Anxiety attack

September 12, 2018

There was a lull, I grabbed the guitar, the Go guitar.  That was the first time in 7 or 8 months. My fingers are ignorant, not callused, the mind is not connecting with reflexes of scales or riffs to run gracefully like when you run to the front door of a known home.

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In this very moment, there is no noise, no sounds. It is extremely rare. My room has a window on a physical well inside the building, there all the other apartments have windows as well, from their kitchen, bathroom and small bedroom that all communicate with this well.

I plunk some chords of a song I arranged, I sing a verse in Turkish, I have no more personal songs that represent me now, so personal songs don’t come. When I stop, there is silence still.

The guitar reverberates on my chest as it has one thousand million times before, and I don’t feel an emotional response. The Go and I might have said all we had to say together, like old married couples, we just grunt at each other and do the expected things on time to avoid having to explain anything.

I thought maybe I’d find some solace in the instrument. But no. Today I quit a job I didn’t even start. I was so freaked out. Freaked to the point where all that manifests in my incoherent thought process, is just a gigantic anxious “OH SHIIIIIT” I wonder if maybe I am afflicted with some sort of manufacturing defect that makes me escape, run away like this. You know like those Toyotas a while back, the accelerator would get jammed and you could not stop the cars except to run them into a brick wall… Come to think of it, this giant snafu did not stop the Toyota sales for very long. Marketing is powerful…  but I digress.

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Suddenly from the window a voice came up, an over excited young woman whose pitch drowns everything and spews over excited things out in the air, things that rise and reach me here, next to the well of the building where I camp at in the moment.

Now I hear showers and TVs and a giant fart and small kitchen noises. You are never alone. Earlier, I went to a cafe to be alone but there it’s the cigarette smoke that started to drown me. But what is truly drowning me now is this anxiety.

Why?  I’m not sure, nothing really changed since yesterday when I was on a thunderous winning streak (in my mind). Now I am (in my mind) completely eaten by anxiety because I backed out of taking a job that would have swallowed all my time and creative space… I am drawing, drawing, drawing… I am starting to see concepts and I am experimenting with colors and I feel like it’s going to be great, it shines and smiles to me and I get enamored and giddy and obsessed and that is all I want. Why should I give up my time to those thieves who believe in jobs and in “reality”? They never helped me before,  they just took from me.

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Back then I felt like they were bestowing some honor on me or something of the sort for having deigned to hire me, little, nothing me. But, time taught me that it’s not magnanimity that drove them and that what they were looking for was not the talent and qualities I so feared I lacked but the pliability and plasticity that would make me a good employee. I never got those jobs from those interviews because they clearly could immediately see that ‘I don’t line up too good’ and they saw that from a mile away.

Animals and trees. I miss animals and trees and grass. I miss animals and trees and grass and wind and flowers and their smell and space to stretch and the silence at night and the stars in the night sky. So I am looking for a flat with a tree nearby.  I did in fact get massively excited recently when I saw house plants for sale on a classified ads on a FB page. The tree thing seems pretty basic, but it’s hard to achieve here.

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I found animals in the cafe I go to these days. There is a cat and a love bird that hatched a baby love bird. There is also (not another animal but a beautiful gift) a beautifully spirited girl working there. On second sight, we hugged with great emotion for no apparent or known reason.

So the first day I saw the bird, way up on a fan on the ceiling. The cat was sitting next to me, I thought they were maybe too close but they are still too far for the bird to become cat snack.  The bird that day just sat there looking pretty nervous. The next day, there was a scraggly looking nestling of a bird next to the proud but still nervous looking parent. It looked like a decrepit sculpture of death with empty eyes from where I sat.

Today I saw the baby opened its wings, with feathers that looked like the feathers of a cheap plastic birdie for badminton (with really long quills). He already wants to fly. The cat, he is young, and he’s a sort of hip cool kind of cat, contrary to many cats will gladly stay there sliding into another pose just fast enough to give you time to shoot.  Since the cafe is pretty  hipster-ish, it makes the shots look like the cat is a supermodel doing a fashion magazine photo spread.  He will accept to be petted, and he will also bite a chunk of your hand once in a while just for fun. So there is my dose of nature.

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At the moment I have to figure out where I’ll live and how I’ll support myself. And to tie into all this questioning, a few hours ago I had the second and last “counseling” session with the bankruptcy firm.

“So you are careful about how you spend your money?”
“hmm hmm” (in the affirmative)

“You have to send your proofs of income.” she scolded me ( I had forgotten to do that) “Oh, OK. I will.”

“Do you want to get a credit card?”
“No. I don’t”
“Oh… uh, well, when you do, go to your bank and ask, don’t take it personal if they say no, get a prepaid card then and rebuild your credit.”
“Hmm hmm” I said. I had looked that topic up on line some weeks ago out of curiosity, a young financial wiz explained in 3 minutes how to rebuild your messed up credit to a stellar rated one within a couple of months.  That whole session was so mediocre. It didn’t help my anxiety. “Play by the rules and shut up”, I told myself.

So… the extraordinary moment… yes last week an extraordinary moment of clarity. It worked I was cruising in my new reality until I looked at the details of this new job, the commute time, the hours teaching, Istanbul is a nightmare for transportation.  I calculated that some days I’d spend 4 hours of commuting for 120 minutes of teaching and that I’d need time to prepare classes and that I am not a teacher and that I don’t know how to prepare classes. I realized clearly that this job was going to be a sort of prison and at that moment I started to lose all composure to a gigantic tsunami of anxiety.

I stayed in a daze all day.  Then I got the call.  I had to tell them that I must back out, and I love Beste so very much and I know she’s having a hell of a challenge finding teachers (hence my appointment).  I am trying to find something to say but I just stutter stupid stuff and I feel like throwing up.

After that conversation I was just blabbering feeling fever.  An email came in:  quote of the day: “Be in love with your life.  Every minute of it.”  Jack Kerouac, novelist. It hit.  BLAMMMMMM!!.

True.   It’s true, so true, so so so true. I need to hook my talons into life right NOW.  NOW.  NOW.    NOW.        NOW            NOW.
I spent the last 24 hours floating on a load of nervousness coming from God knows where.

NOW.

I look around!  NOW  I look inside.  NOW Feel your heart.  NOW  breathe deeply.  NOW.  Wow.  Phew….  the ground, earth…

I am a bit rudderless at the moment,  I made a mistake with this, never betray your own truth.

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