client’s website
  • add a photography/portfolio sec­tion to my site
  • fit some fun in there somewhere

Next week is going to be even more crazy, no pun intended. Monday I’m meet­ing with the framer, Tuesday and Thursday I have Tai Chi, Wednesday I’m hav­ing din­ner at the gallery and meet­ing the other artists.

I haven’t been sleep­ing well. In the midst of all this socia­bil­ity, I’ve been bat­tling my anx­i­ety. It’s filled me with a quiet deter­mi­na­tion, but the long expo­sure has worn me down.

Krista and Shane at Irene's

Flyer for the show at Irene's Pub

I asked Julie to come to the show with me. I did it with trep­i­da­tion, because I con­sid­ered it a big favour, and felt like I didn’t know her well enough to ask. But Blake was out of town and she was going out on Saturday, so it just hap­pened that she decided to keep her Friday free.

It pretty much saved me. When dri­ving to the pub, I was hit with an anx­i­ety attack, which I’ll elab­o­rate on in another entry someday.

Julie was the per­fect per­son to bring, I imag­ine because she has expe­ri­ence with peo­ple who suf­fer from anx­i­ety. I told her I may sud­denly want to leave at any point, pos­si­bly even on the way there. She told me she didn’t mind com­ing, she didn’t mind leav­ing, she didn’t even mind stand­ing out­side the pub with me for a cou­ple min­utes in –16°C weather while I men­tally pre­pared myself. I owe her big time.

Me and Julie

We played cards to get my mind off the anx­i­ety. I taught her how to play Slapjack, she taught me how to play Egyptian War. It worked.

While wait­ing for the show to start, I gave Krista the large prints from the pre­vi­ous shows. Krista gave us some ran­dom Larry and Bob bal­loon stick­ers she found on the bus (Julie and I think they were from a deaf per­son). Julie also met Cory there, her school­mate from hor­ti­cul­ture col­lege, and Krista’s sister.

At the first show, I told Shane he should make an acoustic ver­sion of his album. Since I paid him in per­son for a pre-release EP that night, he told me he did have an acoustic ver­sion and promised to give it to me. I asked him ear­lier this week if he could bring it, which he did, but he for­got it in his suit­case. Quite a pity, since he told me he was in the stu­dio mak­ing sure he mixed it right for me. He felt ter­ri­ble about it, and told me he’d mail it to me instead. March 14th is when the album offi­cially comes out.

The sets were rather short. Shanker and Romps opened for them, a garage rock­a­billy duo. Our view of this per­for­mance was a bunch of peo­ple who were much taller than ourselves.

The high­light of the show was see­ing Shane per­form It’s A Drag (and get­ting a video of it!), my favourite song on the album. Krista did the backup vocals. This is the only time you’ll hear such a dul­cet har­mony from another awe­some artist, cer­tainly some­thing you can only expe­ri­ence from a tour. Krista also got Cory up on stage for the Bumblebee Song as an encore.

Julie asked me if I still had a crush on Krista. I had to think about it for a lit­tle bit, and the fact that I had to think about it made me real­ize that I don’t anymore.

Other shows with Krista Muir and Shane Watt

  1. At the Workshop Studio & Boutique
  2. At Le Petit Salon des Arts
  3. At Irene’s Pub

New Years '08

An hour to the new year, and I’m in the train station.

Trying not to throw up. Trying not to think about meet­ing new peo­ple. Trying not to think of hav­ing to see peo­ple I hate.

One of the sta­tion doors is propped open, but there isn’t a sin­gle per­son inside. The sta­tion, nor­mally bustling, is empty, with just the buzz of the lights to fill the empty space. Not even a wait­ing taxi out­side. Everything ster­ile as a hos­pi­tal. I wanted to take a pic­ture, but I could barely move, so I pulled out my note­book and man­aged to scrib­ble two words:

It's quiet

Another debil­i­tat­ing panic attack.

Pat and Jen’s party was post­poned, so I had already decided to stay home. It was ten when Aaron called me to go over1.

Halfway through the bus ride, I was filled with a sud­den rush of anx­i­ety. Maybe it was the peo­ple on the bus, or the fact that I wasn’t men­tally pre­pared to be at a party. I couldn’t breathe, yet I was hyperventilating.

I had to get off at the next stop, which turned out to be the train sta­tion. As I sat inside, the anx­i­ety would pass in a cou­ple min­utes, then come back in a wave as strong as before. I called Aaron and told him I was going to head home, but he insisted, so he sent Rob and Doug to pick me up.

I arrived drained and exhausted. It was a hell­ish night.

I can only hope the rest of the year goes bet­ter than this.

  1. The only way I found out about the New Year’s party was from Rob’s com­ment. Aaron never told me about it him­self, so I wasn’t going to pre­sume that I was invited, because I never take my friend­ships for granted. []

Thoughts On Missing A Play

In post war England, an immi­nent mur­der is announced in the local paper. A mur­der does occur, but not the one expected and it is Miss Marple who comes to the res­cue to solve the mys­ti­fy­ing case.

Two tick­ets, but I’m on the down­swing. It’s the intro­verted end of my cycle and I can’t meet new peo­ple or go out­side with­out feel­ing some kind of anx­i­ety. I used to live two blocks away from the the­atre, pass­ing it many times but never in atten­dance. I always kept an eye out for a play I wanted to see — Equus, or Hamlet, or Picasso at the Lapin Agile — but noth­ing piqued my inter­est. This time, the oppor­tu­nity pre­sented itself, Pearl double-booked with extra tick­ets, and I couldn’t say no.

I force myself to go.

It’s a lit­tle warm to be wear­ing a blazer, but noth­ing else affords me the pock­ets for my Moleskine, pen, lens cloth, and iPod. Waiting at the bus stop, I write.

At this time on a Sunday, I’m usu­ally wind­ing down. Taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, fin­ish­ing off an entry, get­ting things squared away for another week. Instead, I’m head­ing out. For days I’ve been try­ing to write about how jum­bled I feel. There have been new devel­op­ments, both good and bad, leav­ing me with a mix­ture of excite­ment and dis­ap­point­ment. The most I can say is that it makes sense, how I feel, and I can trace every emo­tion to a cause.

The bus comes. On it, I lis­ten to my music but I can’t get in the right head space. Nothing fits. I’m not feel­ing sad, or happy, or jaded, or ener­getic. I skip song after song.

Stepping off the bus, my ago­ra­pho­bia begins to choke me.

Continue read­ing “Thoughts On Missing A Play”…