I exist in a fog. Some days it blows away, but some days it’s heavy and suffocating
A quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition. It’s not a buzzword, it’s real, and it means I’ve been afraid since before I knew what it was to be afraid
Last week, while I waited for a meeting to begin, two people pondered mental illness. Is it real? It’s probably a buzzword, they said. But I mean, I guess you have to feel sorry for them. Still. You know. You know.
I sat at the other end of the table and listened to my heart drumming in my chest. Fast as you like, bam-bam-bam-bam, then skipping a few times, heart palpitations, bam-bam . . . bam-bam. They congratulated themselves on their empathy and I excused myself to sit in a corridor and breathe as far into my body as I could, to find myself again.
About a quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lives. It is the realest thing I can imagine.
As a child I would lie in bed and look up at the glow-in-the-dark stars my dad had carefully mounted, and I would think: the stars are so far away; the stars are infinite; the stars will be here long after I’m gone. I will be gone. One day, I will be gone.
It was a sharp intake of breath and a surge of adrenalin and then flight, out of bed in a flurry of blankets, through the lounge room, along the hallway, faster and faster with my lungs clanging in my ears and the knowledge that one day I will be gone chasing me, chasing me along the hallway until I rounded the corner and threw myself under my parents’ bed and stayed there.