Monday, 20 August 2007


Firstly, because I hate blogger's lack of being able to leave a response to an individual comment, and I wanted to make sure y'all see it: Thank you, Unreliable Witness, Bohémienne and especially Migraineur for the lovely messages you left on the last post.


In her short story 'The Harvest', Amy Hempel uses the following line:

"I moved through the days like a severed head that finishes a sentence."

I wish I'd written that. Not only because it's such a perfectly constructed metaphor (or is it a simile? I never can tell the two apart), but because it sums up so much of how I feel right now.

I'm in the wrong place - a toxic environment. I know it, and I feel it, and at the moment, there's nothing I can do about it.

What does this have to do with anxiety and agoraphobia, you may well ask? Well, the effect it's having on both is fairly pronounced. Every morning, the alarm brings with it that familiar feeling of dread curling around my insides, the one that makes me want to hide from the world until it passes. Except I can't. So I get up, and I move through the day. By the time I get home, I'm full of migraine, tension and anxiety, exhausted from dragging it around with me like a parasite, and all I can do is shut my eyes and hope that tomorrow, it will be better.

It's a bloodsucker that saps my energy, my life, my creativity; I can't form my thoughts into words. I can't write. For someone who loves to do so, this is unbelievably depressing. It makes me even more invisible than I already am.

I know that hinging your happiness and mental well-being on outside circumstances is a dangerous way to live but somewhere along the line, I think I missed out on the gene that allows me to find it within myself, although I'm not sure whether nature or nurture is the culprit. You see, indirectly, and through observation, I was taught that life is something to be endured, not enjoyed.

"Don't worry. It's only for life," they'd say.

About anything.

Seeing them now, just sitting around, waiting to die, brings about such an internal conflict; on the one hand, fighting with all I have not to spend my life like that, and the feeling of inevitability that my genetics will make it that way for me too.

And yes, the projection makes me angry.

All I can do is to not give up, to tell myself that something will turn up, that one day, I'll be where I belong, even though I have no idea where that might be, and when I am, all will be right with the world, and the parasite will die.

This is so black. I apologise. I'm just so tired.


overnighteditor said...

Liking, and more, if please. Not to be ending.

Ness said...

I think that when one uses 'like', it's a simile.

Parasitic is a good word. Here's hoping that one day you'll get a good pest control (continuing the metaphor).

Ness xx

An Unreliable Witness said...

"I was taught that life is something to be endured, not enjoyed."

I think bells just rang.

Of course, this means, too, that when a moment of enjoyment comes along, you seize it with both hands, and throw yourself into it head first. And even though such moments are fleeting and ephemeral, they can be everything for just a moment.

I hope you have more and more such moments, and find your way to that other place, stamping on those bloody parasites as you go.

bohémienne said...

For very different reasons than you have, I spent a number of years sitting, waiting to age and eventually die.

Things can change dramatically, in the blink of an eye... for the better.

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