anxiety - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
"Jade, think of the place in your mind that stores your worries as like a coffee cup. Everything that makes you anxious is more coffee in that cup. Should it get too full, then any bump is enough to make it overflow. What you need is to keep that cup more empty."
Jade made to protest but her mother held up her hand and continued. "What you do, my love, is go right from a big problem to feeling more relaxed without doing anything to solve it. It's a form of mental dislocation, a neat trick for those that can do it, an advantage in the right situation. But right now its misuse is your biggest flaw. When you have a problem come to me, we'll find a solution and then you can relax. It's the only way to keep that 'coffee cup' empty."
They pushed every violent kid into the regular school system to be "fair" and then were surprised by the epidemic of anxiety that followed. Some folks just aren't built to withstand that kind of chronic stress.
Leona hoisted her plaster cast onto a foot stool, clicking the remote control to scan through the channels. Every muscle felt tight, sprung for action and she couldn't even walk. Her body screamed at her to sprint down the street, to spend the energy that kept piling in regardless of her inability to use it. Even her face felt tight, like smiling just wasn't an option today. Her usual calm had been replaced by a carousel of ideas, each one more worrying than the last. A broken leg meant no sport, no sport meant no stress relief, so how was she going to cope with the exams? She'd fail. Her friends would move on to university and she'd get a job doing something she hated for minimum wage. She'd get depressed and fat. On her third cycle through the channels her Dad took the remote and switched the television off. “What's up?”
It is an odd thing in western society that we cast out our teenagers into the big wide world so eagerly, instead of keeping them closer as is more common in Africa and other cultures. I see the anxiety in the young, the knowledge that at a certain age they are expected to leave those that raised them. It is a world where failure can mean starvation, homelessness and lack of health care. It is a world that measures their worth based on their income rather than the content of their character. The freedom to leave if they wish, the expectation to work and help out, are both good, but to openly desire the departure of one you have held as a baby is strange. Everyone matures at a unique rate, everyone has different tolerance levels for risk. Sure, sometimes a baby bird may need a loving shove to discover they can really fly, but that's different from them feeling unwelcome to return.
Kindra swallowed the Ativan and waited for it to kick in. Once she set foot in the air-terminal it would be too late. Already her heart rate was accelerating and her mind replayed crash-stories on a short loop. With her conscious mind she reiterated the safety statistics: safer than driving, safer than crossing the road, thousands of planes fly every day, how many crash? Twenty minutes later she heaved the ruck-sack to her shoulder and walked in, eyes captivated by the glowing billboards, arrivals and departures. Her stomach heaved unhelpfully but the meds kept a lid on it. Every footfall over the well worn carpet felt like a step towards to her own grave; already her knuckles were whitened and her face paled. Soon her thoughts tumbled just as fast as before, but at least with the drugs the speed was capped, allowing her to counsel herself between each new horrific recollection.
Tamsin had her classes all planned down to the smallest of details. She's made her own worksheets in words her class could read and brought her own pens for the overhead projector in case the school's ones ran out. She cast her eyes around the disarray that was her apartment, laundry piled high and counters unwashed. How could she fit those things in when she had to consider every single kid and their ability level. Then there were the kids on individual plans, that meant extra work too. Perhaps the kids would behave today, if she got the work right they would get on with it quietly. As soon as she put her boots on she needed the washroom, her bowels were moving fast...
I have to get Terry the right christmas gift. He has to like it. He has to like it more than whatever Monica get's him. He has to. Otherwise he might start liking her again, then he might realize I'm not so pretty after all. Better get some make-up, lingerie, a push-up bra. That's kinda a gift for him too. He would love a watch I'm sure, but what kind? There's everything from $20 to several hundred. I can't cheap out. What'll that tell him? That I think he's not worth it? I finger the new credit card in my wallet, “for emergencies” Mom said. Well this counts. I can't loose Terry, I can't. Not to Monica. She wants him back I just know it.
