My friend the Anxiety Monster usually trails somewhere near me at all times, popping up when I can’t find my keys and am running late, or when somebody yells at me in person, or via email at work, or when my kids have stage 6 temper tantrums and I can’t get to the bathroom quickly enough to lock myself inside before I lose my shit, or when I am about to embark on a task or adventure that’s scary or intimidating for me. That’s when my friend the Anxiety Monster likes to come out and play.
My friend the Anxiety Monster likes to make my skin all flushed and my heart burn hot with rage and my palms sweaty and my eyes teary and my voice shaky and loud and my teeth all gritty and mean looking and my shoulders heavy with worry and my brain mushy and cloudy and unable to think rationally.
My friend the Anxiety Monster is a dick. A big, fat, dicky-holed dick.
Anxiety and depression medication is my friend the Anxiety Monster’s Kryptonite, though my friend the Anxiety Monster is able to trudge beside me — slowly and begrudgingly, yes, but beside me still — even when I ingest that blessed poison. Though slowly and begrudgingly it still creeps, my friend the Anxiety Monster can be acceptably calmed and subdued and controlled when I’m in possession of that Kryptonite.
Unfortunately, there are times when I’m not in possession of that Kryptonite — times when I think I no longer need Kryptonite to control my friend the Anxiety Monster, so I mistakenly wean myself off it, or when I’m knocked up with child and don’t want to take Kryptonite for fear it may harm the baby. Times such as these.
In these times, my friend the Anxiety Monster is extra playful. My friend the Anxiety Monster makes sleeping difficult and plants absurd fantasies in my head and injects fear and doubt and anger and sadness into me intravenously the way a drug dealer might convince a junkie to do in a dirty, dark corner of an alley somewhere.
In these instances, my normally happy and comfortable and safe environment becomes that dirty, dark alley, and I become the junkie, and my friend the Anxiety Monster becomes the drug dealer, pushing and pushing and pushing its product on me relentlessly until I give in, shoot up, and wallow in post-high misery.
My friend the Anxiety Monster, that unwelcomest of guests, has come to call as of late, beckoning me to sneak out and play, gently at first, but more convincingly, aggressively, and forcibly as time wears on until I find myself on my knees, begging my friend the Anxiety Monster to sling me that toxicity, to let me submit to my wildest and most dreaded concerns and bitterness, to let me writhe and scream and tear at my eyes hysterically just to satisfy my friend the Anxiety Monster’s heinous desires so that my friend the Anxiety Monster will leave me the fuck alone already.
My friend the Anxiety Monster has me in its clutches at this very moment, toying with me like a cat does a mouse or a ventriloquist does his puppets. My friend the Anxiety Monster is playing a slow game, taking its time, savoring every moment of torture and act of malevolence, taunting and heckling and abusing my psyche, wearing me down with each passing minute.
My friend the Anxiety Monster thinks it is winning, and my friend the Anxiety Monster may very well be on its way, but what my friend the Anxiety Monster hasn’t banked on this time is the last burst of energy that comes from a severely wounded victim — that final, primal desire to live, to survive.
And it’s that last burst of energy, of will and determination, I will use to beat down my friend the Anxiety Monster. It’s that last, feeble attempt at endurance and self-preservation that will act as my Kryptonite this time. It’s that last, desperate act of defiance that will get me through.