Gasp

December 8, 2011

I’ve started having asphyxiating attacks due to anxiety. It feels like someone is standing on my chest. I try to inhale deeply but my lungs will not fully expand. And so right away I try again and feel again that a great weight is pressing down on me. Quickly I try again, and I’m gasping and panicked and want to cry. And so I’ve started to pay close attention to the thoughts that precede the breath shortening. And I’m not surprised at what I find.

I use fear to be productive. I actually use fear to get myself going, to speed up, to make the call, to get up before dawn, to run for 30 minutes, to get back in the studio. I unleash poison-tipped barbs of anxiety and shoot them, mercilessly, toward the softest spots. They hit their mark with a sting and I’m off! I’m doing doing doing because if I stop, those fears will come true. The barb will become a spear. I keep generating fear, I keep running from fear. Around and around like a cartoon matador spearing his own rump.
But this all seems so outmoded. So mid-level executive. So 1950’s working dad. I am not that guy. Can I not be that guy?

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One Response to “Gasp”

  1. jenny said

    wow. not sure its helps but i can truly relate. you write so honestly and beautifully. thank you.

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