Sunday, September 12, 2004

Who needs heroin?

You know, your brain communicates with your body along nerves that carry eletrical impulses down your spine and over your muscles. That whole knee-jerk crap that doctors do to piss you off—it's all about testing your nervous system.

Well, if it's all about electricity, my brain is having a serious thunderstorm right now. Every hair on my body is standing up, my stomach is in knots and my teeth are going to crack if I keep clenching my jaw like this. I'm exhausted, but totally on edge. One of my cats brushed against my foot while I was proofreading a paper and I nearly hit the roof.

If I were a cartoon character, I would either be the one ripping out their hair in frustration or the one waving their arms all around or pacing.

Of course, it's not only my body that's on edge. My emotions are a bit tremulous as well.

The dominant feeling of today is a gnawing, wrenching, suffocating anxiety.

Imagine dreaming. Your a little kid, five or six. It's a beautiful snowy day and you're walking on the ice of a lake. There's an adult somewhere back there, but you aren't paying attention to them because the water beneath your feet is beautiful, icy and seductive. And suddenly, the ice travels like fire up your legs and across your ribs. You've fallen through and there's an irresistable force pulling you into the water. You sink, away from the light. And it's so cold. You come up for air and hit your head. Solid ice. There's no surface to break through. Your lungs are bursting. You see the adult on the other side of the ice. But there's no saving you. And you realize it. Just before your lungs open and the darkness swallows you whole, you know that you are going to die.

That's how I feel. Except, I'm not drowning. My body just thinks there's some catastrophe to fight. And my mind knows there isn't. Tension. To explain why my body is freaking out, my brain starts conjuring up images, scenes, nightmares. There has to be something to be so keyed up about.

So the doom comes. I feel like something horrible is going to happen—like I'll come home to find some psychopath has gutted my kittens and slit my dog's throat. Or I'll wake up to find myself covered in hairy spiders the size of hands. Or I'll get a call that my parents have died in a car accident.

This only adds fury to the torment in my mind and my body tenses to high alert. (Aha! The highest terror alert!)

Oddly, the cycle only stops when it stops. It's like a hurricane hitting land. Eventually, it tuckers itself out and the only reminder of the spiraling mass is a few wispy clouds.

Who knew I would be desperate for the clouds?