“I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once” — Jennifer Yane
Apparently April is National Anxiety Month – I had no idea. If someone had told me that I had the option of deferring my anxiety, collecting and storing it in one of the many compartments in my head pending one outrageous release from April 1st – 30th, I can’t imagine how much more organized my thought process would be. I really think this deserves more publicity, which is why I’m telling you in February instead of waiting to celebrate in April.
My brain operates much like an active ball in a pinball machine. I know this because my husband has a pinball machine from the 70′s (the kind that make a racket), and he is able to keep a ball in play, hitting multiple targets and causing that damn bell to ring for ridiculously long periods of time. He plays for hours (ok, it feels/sounds like hours). And that is the perfect metaphor for the processes in my head (which could explain the genesis of migraines, but probably not). I tried to follow my thoughts this morning for one minute - one flippin’ minute - and here’s just a portion of the cacophony that plays in my crazy little head…
“I wonder how D is feeling/should email her/Did S get home ok…damn, I’m going to be late for the gym/I don’t want to go to the gym/I have to go to the gym/when do I start looking like I even go to the gym…should stop at Whole Foods and pick up some tilapia/it’s 6AM, who the hell wants to think about dinner…look the sun is rising earlier…Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning (the Beatles)/Good Morning to you, Good Morning to you, You look kinda drowsy, In fact you look lousy, Is this anyway, to start a new day (who taught me that)…Tragic about Whitney Houston/Enough about Whitney Houston…I haven’t called the kids/should I call the kids/does that mean I’m being too intrusive/don’t be stupid, call the kids…I need to get milk too so that it doesn’t snow tomorrow..I never knew there was a place called Chagrin Falls, Ohio..Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming, We’re finally on our own, This summer I hear the calling, Four dead in O-h-i-o/Do I have Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’ on my iPod?/There’s no way I could exercise to CSN&Y/I look like an idiot on the bike…maybe I should have some more coffee..
You see, this is just a snippet of the free association with musical accompaniment in my head. I operate at all times on two mental tracks – a song is always playing in my head along with a concurrent blend of disconnected thoughts running on another loop. Ambidextrous thinking. My hunch is that I’m not unique in this regard (well, maybe about the music part). And if that assumption is correct, then it’s no wonder that anxiety gets its own month. Depending on how much perseverating is going on, it’s entirely reasonable for anxiety to be given its own year.
The funny thing is, I don’t consider myself an anxious person – rather one who has a mind in perpetual overdrive. This thought alone does make me anxious however, which logically suggests that if I stop thinking I won’t be anxious. Well, that’s impossible, for I don’t take well to terms like ‘airhead’ or phrases like ‘if you get too close to her you can hear the wind’. Not that there’s anything wrong with the wind..makes me think of the Joni Mitchell song ‘Twisted’…Bette Midler did a terrific rendition as well..Ah, here I go again. And my husband wonders why I’m tired. I think I need a nap…go into the arms of Morpheus…dream a little dream of me/Mama Cass, loved her. Never mind – I’m going to the gym.