My Cathartic Keyboard

I’ve been wanting to write.
About Bonhomme insisting on falling asleep clutching his calculator.
About making pretzels from scratch with him.
About the three good books I’ve recently read (I’m more astonished at actually having read them than that they were so good – hours and hours of reading arrears have now been settled).
About my idea to put together a multimedia art show mixed of both my paintings and my blog posts to raise awareness of the lonely experience mothering has become, in this day and age where we acknowledge that it takes a village but also have to live with the fact that we no longer have any.
But I’ve struggled with writing. Even this, propped up on pillows in bed, has been more than my energy could allow. Because I’ve been sick again.
We’re hoping that it’s just that my lungs haven’t fully recovered from my bronchitis over Christmas to explain how sniffles in the morning one day last week turned into racking gasping non-stop coughing twelve hours later. But still, I’m to go for diagnostic tests with a lung specialist.
It’s nothing, I tell myself.
And then tell myself again, two minutes later.
And then again, in the middle of the night when my rapid heart-rate won’t slow.
I’ll just get it checked out to be safe. It’s the right thing to do. But I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m 32, I’ve got great cholesterol levels, great blood pressure, I go to the gym. Sure, I could do better, and there’s noticeably more than twenty extra pounds hanging around, but I’ve been trying to de-stress, get more sleep. I have been getting more sleep. So, it’s nothing.
Anxiety is common with depression – it’s in the same category of mental health disorders.
It’s also common with heart disease, which researchers are also finding occurring more often than they thought in people suffering from depression. Especially among women. Which is how I know that my cholesterol levels and blood pressure are doing well – because, I got it checked out recently. Just to be safe. Because it seemed the responsible thing to do. Because I was pretty sure it would be nothing – which it was.
A nothing that’s got me dizzy with unexplained exhaustion in the middle of the day.
A nothing that’s been giving me tingling in my hands and arms, and weird random chest pains.
Coughing that’s been making my lips turn blue.
Doc and I are agreed that it is much, much more likely that all of my symptoms are due to too high a level of work-related stress (amongst other-related stresses) than heart or lung disease.
What these scary, surprising symptoms are teaching me, though, is that stress isn’t nothing.
It isn’t nothing.
And so I write.
About nothing.
And it turns out – it means everything.


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