The mighty dragon

When I first started experiencing panic attacks, I read a book on panic disorder and anxiety and how to cope with it. 

It spoke about it in euphemisms of dragons and how the more you fuelled the dragon, the stronger and more powerful it became. 

All these years later and that has stuck out so clearly in my muddled brain. 

When you’re the one with that anxiety problems, that’s exactly how you envision it: this powerful, fire-breathing and larger than life creature…at least that’s how I have always envisioned it. 

What makes it so all-consuming, is that it’s a product of your own fucked up brain, and that means it can play upon all your biggest fears and insecurities because it’s the very one that invented them.

I’ve learned time and time again that if I could just stop feeding the dragon, if I could accept the fears and not fight so hard against them, it would be uncomfortable but it would eventually dissolve into a puddle of memories. 

It sounds simplistic. Stop fighting it. Accept it. 

Let it run its course. 

But that’s the ironic twist of it all…anxiety is all about the minds constant racing, conjuring up all the possibilities. 

A therapist once told me that anxious people have an certain part of the brains that are lit up, unlike other people. 

That people who are anxious are usually very intelligent and that’s what makes them analyze and ponder over every single fucking possibility. 

So of course it would make some brutal sort of sense that turning off our brains would be the one thing that absolves our pain. 

It’s like drowning but telling people that they will survive, the waves will cease..if only they stop struggling

I wish that if I could accept it one time, it would be enough to erase all my future suffering.

I can’t say it aloud but maybe if I write it out, like a silent incantation…it can come true.

I’ll accept it, if it could just promise me back that it would be enough.

I’ll drown

Just promise to save me before the waves wash me away

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Looking California but feeling Minnesota 

I was a huge Nirvana fan when I was a youngster. It was the first time I’d connected to the music that was being made, instead of just enjoying the beat. 

And it was fucking life changing. I had no clue that there were people out there in the world who thought like me and said things I wanted to say and screamed how I wanted to. Not just people, but adults. I would think ‘that’s how I’m gonna be when I grow up’. I felt reassured in knowing that these people who I both looked up to and thought I was  like, were successful and had each made it out of their struggles, alive.

But as we all know, that’s not how the story ended.Kurt Cobain didn’t make it out alive. It was unsurprising and also a total shock when he was found dead. He screamed and wailed and sang his way through his life but in the end he couldn’t defeat his demons.

Chris Cornell always seemed to be different from the rest of the Seattle scene. Where the others seemed uncomfortable with their fame, Chris seemed to just go with it. I don’t know what it was about him. But he oozed an energy. And that’s not to say he didn’t have his fair share of battles. He stated that he struggled with mental health and addiction issues but it seemed that he had come out on the other side of it.

He made it. 

He slayed the beast, quieted the demons. Did what he had to do, in order to survive.
But at 52 years of age, his life ended. I was saddened when I learned of his passing. Whether the Ativan contributed to his demise or if it was the depression that had plagued him throughout his life, it doesn’t matter. He wasn’t selfish, stupid or ungrateful for his success. I’ve read so many comments in which people mock him for being a rock star with money and belittle his struggles. He was a human being in pain. A person in a state of pain can only exist for so long. Synonyms for ‘pain’ include: suffering, agony, torture, torment, discomfort. I don’t know about to but each of those words incite thoughts of wanting whatever it is causing that pain, to just stop…to end.

After his last concert, he took his life by suicide.

Because at the end of the day, when the lights go out, the people fade away and night creeps in; we are left alone with just the thoughts in our heads.

We cannot escape the words, taunts, memories or harsh reminders.

And if you can’t be safe and alone, with only your thoughts to keep you company…well in the words of Soundgarden:

Words you say never seem to live up 

To the ones inside your head

The lives we make

Never seem to get us anywhere 

But dead.
-Angela xo

Overwhelmed 

Overwhelmed. 

It’s the perfect word to describe a feeling,

Without saying too much.

Some days are just like this.

When ‘Just keep swimming’ sounds hollow and unrealistic, 

And so unlike the perfect word above.

Because today actually feels like being buried or drowning beneath a huge mass

Struggling to breathe in hope and courage,

While exhaling all that is weighing you down.

And so, in an attempt to face these days, you paint yourself in warrior symbols and colours.

In hopes of warding off these never-ending days. 

And try to keep all that is wrong at bay.

But the more you push against it,

The more you fight it,

The more it overwhelms you.

