Paralyzed From The Inside Out

January 24, 2012

Paralyzed from the inside out.

My brain is functioning yet my body can’t move. Glued to the couch unable to even change the channel with the remote. I want a cigarette but can’t lift my arm to light it.

 

I can feel my insides shake nervously. Rapidly. My heart is beating a mile a minute yet I can’t move my body. My head is unfocused. The television is in front of me making blurred sounds and images.

 

I pray. I cry. I take deep breaths.

 

Finally, I can move just enough to get to the pill bottle and swallow anti-anxiety meds, I manage to sit up and wait. I fall back down.

 

It passes. Now I am worn out from the experience. Tired.

 

Whew.


A POEM: Solutions & Survival

July 4, 2011

Back to the up all night and no sleep routine. It’s an old act I developed in high school or was it college? Not a stand-up comedy routine. Could be at this point because if I don’t laugh I’ll cry.

 

Cry. Soft whimpering cries. Loud screaming cries.

 

No dies. Not yet.

 

Tired wired eyes. I doze off then wake up. I wake up I doze off.

 

I tried to eat my worries last night and I couldn’t keep them down.

 

I’m hungry then I can’t eat. Can’t sleep. What can I do?

 

My body rejects my denial and forces me to think. Think. Think

 

I slept earlier yesterday after a panic attack. Anxiety attack. Anxiety went into cruise control and got into an accident with my insides and outsides. I was inside. Inside.

 

I slept yesterday. It was a dream. Not the sleep. It was dream to sleep. The day before I slept. Slept early. Awoke early.

 

Productive. Creative. Happy. Happy.

 

Today and last night and some other nights the pains in my face drove me to a painkiller. Kill the pain. Kill pain.

 

Kills pain. I can’t sleep. Can’t sleep. I dream of sleep. Dream sleep.

 

Remember the night owl I once was? I wanted to be? Proud to be?

No worries.

 

Worries. Problems. Dilemmas. Solutions.

Solutions.  Think. Think man, think. A Solution. Solutions.

 

Solution? Not there yet. Not sure I’m anywhere yet. Had one or two or three or more. Solutions. Each solution is kicked out of the way by a bigger worry. Bigger problem. Bigger dilemma.

 

I cry. I laugh. I get outraged. I am sensitive. Sensitive artist. Bah.. Starving artist. Bah..

 

I go away for a minute. Two maybe three. Minutes. I am surrounded by love and sex and fantasies I make up as they float through my dreams.

 

I get home to an empty fridge and a coffee table cluttered with reminders of my worries. I scramble for solutions. I do what I can to solve the worries, problems and dilemmas.

 

Productive. Creative. Happy?

 

Not sure. Doubt. Hope. In between.

 

Go forward. Move ahead. Back to the taxi. Whip it.

 

Maybe I will. Whip it. Whip it good.

 

I win even If I lose.

I survive. Survive.

 


Pre-Game Jitters (Performance Anxiety)

July 3, 2010

What the fuck? What is this? Anxiety week for Rich? Now I have performance anxiety. I think that’s what’s causing it today.

I started off with my spiritual rituals and gave my day to God. I think I did anyway. I basically chilled out after that. I wrote a little bit. I did some of those surveys I was talking about in another blog. I practiced my set for the show I am playing tonight. I worked on some video and networking and stuff. I didn’t get much sleep last night so I went to lay down in the nice air conditioning and all of a sudden a panic attack crept up on me. I came back downstairs and outside to have a cigarette after taking some anxiety medication that my Doctor prescribed for such situations. I lit up a smoke and called a friend. It helped slightly. I can barely focus n writing this.

I have never had the “pre-game jitters” before. Sure, I’ve been nervous before shows but I never had an anxiety attack before one. Now I’m panicking that I might have one on stage.

I’ve really lost interest in playing out the past year or more. I don’t like to practice. I don’t like the bar crowds. I have no patience to sit (stand actually) through a bunch of bands even if I like them. My live band show tolerance has decreased tremendously in the past few years. Maybe it’s because I have seen too many over the years between booking bands for almost two years straight or playing out so much for three years or more. I’m a decent performer. I used ot love being in front of people. I’ve had the charisma and stage presence thing down but I’m not real interested in playing out anymore.

Last month I played for a friend’s birthday. He was a fellow band mate who has done a lot for me and my former bands. I couldn’t say know and it was a pleasure to play for him. I ended up spending most of the time there with another former band friend that doesn’t drink talking outside for a few hours. I really like the people that show up for the bands. I like the bands and the members too. I just don’t enjoy the entire experience like I did years ago.

Tonight I am playing because it’s a benefit for a friend and former band mate to raise money for his medical costs because he is very ill. It starts earlier than usual and ends later than usual. He will probably only be there for a short while because he is sick. I am only playing tonight because of him. I don’t want to sit there for hours just so I can do my fifteen-minute set and then stay even longer.

Maybe all of the pressure of the night is building up combined with the fact that I barely practiced and am barely prepared. Maybe seeing my sick friend has something to do with it too. Whatever it is I am trying to take it easy. Take one moment at a time. Whew. I pray I get through this.


Anxiety Came Softly Through My- a WIndow Today

June 26, 2010

It seems like some days I just have to write off as a shitty day before it even begins. Days like today. In the middle of a decent dream. Nothing too crazy. Nothing too outrageous. I was in a deep sleep to be woken up with orders barked at me. I had to do this. I have to do that. I’m not one of those people that jumps out of bed ready to face the day. That’s why I always try to get up at least an hour earlier that I am supposed to leave or do anything so I get my “quiet time”. I usually take my morning medications then jump into my morning meditations and prayers while wait for my coffee to be made.

I realize that the coffee part of my morning is probably psychological but the meditation and prayers have become a necessity of my day. It centers me. It grounds me to handle whatever the day has in store for me. When I was younger and didn’t pray I slept to the last minute and either grabbed a cup of coffee on my way out the door or bought some on my way to work or school. Since I’ve been starting my days with prayer, I need my quiet time.

It’s funny that I just wrote a blog called “It’s Not About Me”. In the morning it has to be about me in order to begin a contact with my God so I can handle a day of what is to be thrown at me. So I can live my day being “not about me”.

Today it was anxiety from the minute I awoke. It keeps growing and I’m a nervous wreck in the middle of a very long panic attack that seems to keep growing despite my efforts to calm myself. I’m drinking less coffee so far. I’m going to eat. I’ll call someone. I am writing about it. These things seem to help along with my medication. Ugh.

Anxiety is something I developed as I got older. Things used to role off of my back when I was younger but not now. Since I lost my job a month ago the panic attacks lessoned. While I was working I would average at lest three attacks a week mostly while I was at work. I only worked four days a week. Go figure. In the last month I’ve only had about three or four for the month. It’s getting better. It seems that it will never go away. Especially when you are in it. It’s like when you catch a cold or the flu you feel like you are going to feel that way forever. It passes. This will too. I just have to do the things that help me feel better. Eat. Talk to someone. Take my medication. Even writing about it helps a little bit.

I have friends that get these attacks and in the past I never understood what they were going through. In my head I was thinking, “be a man.” Or “toughen up.” Now that I get them I understand and I turn to the people that understand. If I tell my friends that have never experiences it they just don’t get it and try to give me advice or tell me to toughen up etc. It doesn’t work that way. Most times I have a panic attack I have to ride it out and feel the anxiety.

At least I know in my heart that this too shall pass.

I hope.


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