Monday, March 17, 2008

anxiety attack

i've been having mild anxiety/stress issues for the last few weeks, off and on. it's different from other stress i've experienced in my life before, in that it's manifesting itself in a physical way on my body, and while my mind doesn't feel more junk/activity-filled than it usually is, knowing that i don't feel quite right in my body isn't helping alleviate my symptoms.

i'm not really tired at the end of even my longest days. when it comes time to go to bed, i'm having trouble going to sleep. i'm waking up really early and my appetite ain't what she used to be. i'm pretty big on eating if not 2, then 3 square meals a day, and i'm eating like a bird all day and then waking up the next morning without an appetite. also, my blood pressure is pumping higher than it should be (based on my own diagnosis, derived by placing my index and middle finger against the main artery in my neck) during times when i shouldn't be stressed (on the way to and from work, say).

it's pretty sucky. i'm usually the kind of person who THRIVES from having a over-brimming plate, so feeling my body racing when i'm at rest is freaking me out, which in turn ratchets up the blood pressure and so on and so forth.

it's no secret to anyone who knows me that i have huge problems with mortality. i think everyone always has those moments when you get snapped out of the cinema verite that's your life and you realize that this mortal coil is slumping towards an all-too-predictable end. even typing the words and verbalizing it freaks me out. usually i have those mortality moments every few months, at most. lately, there's a couple of nights a week where i'm wide awake as the dotytron slumbers blissfully beside me (the dotytron is much more at ease with his mortality than i am - on the surface - because he sees it as an opportunity to join the great, pulsating, universal energy of the cosmos), thinking about what those final moments must be like. wondering if you KNOW it's happening in that split second as it's happening, wondering how you feel about it, whether you have time to reflect before it all goes black. it's morbid and for someone as superstitious as me, a bad road to be traveling down.

getting older sucks. you think about this stuff more and becomes more and more of a reality and there's no escaping it with the cocoon of adamant renunciation (working in tandem with youthful hubris) that buffered you as a kid, when the days stretched long and endless like one long, dog-day afternoon in the heat of summer, at the height of vacation. sometimes i take comfort in the weirdest things. i was having a mortality thought on my way to work one day and grappling with the inevitable moroseness it inspires, slowly meandering my way up an escalator, when i realized in a sharp moment that karl marx had lived and died. for some reason, i found that comforting. it's like he's removed enough from me for it not to sting with keening, piercing pain of losing a real loved one, and yet, his genius and the high regard in which i hold him means that it's something we can all transcend. karl marx did it! and look at his legacy! or for a while there i was finding some peace of mind in quantum physics. according to particle theory, we're here and not here and alive and dead all at once. i like that. maybe i should start reading more speculative fiction. become at ease with parallel universes so i'm not so doggedly tied to this one.

then i start thinking about having kids. oy-vey. if i'm stressing about my own mortality, can my neuroses handle worrying about my progeny too? i feel like i'm already stretched to the limits of my capacity for worry. that's what i get for being such a careful, planner of a control freak. i feel like i can keep bad things at bay by planning for every contingency and i'm massively perturbed by the fact that all my planning will always be for naught when it comes down to the zero-sum equation of life. i think i love my life too much ***knocks on wood for the benefit of the fates***

sorry this post has been a downer. but what is this little insignificant blip in the blogosphere (retch) for if not for me to spew my mental detritus onto the shoulder of the information superhighway? as an aside, i think i should cool it on the wire marathons. the violence and wretchedness of humanity tends to bring out the morbidity in me. the last time i had a really bad spell where i was scared of dying was after watching layer cake. it wasn't pretty. i don't even know that i'm scared per se...just fearful of the unknown. i want someone (other than mitch albom) to tell me that i'll definitively join the universe in a cosmic omniscience...with authority. anyway, i should have stuck with my first instinct this weekend and rented raiders of the lost ark. i'm on wire marathon moratorium for the time being. i'm going to wash that grimness right out of my hair with a frothy shampoo consisting of episodes of top chef (chicago this season!!!!!) and project runway...i think that should do it. i'll lighten it up with a return to your regularly scheduled programming now.

tonight for dinner i made a broccoli rabe, walnut, parm and chili pasta. it was easy peasy. brought a pot of pasta water to boil. took a few leeks, sliced them, soaked them, and sweated them over low heat in olive oil. added two bunches of coarsely chopped rapini and turned the heat to high. hit it with some salt and pepper, and then added a few ladles of the boiling water for the pasta to keep it from sticking to the pot and to braise out the greens a bit. toasted some walnuts, and added some of the oil and a whack of the oven-dried, oil-cured chilies my old supervisor at work gave me. cooked the pasta, threw in a touch of the pasta cooking water, and tossed everything together with a big handful of parm and more salt and pepper to taste. it was delicious...the only thing is next time i'd use pine nuts instead of walnuts. the slight acrid bitterness of walnuts wasn't a good match for the bitterness of the rapini. i think the butteriness of the pine nuts would be a nice counterpoint to the greens, and take the place of the usual greens companion of some kind of fatty pork product.

i'm feeling better already. did some yoga today and i think i'm going to go for a run tomorrow after work. i also think a date with the band is in order. or tom waits.



dr.rei said...

partly this is because you have so much love in your heart for the people that are close to you, which is a little known fact about karl lagerfeld esquire. she may hate a lot of things but her love runs deep!

sorry, that was really emo...yikes...

kitsch:in:sync said...

karl, mortality is the metric that makes us human. it's the impetus behind so many emotions that bookend the epochs of our fleeting lives. dotytrane takes solace in the vastness of everything and so do i much like the role of the forest in the last of the mohicans.

the people you love will be your legacy. sure, people know marx's name and ideology but while he was writing he probably never tried to find a wendy's location while in the waiting room of an emerg ward surrounded by the people he cared about in pirate tshirts. waverly took best quality crab, you took worst because you have best quality heart.

Chris said...

haha, its always important to find a wendys!

im sure you know who Deepak Chopra is. but he writes/speaks about how we are all just a collection of interstellar space dust, all connected, and with death we will be released back into the environment from which we came.

for something more campy, a good ole Carl Sagan doc from the 80's will ease your concerns.

dr. rei said...

bwong, that was truly beautiful.

it's true karl, you, unlike waverly, have the best quality heart. (the heart of someone who gets excited to see that the hospital has a Nickelby's!!!!1111)

karl lagerfeld, esquire said...

bwong, that WAS truly beautiful and it warms the cockles of my heart and brings tears to my sentimental eyes (and since you're neither an old man, or a young child in inner-city baltimore, that says a lot).

chris: deepak chopra is teh

thanks, guys...i love you all!