Unwell (So Very Unwell)

Photo by katiii10

Oh, I am unwell (so very unwell). What shall I do? That clinging anxiety, like a sleeping dog curled up on my lap so comfortably. Ah, material goods. Yes, that will solve all my problems. Rinse, wash and repeat.

To live without fear or anxiety is to be inhuman. It is what drives us, keeps us alive. And yet, it can also inhibit us, destroy us. I truly envy those who fear spiders, snakes, or the fathomless, abyssopelagic depths of the ocean. I wish I too was plagued by those simple primordial fears. Rather, my fear is far more irrational and far more destructive.

I fear progression.

True, unbridled fear strikes me down when I begin to do anything truly meaningful with myself. I’m terrified of moving up or advancing. Terror grips me as things start to become ‘more real’, ‘more legitimate’. This horror then twists its ugly frame into something far more sinister. Creeping anxiety. As the panic begins to spill into my entire body, pumping, pulsing, practically bioluminescent, it courses through my murky blood, bilious from the liquid sins I oppress it with on a daily basis. And all the while, all I can do is mundanely stare at shoes, and wonder if they come in 8 1/2.

Oh, I am unwell (so very unwell). What shall I do? Seeping doubt closes airways, addles the vision. I shall whiten my teeth! Yes, that will keep away the horrors. Rinse, wash and repeat.

Located ever so snugly through the side of my nose is a fairly inconspicuous silver hoop. Many would think it’s simply a fashion accessory, but I assure you, it’s far more than that. It’s a symbol of the malignant, unadulterated anxiety that I beat into restraint. One fateful day as I was monotonously typing database after database and seriously contemplating stabbing myself with a stapler, something miraculous happened. I lost my fucking shit. The festering anxiousness that had been ever so slowly eating away at the bottom of my stomach, like gluttonous bile, suddenly exploded outward in a haze of hysteria and general confusion. I got the fuck out as fast as my legs would take me, never to return. There was a ‘no facial piercing policy’. How very convenient. Goodbye dehumanising job, goodbye anxiety. Hello occasional nose infection and increased nasal hygiene.

Anxiety and fear go hand in hand, like intrinsically linked lovers, and they are not restrained easily. So how do we overcome such intense emotions? Such formidable forces? There is only so long we can run before our milage is done. Before we realise how far our self-sabotaging ways have set us back. Spluttering to a halt—to find what? Nothing? Nothing of value, nothing of importance. Not a skerrick of impact on anything around you. Only fear and emptiness. Now that is more frightening than the initial fear of progression. Fighting fear with fear, fire with fire.

(Ah yes, a new hat! This will distract me from the threat of ever approaching reality.) Rinse, wash and repeat.

Written by Emma Rose Pitney

Categories: Short & Sharp
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