So I’ve just cured my anxiety. For today.

I think I may have inherited my nan’s Travel Anxiety.

Until her recent hip replacement, which required her to travel 1.5 hours to the nearest hospital that performs those surgeries, she hadn’t left our little town for around 30 odd years.

I’ve never really enjoyed travelling, but it has only been the last two years where I’ve experienced panic attacks in relation to it. I thought it was only when I travelled alone, but last night seems to prove that it isn’t quite the case.

My travel anxiety isn’t quite like my regular anxiety. I would probably describe my regular anxiety as a constant, mild case of overworrying, about everything. I don’t have regular panic attacks, nor am I confined to my house, or afraid of public transport – I can manage this, and medication helps.

My travel anxiety? Well, that’s a little different.

The best way I can describe it is that it begins with small, lapping waves of worry. Worry that within seconds, becomes actual fear, and inside my body, my chest tightens, my heart beats, then pauses, then double-beats… and then that little wave recedes for a few moments, before repeating itself again – over and over, and building in intensity.

But, and excuse my crassness here, it’s like having sex and getting so close to orgasm that you can touch it…. before it slips away and your partner rolls off, satisfied. In five minutes, it’ll all happen again.

Rather than having a full blown panic attack, all I do is repeat the lead-up to them, over and over. 

The first time this happened to me was the day before a trip to Sydney, and it happened at work, and lasted from 10am until around 10pm that night. It was the most exhausting experience. 12 hours on the verge of panic attacks.

Last night, it didn’t begin until I went to bed, and for some time I succumbed to the fear:

Something’s going to happen to the cats, what if something happens to mum or dad while I’m not here, okay, I know I’m being stupid – something can happen to them even if I’m here – oh shit. Oh fuck. One day, my parents are actually going to die. One day my cats are going to die. Oh sweet fucking fuck. No. I just want to die now so I don’t have to feel those feels.

And that’s when I began to get back to my comfort zone – this is my normal bed time anxiety, the kind that happens every night when I close my eyes and try to sleep. I’ve spent more nights than I can remember, crying silently into my pillow because my traitor brain has whispered things to me.

Which is why I managed to reason my way out of last night’s anxietyspiral.

That, and I don’t think you can really call my nightly self-torture “anxiety”.

No. After last night, I think I can safely say that my night-time anxiety is nothing more than a case of bed time being the only time of the day where my brain is unoccupied with work, planning, or imagining stories. It’s just sitting there, trying to be quiet so I can sleep, which is really its only opportunity to remind me of all those things I’ve been putting off, or ignoring in the hope that they’ll disappear.

This is the anxiety I wanted to turn off with medication. I can handle the day stuff – the bullshit worries that people who have had low self-esteem their entire lives tend to have. That’s the stuff the medication is fixing.

It hasn’t fixed the night stuff… but maybe it isn’t supposed to. Those night anxieties are what push me to make life changes that I need to make.

I hate to say it, because I hate the stigma of those with mental illnesses needing to “harden the fuck up”, but I believe, in my case, that may partly be true – I think my anxieties all stem from this indomitable fear of feeling bad things, and unfortunately, those bad feelings aren’t just part of life, they’re part of living, of actively opening yourself up to others and letting them have a piece of your heart to carry around with them forever.

And even though that means I will definitely feel the worst feelings that humans can feel, it’s probably a very small price to pay for all the love and joy that other people bring to my life.

Yeah. I reckon I’ve got this shit covered.

 

Time to say goodbye

Friends, Loved ones, People Who Came Here Looking for Needlework Advice Because I Tagged This Post “Needlework Advice”,

I’ve come to a conclusion.

Truth be told, I’ve come to many conclusions in the 30 years I’ve spent on this planet, but very few of them would have been of any interest to you, so I’ve refrained from listing them and instead focussed solely on the one conclusion that matters.

Following the 2011 Facebook success of my MS Paint picture titled “Me, Today”, I am giving up the world of writing to take my chances in the graphic design industry.

Me, Today (4/4/11)

Me, Today (4/4/11)

My portfolio speaks for itself, featuring mostly commissioned pieces (an invitation to a farewell party plus numerous custom-designed birthday cards) and a lot of still life studies. Of dinosaurs.

Although my initial success occurred in 2011, I had to wait until now to embark on my hobby-change because there simply weren’t enough people studying or working in graphic design back then. I knew that it would have been left to me to pioneer this field and, with two cats and a house to keep clean, it was all going to be a bit much.
Am I right, ladies?

Having now borne witness to my work, I think you will agree with me that the time has finally come to unleash my art on the world. It’s waited long enough.

Thank you for all your support. I hope you continue to do so by spending a lot of money on my amazing arts.

Note: All of this was lies. Except for the talented MS Paint Artist part. Clearly, that’s obvious.

Trollcat

Girlcat, Jack, meows a lot.

