The Question is But Who?

Fell in love with this flash fiction the other day while doing research. Any guesses as to why? Lol. I’ll be back up and running in a while. But for now check out this book. Many great authors inside. Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, edited by Robert Smartwood.


OCD and Anxiety

I obsess over little things, big things, little things, bigger things, things I can do little about. The way the carpet looks dingy, or the towels aren’t folded from light to dark, the bed not being made, the shower water coming out of the shower head first—instead of the bath and attempting to wet my hair, the driveway being too narrow for me to back out of in a hurry, the towels on the floor, the water spots around the tub, the dust, the fear of never becoming anything, the falling short, the fear of not having the hand sanitizer after shaking hands with a stranger, it’s a dangerous dangerous world.

Last night the wind blew and shook all of the pretty windows in the house, I obsessed over my frames and fragile art and noise of the shaking and the way the ceiling had slight cracks I hadn’t noticed before. Then I looked over at my old school heater and saw cracks above the ceiling there, and rain spots, could it be leaking?

I worried about my alarm, I woke up three times just to check it was on a.m. not p.m. I’ve made that mistake before. I job hunt, I panic. I suffer from severe panic attacks among other illnesses. Some take it lightly, they worsen with stress, I generally don’t stress. November 2009 I developed the worse stress of my entire life. It changed the way I view the rest of the world. Three doctors had to confirm three illnesses for me to actually believe it.

It all sounds so funny or flighty to others but in the situation it’s actually not. Halfway through call 91… almost 1, I feel like I’m having a heart attack.  Blood racing, heart pumping like a murderer is coming after me. Pure adrenaline.  My car needs repair because I’ve had two panic attacks that have crashed in the doors, under-bed, and front under hood. Sorry make that three and worsening. But highly and likely preventable if removed from the stressor(s).

I’m a perfectionist. I’d be more likely to over-do something than under-do it. I’m learning to let go of things, but it’s a balloon that won’t float or pop. It just waits. I’m learning that some things scare me more fiercely than they might scare someone else with little or no conditions. I dabble in obsessive compulsivity as much as my dad is an “organized -hoarder.” These are all conditions that anyone I love and who loves me has to understand. Sometimes your closest family and friends are the hardest to understand, but try telling a stranger—you get “aha! -looks” and you feel complete fulfillment as they nod and pretend to be concerned, which is better than I can say than some of my closest.

I replaced 50 or so odd socks because they weren’t up to par, I buy bulk, I have total meltdowns in my car—this is new. I worry about the things I cannot change and I worry intensely of the things that will. I try to change them but then I worry about how changing them will affect the rest of my behavior. I count the face towels to be sure my family is washing properly. In Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, she quotes the following poem:

We Who Are Your Closest Friends

We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.

-Phillip Lopate

I obsess over if I feel happy enough. What could I do to make myself happier?

I list:

  • Got a puppy
  • Get a maid, to free up more time to write
  • School/reading
  • Write and submit
  • Publishing
  • Adoration (give or receive)
  • Amazing writing/mentorship gig

Then I do the same things I’ve done over, cleaning off the counter, re-organizing the jewelry, re-re organizing the jewelry, painting until I fall. OUT. There’s no happy medium, I tire with these thoughts so much that it’s hard to go anywhere. I was a debate student for two and a half years, but I cannot reason with myself.

I used to ask him sometimes… “How could you love a girl like this?” “Easy” he’d say: “Fragile, is beautiful.”

photo by nataleedee
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