Fragment 1

Sat 10/01/11 at 11:57 am

1:30 a.m., Sunday, September 08, 2002

I went to bed at around midnight, but I am having my second bout with anxiety in as many nights. Tonight I was able to nod off downstairs, but when I tried to return to bed upstairs, the churning of my stomach made it impossible to sleep. Anxiety. How to describe it? An intense sensation on the left side of my solar plexus. That is where I always feel anxious. On the left side of my gut. Like memory, it too is a ball. It is in constant motion. It pulses like a lighthouse beacon, on, off, on, off, on, off. “Beat” is wrong. “Pulse” is right.

I want to be asleep. My heart hurts. It is “pleuritic.” At some point when I threw up, I must have caused some bit of cartilage to pull away from the rib cage and from around my heart. I also think my heart is surrounded by a thick, sticky mucous. At least that’s what it feels like. It hurts. I cannot feel the beat. I only feel the pulse of anxiety. That pulse, not the other. So, the heartbeat is the pulse. But anxiety is a pulse, not a beat. The heartbeat is usually not intense enough to be a pulse. If it gets too bad, the heart pounds. Yes, “pounds” works for the pulsating anxiety, too. Pounding anxiety. So, I cannot feel my heart. I feel my anxiety.

What’s the worst that could happen? I am in no danger tonight of one of my fragile lungs popping and collapsing. I am only in danger of a sleepless night. And that not much of a danger. I have not had many sleepless nights, and never an involuntary one caused by anxiety.

Water drunk after chewing Winterfresh gum leaves an aftertaste like marzipan.

The anxiety may be abating. A game or two, and then to sleep, to dream, perchance to dream, aye there’s the rub. Hamlet didn’t want to lose himself either. I want to keep dreaming. But I also want to keep waking up.

p.s. Anxiety dissolves; anger dissipates.

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