In the ten hours I've been in bed I must have woken up six times. Not for that long each time, but enough to break my sleep into un-refreshing chunks. With every disturbance there is a new nightmare. I've cheated on my husband and he leaves. My son is injured. I lost my job. The house is burning and I can't dowse it. I'm running for the bus but it's pulling away already. The car is sliding on black ice. Then my bedroom is light and my mind is moving faster than my three year old can speak, like it's stuck on fast forward and the volume is jammed right up. I want to wash my brain in cold water, chill the whole thing right out but I can't. I want a coffee but the caffeine will put me over the edge. I'm out the house in minutes, half way to the office before I remember breakfast, my cell phone and the Christmas cards I was supposed to send.
Christmas is the biggest con job of all time. Not the celebration of Jesus, I love the guy. It's what it's become. We all want love in the holidays, and some slick marketing jocks told us it comes in a box with a pretty ribbon and a prettier price-tag. The higher the price the more the love, right? Are we all so anxious in our personal relationships that we can't stand up to the advertising hype and chart our own course? Our own Christmas?
In the sensory overload that is this rainforest my limbs tingle and my brain races in the most unhelpful way. After all the years of preparation the reality is still alien. Back home I know my town so well I don't ever have to think about my surroundings, I go from A to B on autopilot, able to focus on my "problem du jour." Here my mind keeps handing me factoids about the dangers I see, hear and anticipate. Not a thing is familiar. Each time I think about one of the potential plant toxins or poisonous animals it just pops back up to be analyzed of all over again. I've never been the anxious type, I'm usually more laid back than a docker on his day off, but this must be at least close to what it's like. In this discomfort I can feel my irritability increase and the logic of my actions decrease as if they're locked into some inverse relationship...
The lawyer sat in her crisp suit, her folded half-moon glasses bouncing up and down on her knee as she tapped her foot. Her two inch heel jostled in the stilted courtroom air, striking the wooden floor on every third bounce or so. By evening her black hair would fall loose and wavy to the small of her back, but here it was tied tightly into a bun. The only movements on her head were the large gold hoop earrings and the slow blinking of lids over eyes the same hue as the mahogany bench she was perched on. She imagined herself to appear calm and collected, but that leg gave her away. The prosecution counsel already had her number. They too had a reputation to keep, one that dictated the fees they could charge and thus their earnings. Rich was never rich enough and winning was all; justice was old hat, something for the weak minded. They would take a crow-bar to that crack of anxiety and wedge it wide open for all to see.
My inner penny pincher grabs at my guts when the need to spend money arises. I know what they call me, "cheapskate," "tightwad" and "miser." But they don't get it, they don't understand the anxieties that go with watching my money get spent. Money is security, spending it is insecurity. Taking out my purse is enough to send my heart into overdrive, the palpitations begin and cold sweat sits on my brow. Frugal is the only term that sounds half way decent, makes it sound like a wise choice instead of a compulsion that robs the joy from every purchase. I envy those with nice stuff, they buy it and enjoy it. For me every item I own is a red mark in a ledger with a negative sign next to it. Now where's the fun in that? If I could stop being a penny pincher I would. I'd stop it right now, but I can't. Saving money is in my DNA, hard coded, non-negotiable.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand. I really am." She slurs her words at me, stroking my arm in this drunken way that's almost unbearable. I don't want to be touched.
I try to focus on my breathing, but the anxiety bubbles inside my rib cage, I feel sick to my stomach.
My chest is hollow, and then all at once it's filled with this buzzing. Buzzing. Buzzing. Buzzing. My face is numb and I'm crying, but why am I crying? What am I anxious about? I can see her eyes glazing over, she doesn't know what to do. She's bored now. I can almost hear her thoughts, 'Here goes psycho Mill again'. The stroking continues, so I rip her arm off of me. I scream, a desperate and primal scream.
"Help me. Help me. Help me."
No one comes.
That's when I remember, I'm all alone.