Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Anxiety is a thief
I got robbed the other day.
Maty and I were sitting on the couch together in the front room of our brand new condo in the early evening. We had the fireplace going. I was playing with my iPad and Maty was watching YouTube videos on the television. A rare moment. Most evenings, one or the other or both of us are off doing something. But this evening we were there together, relaxing.
Maty was delighted when a Senegalese music video came on the screen. The percussive, happy music reminded her of her home. She popped up off the couch and danced an Mbalax dance while the music played. The joy on her face lit up the room.
I recognized the moment for what it was: a thing to remember, a Good Time to hold in my memory and savor.
And yet, in that moment I was robbed. Although I did experience joy and happiness watching my wife dancing and smiling, I was also sad and afraid and angry at myself. Sad, because I knew the moment would be fleeting. Afraid, because I live in dread of some unforeseen cataclysm that will dispel all the joy I felt in that moment. And angry at myself, because I knew my worry was irrational and stupid, and it was robbing me of a precious moment of happiness.
That's the way anxiety disorders work, I'm afraid. I take meds to keep it under control, but nonetheless, at odd times and for no particular reason, anxiety breaks through all my safeguards and grabs at my soul.
And I f*cking hate it.
Still, life is good. And I will always remember that moment when Maty was dancing in front of the fire, with her face turned to the ceiling, beaming joy out to the cosmos.