First, some winter flowers. Isn’t it awesome I can still get blooms when the weather has gone all sideways? Anyway, about being anxious…
Of course, thinking about it just exacerbates everything. Worried I might get sweaty? Sweaty it is! Worried I might make a fool of myself in public? Sure, go right ahead! Worried I might throw up? Probably going to happen. Oh, the self-fulfilling prophecies.
I’m describing how this feels, how I’ve felt. Not the same thing as what others see, perhaps. Also, probably not that far off, either. At any rate, it ain’t pretty. For a person who generally doesn’t give half a damn what other people think of how I look, having fits of anxiety, especially when they won’t go away, make everyday stuff damn near impossible.
Ever had vertigo so bad you kind of wanted to just pass out already? Just to get it (the vertigo) over with? Cases in point:
- Oakland Coliseum. We got DIRT CHEAP tickets to see the A’s vs. the Red Sox. I failed to note that they we in the upper deck, seats that typically aren’t even open for baseball. The rake, the steepness, if you prefer, on the upper deck seats at the Coliseum is ridiculous. Super steep. My feet are larger than the steps. I wasn’t sure I’d make it to our seats. Once we did, I was pretty sure I’d at least throw up if we stayed there.
So we moved down, as there were plenty of open seats. One of the ushers gave us shit, but was finally placated when we said we’d for certain move if the “rightful owners” of the nearly never used seats we were occupying showed up. Of course, those seats never sold in the first place so it wasn’t an issue. Give a dude who doesn’t have a clue enough power to be dangerous and he’ll sure enough let it go to his head. Grandpa wants you to respect his authoritah!!!
- The stairs in Paccar Hall. I attended business school at the University of Washington. The newly (then) named Michael G. Foster School of Business. Luckily, I did that just shortly after they blew up the old business school building and replaced it with an architectural beauty. Unfortunately, for my anxious, vertigo-ridden ass, the building is on a hill—as is half of Seattle. Most days involve traveling to various floors, either up, to visit professors, or down to the library, etc. The part that scraped my last nerve is the central staircase. This giant, gloriously vibrating (earthquake-standard construction) cement/stone slab behemoth that made my mouth go dry. I would seek other stairs. I would take the elevator. I hated that fucker. It made no sense at all, but was and likely remains seriously uncomfortable to encounter. Lucky for me, I graduated so am hardly ever there.
- My gal and I went to Portland (Oregon) to see a show. She’d secured us tickets to see Tool at the Rose Center (Moda Center, whatever). It’s a basketball arena, so it’s not even that big. The total capacity, for a game, at least, is less than 20,000. We had tickets in row Z. Yup. All the way back and ALL the way up. We made it to our seats. I nearly passed out. I made it out. Didn’t see a single note played. Officially, I buy the event tickets from here on out. Hell the fuck no to row Z. Not happening.