Tag Archives: anxiety

This morning I was speeding up the blocks, hung over, trying to ignore the pounding hollowness in my skull. I hadn’t had enough water after drinking, and I didn’t have anything to eat before leaving. Though last night I had binged on so much flesh.

My face was bare and my hair blew like fat wisps in a blistering wind. Good thing I was wearing my dark green Carhartt jacket–it’s worn and weathered but it keeps me warm. It was so early though. Keeping my eyes open felt like a nuisance. And when I got home and propped open my computer to catch up on work, my mind felt like a fresh wound.

Now I’m trying to decompress from this exhaustion, and use this diary as a stay against my horrendous anxiety. Anxiety about not having a stable source of income even though I have a degree. Apparently it’s really hard to be brown AND get a job. After twelve interviews, and hearing everything from we’ve already filled the position, to we think you’re too creative, to you’re overqualified, and we can’t justify hiring you, or, you’re just not the right candidate (15 interviews!) I feel quite ready to give up.

Though I am still moving forward by working small jobs here and there. It may be possible that this movement is motivated by a deadening depression. To get away from it, I am pushing myself into the world like a blue petunia. Chugging along, only to return to the anxiety which is always threading itself through. Anxiety about not being the same as all other adults insofar as I don’t have a steady job and I don’t have my own place. I’m living with my mother now, my sister, and my mother’s obnoxious boyfriend who should not be here. I can’t even use the bathroom when I want to. I have to stand at the window like a cherub and pee in long, splattering, ungraceful arcs.

Anxiety, a lack of self esteem, an escapist nature is a very dangerous mix, dangerous because of what it makes me do. Constantly running into other mens’ arms, sex is a way to ask if I am desirable even with my foibles and failures. One day, I hope to feel more fulfilled when I can give myself everything that I need.

For a while my writing was gaining momentum from new relationships, my friends’ cats, and from the Maine landscape. City life does not stimulate my creativity. It drains and kills it. My writing is crying out for something different.

Doubts and Accomplishments

Time management is something that I’ve been having trouble with as of late. School terms are very short, merely fourteen weeks, and there is always a plethora, an abundance, of books to read and notes to learn. I want to say that these last two weeks have been complete emotional vertigo. My poems were published on Lambda Literary just a few days ago, but I’m still feeling as though I’m some kind of impostor who cannot write–who only gets lucky. This all has to do with the anxiety I have towards showing my creative work in class. The possibility of someone doubting me fills me with doubt, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I feel a nervous fire running through my bones, or something more akin to electricity. My thoughts are muddled, ideas are insipid and slow. When I want to create something I only have to clear my mind enough that the associations seep in, and the poem almost writes itself. Self-hypnosis videos for stage fright have been helping with this. Regardless, it seems that no matter how hard I work, I can’t express exactly what it is that I’m trying to say, until the very last moment: the night before. I can’t do this anymore, and I haven’t yet figured out a way to work that fully takes advantage of my time.

Lately I’ve been thinking about Bill Moyer’s interview with Joseph Campbell. The interview is primarily concerned with the archetype of The Hero. Campbell says that the Hero accepts a challenge that he is big enough to face. We are all the heroes of our own stories, and I feel this idea of facing up to a challenge is very pertinent to my school situation. Choosing to go to school at Bennington has forced me to call upon Internal resources I didn’t know I had. I have had many accomplishments, yet the last stretch will require me to push even harder: whatever accomplishments I have yet to achieve won’t fall into my lap.

Two week periods of total anxiety and turmoil, then two weeks of strength and concentration. This has been a consistent cycle for me my entire time here. I’m having an upswing now, so I’m going to take advantage of everything that I can glean from it. Seasons have also been having an effect on my mood. I’m growing impatient with Winter. It had rained warm rain for a few days, but now it’s snowy and cold. We are back where we started, and I feel trapped in Earth’s outer designs.

Last thing: I found a really cool blue sweater, with a beautiful design of chickadees in a playground. I’ve been wearing it consistently as a reminder of Spring. I’m also hoping to hatch the new poem. 

July 18th, 2013

My mind turns again to the attitude of refusal, to two people who say no to life consistently. First, I worry about Constanza. What I told her in last night’s conversation is worth repeating here: that the more time you spend sleeping indoors, the more you miss out on the present moment, the more you will be living out a dream life, a fantasy life, out of your imagination, an imagination that can never fulfill or sustain you. The key to destroying one’s depression is to dive head first. One has to devote their energies to living. Only forward movement and consistency become change.

Constanza and I, we have the same problem. We never get out of our own heads. After moments of joy or contentment, all the sad thoughts, the obsessions, the doubts, return to beat on us repetitively like the beating of a drum. When I need to escape, I like to have a cigarette by the flowers. I sit in the part of town where red dust rises from the cinderblocks. It has been especially hot this month, but I know that I must sit here, I must bear this pain and thinking out. At home, anxiety is my inner candle. The wax burns faster when I sit outside.

Jake hates poetry. I had shown him Robinson Jeffer’s poem Hurt Hawks. “All poets do is sit around and complain.” Quite like him. He reasons like an adult, but physically, he is still a child. Today he said that he would kill a million humans to save one animal. He would even kill his own mother. He wants to save all the animals by eradicating the human race, believing that he can effect change through violence. To this I reply: we must do what we can, when we can, peacefully. We did not agree with Jake’s viewpoints. He threw a tantrum and stormed off. His final comments on the worthlessness of humanity lingered in the air. “Humans are stupid, worthless, ugly. They are a speck of dust. We are insignificant in this whole universe.” Upon reflection, we realized that Jake himself was the animal. The intrinsic worthlessness he would like to juxtapose onto humanity is really a reflection of his own. What he thinks and perceives is his own lack of value. The most frightening part of the encounter was that he sounded like a dictator. Thankfully, he wants to live outside of society. He wants to retreat from it. We tried to throw out helpful suggestions in order to give him some direction. Wildlife preservation was one possibility. I still believe in Jake, and hope the best for him. Transformation is always arrived at through passion. Maybe, when he makes the journey, he will finally be at peace on the jagged ice, on the fretted and abraided pinnacles of some mountain. Maybe the attitude can change when you’re living out the dream.