And it succeeds, in the whelming of you, that is.

Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to 

just 

give 

in

Calm in the city

I tasted freedom today

Actually it was more of a gulp
Anxious thoughts plagued me before I left

And I wanted someone to want to hold my hand through it

But 

I left the house and drove around 

Until I found  my destination

I went to High Park and I nervously parked

And then I walked around Colborne Lodge, unsure of what to do or what to look for

And then I just let my feet take over

And I walked over to this little grassy area overlooking Grenadier Pond


And I snapped a quick selfie to send to Joey


Proof that I conquered 

And then something weird happened

I saw a man sitting on a bench overlooking the same spot

And he just sat there

Looking ahead and staring into the vast space in front of him

At first I thought how strange it seemed and how he must be high, insane or something

And then I envied him

For just sitting there

By himself

No book

No earphones

No phone

Just him, sitting on the bench in a huge park within the city


I wanted to be like him

So I tried

I sat on a bench further away

And just breathed in the fresh air

But my legs went twitchy

And my mind wandered

And I couldn’t sit still

But I wanted to sit and watch him

And take comfort in his calmness

And hope it would seep into me by proximity

But it made me sad to think I might spoil his public sanctuary 

So, reluctantly

I walked away

And then

I just kept walking

I don’t recall a time in the recent past

When I’ve done that

By myself

Walking around 

No destination

Aimless 

I took in the sights around me

The sky above me

The ground beneath me

The water 

The people walking by

The plants and flowers

And I realized

That maybe I wasn’t calm and meditative like the man on the bench

I might never be 

But I was content in that moment

In those moments 

By myself

And I can’t remember the last time 

I felt that way

And it 

was 

enough 

for 

today

The credits keep rolling 

Some days I lay in bed thinking about all the mistakes I’ve made, the stupid shit I’ve said or done and the failures I’ve had.

It’s funny because my brain seems wired to do that although I’m sure many people would disagree

Like a song on repeat

Over and over

But it never gets stuck on the good things I’ve accomplished

The people I’ve housed, the youths who I have talked out of dark times or any of the positive impacts I might have had on people

No not even a little

Even now I had to search my brain for those things

In the deep recesses

Hidden from plain sight

But that minimum wage paying job at the House of Ill Repute job that I canned from?

Like 15 years ago?

Yeah that still niggles in my brain

Those ‘friends’ I’ve lost?

I still question what I did or didn’t do

The kids I couldn’t help…the ones that didn’t make it

I should have said this or that or been a more qualified worker…

The mean things I’ve said to people I care about.

Why did I do that? Why was I so hurtful? 

It’s like I’m watching an epic story tale  playing out behind my eyelids

But I can’t turn it off

And it’s so vivid

And way too bright

So hard to sit through

And I keep wanting to tell the main character not to make that mistake

Or say that stupid comment

Or feel that fucking way

But it’s too late, the story is over

I’m left reeling

And I can’t even remember what the point of the movie even was

It leaves me confused

And I can no longer tell if I was the villain or the hero

Life goes on,

Angela xo

All rest and no work or play

So it’s been something like eleven days since my last infusion day, not that I’m counting or anything. I’m still here even though it’s been radio silence from me.

I’ve felt somewhat numb and a little apathetic to everything going on around me…which for anyone who knows me, is pretty strange.

In a way it’s nice, I feel unburdened. Like I don’t have to watch the news if I don’t want to and that is totally ok.

I’m still stuck home, I feel like the end of the world could have happened, the great meteorite could have hit, world war three might have begun, and it wouldn’t have any effect on me locked away in my glass castle like fuxking rupenzel or something. I don’t even know if that’s the right fairy tale and at this point who really cares?
I guess i wasn’t really sure what to expect like do I wait for this miraculous transformation to occur. The nurses and everyone keep saying my job is to focus on recovery which essentially means get lots of sleep, which ironically has been evading me since the last of my prescription sleeping pills ran out..
So since my main mission of sleep has become sorta grounded, I’m unsure what to do…I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet trying to retain some connection to the world or whatever but I’m pretty sure that’s where humanity goes to die so that’s over.

I tried a cross stitch embroidery kit thingy and got frustrated and bagged it after looking at the confusing directions…what the fuck is cross stitch anyway?

Joey picked up a used acoustic guitar for me, so dear readers, if you don’t hear from me for awhile, I’ve gone on tour with Neil Young. 

Keep on rocking in the free world,
Angela xo