It’s like I can’t escape, no matter how hard I try, no matter how much work I’ve put into it, and it seems like I’ve put an impossible, backbreaking amount of work into it. There’s always something cropping up, or maybe it’s just always perched there on the door jamb waiting, to remind me of whatever – that I have some fucking lifelong mental or emotional problem or illness, that I was born in and will stay in poverty and dysfunctional relationships, that any successes are built over a hollow, cracking foundation, that I’m fucking up my kid just like my parents fucked me up, that I’m a single mother and my breath gets a little shallower and my skin a little greyer every day, that it’s all always just uphill, that the ground could fall out from under me at any moment and all this effort, all this monumental effort, all this enduring and scratching and clawing and hanging on is not going to amount to anything except exhaustion, that I’ve chosen to pursue a career that is statistically likely to keep me in poverty and uncertainty and stress and furthermore destroy any semblance of stability that my kid might have during her high school years, and what kind of idiot was I thinking this would work out?  people like me don’t get to do things they enjoy for a living, that I can’t live without some kind of chemical assistance, prescription or not, because I am deeply flawed and always about to break.

For a while I imagined “my anxiety” (whatever, if that’s what it is) as this vaguely animate, vaguely volitional, somewhere between 2D and 3D snarl, like something an angry toddler might make with a crayon, mostly dark grey but with lots of black and some red and all this spiky stuff poking out or radiating from the edges, like a thorny cartoon black hole sun.  and it would sort of swoop in out of nowhere and land on me with this sort of white noise and its crayon spikes would grow sharp edges just long enough to lacerate me before they turned into crayon again so nobody could see the edges but me, and sometimes I wasn’t even sure they existed and I wasn’t just making them up or bringing them down on myself.  But lately it’s more like a bird, maybe a carrion crow, with a livid, malevolent eye, its little cocked neck aiming its bleary gaze at me waiting for the moment to swoop down and peck at my eyes.  And sometimes, on my internal screen, I just lie there and let it because I’m so heavy I can’t even move.  But the blood never flows fast enough to bring the curtain down.

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