A scary thing is to have no perspective.
This is primarily where my anxiety comes from. I’ll be sitting on my couch after dinner and suddenly I’ll have this realization that feels like a truth so shocking I don’t know how I could have been so blind as to not see it. This truth is basically that I am a worthless human being who has no one who really loves her, whose loves are themselves a source of mockery, who can’t take care of her family, whose aspirations are fantasies instead of potentialities, whose work is less than trash, and then the final realization that all these things would be true if anyone she loved even remotely cared about her at all, which leaves me feeling even worse, like not only does no one love me but those whom I love care so little for my affection as to never even think of me at all.
Then I think “that’s nuts, that’s nuts! don’t be nuts.” And I ask Dave for clarity, and he says “yeah, that’s nuts.” I believe it because to not believe it would be instant self-destruction, and then I ask God for perspective. And then I decide that all this doubt is the devil, the actual legit devil that seeks to turn life to darkness.
I don’t know if it’s my Evangelical slash Catholic upbringing, but turning anxiety from a clinical psych term to the red-horned underworld devourer of Judas makes the difference, and I can think, with clarity: anxiety you are the devil, get thee behind me satan.
And I’m pretty sure these girls on the train are laughing at me.
But one thing I’m sure of for real is that I’m not the only one who feels this way, whether only sometimes or weekly or daily. At least that’s some perspective.
I’ve given the Archivist in Radio Mara Mara all my anxiety. I watch Zoe in rehearsal try to get a handle on what that feels like. We talk about it, we work through it, and the Archivist at least has her reasons, it’s not a blind anxiety, her country is in free-fall, her future is uncertain, at best, her home is gone, her heart is broken, and that’s just part if the shifting sand dune on which she stands, trying to get a foothold.
I haven’t told her that this big debilitating monster is my own. It makes me anxious to think about it.