This is my anxiety

It’s a tingle, like an itch. From my shoulder blades down to the tips of my fingers and back. Then it reverberates in my chest. My stomach clenches, then my head swims. I remember to breathe and there’s the briefest relaxation and the coming of hope. But the hope is merely passing through. On it’s way elsewhere, I don’t know where.

I’ve forgotten what I’m doing, where I’m going. Another breath and I focus.

My back shivers sending a wave of chills down my arms to linger beneath my fingernails. I clench my fist, stilling the quiver, feeling my heartbeat spike. A thought floats right to the surface, and I’m sure that’s what’s bothering me. Surely my girlfriend is going to break up with me when we talk tonight. All the evidence I can focus on makes that all too clear. I drop, plunged into icy depression before I can catch my breath. My chest aches to breathe. I gasp, catching a breath that never actually tried to escape.

I’m just sitting here. I remind myself: anxiety, depression, they lie. She’s not going to break up with you out of the blue. That’s your anxiety producing anxious thoughts. It’s not real. I calm.

The knot in my chest doesn’t dissipate. Now it lingers, detached from reason, floating without a way to conceptualize it. Is that better or worse?

What was I doing? I need something to distract me. Some music, maybe. Part of my conscious mind is buzzing. It itches like my palms. How am I going to kill myself? You have those pills. Will taking all of them work? I look it up on WebMD. It doesn’t seem like it, they’ll just make me sick. I have my fallback. Yeah, a good old-fashioned.

I tear my mind back with a silent growl. What the hell?! I don’t want to kill myself! Unbidden, horrible options surface and start processing and it takes me a minute to realize what I’m thinking about. I have to force the thoughts away. Why do they fit so comfortably?

Deep breath. Where was I? How long until my next student? It’s only been five minutes? I have another 25 minutes of this? I’m so exhausted from just sitting here. There goes any hope of a productive evening. Useless, I’m never going to accomplish anything.

I rub my fingers on my palms trying to get rid of the itch.


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