So, like all cat-friends, I either meow back until she gives up, or hold a conversation with her, in English.

Our most recent conversation was about friendly-fire in first person shooters. I don’t like it, but she seems to think it adds a more challenging element to the game, which allows skilled players to flourish, while punishing lazy gamers who just point and spray.

Being of the latter category, I was offended by her statement and went on to explain that I don’t “point and spray” because I’m lazy, I do it because I get scared of the advancing enemy, and generally just start screaming and looking away from the screen.

She called me a faggot and then googled an offensive meme about my mother before sticking her arse in my face.

How the fuck can you fight back against that kind of juvenile shit?

Lifelove

My lifelove, Sid, is the funniest person that I’ve ever met.

But I have no idea how to explain it.

Each time I try to give an example, it’s so tangled up in Simpsons allusions, in-jokes or something we’ve seen in our late night tumblr sessions that it would never make sense to anyone who isn’t me.

He has this ability to sit back, taking everything in, and when everyone else has exhausted their own jokes, softly, with the perfect delivery, Sid says one little sentence, one little joke, that has everyone in tears (mostly mum).

Back in the early days of the Sid and Bri Adventure Cruise, a mutual friend observed to me that Sid’s entire purpose in life is the happiness of whoever is around him. Friend, stranger, loved one, doesn’t matter, he just feels that its his responsibility to make sure everyone’s having a good time.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise the depth of that observation and witness countless acts of selflessness for the sole purpose of a smile.

Even at my most angry or annoyed, I still can’t lose my awareness of the fact that he is, simply put, a good man.

A lot has changed in the almost-six years we’ve been together, but every now and then, I am still struck in the same manner I was that night I looked into his eyes at the top of the ferris wheel, and for the first time in a very, very long time, knew what it was to be safe and in love with someone who was just as committed to my happiness as I was to theirs.

And every now and then I’m struck by the sudden awareness that for some unknown reason, this man still invites me to dance with him in the kitchen, while spaghetti cooks on the stove. He still looks for magic in the most mundane of life’s moments.

And that’s why he’s the man for me. I play with the invisible magic inside my mind, weaving stories out of sentences that snag and tear against my consciousness, forcing me to listen to them. Sid brings me back out into the real world, and shows me that it can also be as magical as the worlds I create in my mind, if I just give it a chance.

In more ways than one, I’d be lost without him.

Kids: they’re good when you can ignore them

They’re just like annoying people that you’re not allowed to smack in the face.

A bit harsh? How about: holy shit, teenagers just have way too much energy and they talk more than I do, about even more retarded shit than I do… and I’m not allowed to smack them in the face.

No, but really, kids are great – just when they aren’t yours to keep.

You see, I’m 30. I’m used to ordering my world to suit me. Used to controlling my own space, either by forcing others to leave or by leaving myself.

If you have kids of your own, you can’t do that.

You mean, I have to stay here with them, even though they’re being really loud while I’m trying to daydream? Can’t they see, by my glazed eyes and the way I am draped over the couch, that I am really fucking busy right now?

Oh, kids can see, they just don’t care.

Basically, kids are me. Which is why they are inconvenient. Unless I’m also in the mood to watch The Last Airbender. Which, admittedly, I quite often am.

So again, we’re back to my original statement: kids are great when you can give them back to their parents.

I was just thinking we need to invent time-share parenthood, that isn’t divorce. Until I realised that meant those kids would have like 6 sets of parents they’d spend 2 months each year with. And that would never pass child welfare standards.

Which again makes me realise that I either really need kids so I stop being so selfish, or that I really should never have kids, because I’m so selfish.

Now do you understand why I love cats?
You can pretend you don’t know what they’re meowing asking for, they spend a lot of time sitting/laying down quietly, all you really have to do is give them their food and they leave you alone most of the time.

Then again, I guess every parent learns to tune out.

Maybe, one day, I too will have children I can grow to lov(ingly ignor)e.

Women can suffer Man-flu too, you know?

I went to bed at 8pm last night, desperate to feel the warmth of the electric blanket beneath me. I’d spent two of the previous three nights camping in a tent, so the idea of electricity and the magic it weaves in blanket form was far too appealing for me to wait until bed time.

I wasn’t planning on sleeping immediately, but my body had other ideas.

Ideas it regretted at midnight, when it woke me to let me know Sid wasn’t there. And to let me know that I couldn’t currently breathe through the avalanche of snot that had accumulated in my head in those four hours.

Now it’s 7:30am and that snot hasn’t cleared up in any kind of way.

My mouth-breathing is all rattle and shake, and my nose breathing… well, it’s fairly non-existent right now, but when it does happen, it makes my nose sting, as though I’ve just breathed underwater.

Anyone who real life knows me, knows that most things can turn me into a whining ball of NO. Papercuts have this effect on me.

This level of misery, however? You’d best send a doctor around for a home visit. I don’t have much time…