Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind

I’m leaving soon for Paris. Or London.

Or maybe Fiji.

I’m going to bake a new recipe for a cake from scratch. Besides the one I made this morning.

I’m going to start that book about Nazi Germany, even though I haven’t finished the book I’m currently reading yet.

I’m going to buy a house.

I’m getting a dog. A black lab or a chocolate lab. Or maybe a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I’m naming it Seamus, or Simon, or Cyrus, or Guinness, or Huck. Or Finn.

I’m going to see if a project I’ve been working on can launch me into a new career.

I’m totally going hiking.

I should figure out what kind of car I want next. Just in case this one conks out. It’s doing fine, no problems, but it’s got a lot of miles and I drive a lot, so I should have something in mind.

I’m going to drive to Jack’s house, show up unannounced and just spend relaxing time with him so he can make all the stuff in my head go away.

This is not a bucket list, or even a list of goals. This is a list of impulsive things I’ve wanted to do that I apparently think will take me out of my current mindframe and put me in some sort of delightful alternative universe.

This is what happens when I get stressed out and don’t realize it.

It seems weird, doesn’t it? That you can be stressed out and not even know it? But I’m pretty sure that’s what’s been happening, because otherwise I don’t generally have quite this many fantasies about how to completely upend my (perfectly fine) life.

There’s been a lot going on, sure, but nothing that’s really a pressure-cooker situation. Mostly slow burns. My grandfather died and my aunt is almost definitely going to get crazier now. I’ve had some minor health concerns: my back, and some sort of GI issue that could be reflux, gallbladder, cancer of pick-a-thing, or a small man messing with my internal organs (though I would have thought he’d show up in the ultrasound the other day… maybe he was hiding behind my pancreas). I’ve lost probably too much weight too fast because of it. There’s also this Something’s Stuck In My Throat feeling, which almost always points to reflux but apparently might not this time, and it has me sort of obsessing over my singing voice. I’m working on a project that will require me to talk to a group of politicians next week, so I’m crafting a speech that’s supposed to be three minutes and right now it’s three minutes and fifteen seconds and I’m sort of stuck for how to shorten it. And lately I’ve felt like Jack and I are kind of far away from each other and like he doesn’t seem bothered by it, and I’ve really missed him and want to spend some serious time with him, which we haven’t done since the beginning of January. And he’s about to run another marathon, with a woman I used to work with and he still does, and she looks like Gwyneth Paltrow and I therefore hate her.

I guess that’s a lot, but really, my grandfather’s death seemed like a relief, and I’m seeing doctors about my back and my gut and throat. The back is getting better. The stomach, as of this writing, is completely on fire, which is super-odd since I haven’t had actual heartburn at all except the one weird attack that started this whole thing two months ago, and I’m now on prescription antacids rather than OTC stuff. But I’m two tests into a three-test week and can’t wait to have a tube stuck down my throat while I’m sedated on Monday, so we can see what’s going on. Plus it’s kind of nice to be a weight I haven’t been since approximately seventh grade.

The speech is on a topic that tends to make me anxious, but it’s pretty good, so either it’s just going to be three minutes and fifteen seconds, or Jack is going to come through with some brilliant and workable edits that will help me out. It’s down from five minutes, so I’m claiming victory regardless. And Jack has made a point of both inviting me to come to the marathon and mentioning that he and Gwyneth will need separate rooms. And I’m stupid because hi, he’s not actually my boyfriend. He’s more like my Person. Plus he’s the one who gets to take me for the endoscopy on Monday, and that will be some quality bonding since I’ll be doped up and very possibly belching a lot afterward.

So I don’t really think I’m stressed.

Oh, and also, I’m completely full of crap.


I mean, look. I could be a mother who is constantly worrying about her kids or whether she’s a good enough mom, or I could be losing my job like a bunch of my co-workers, or I could have been out of a job for a year already with no prospects, or I could have to take public transportation to work every day and sit next to a fat guy who breathes heavily and hasn’t showered in a week who finds me no matter how much I try to escape him. Or I could have cancer.

Wait, I could actually (but probably not very likely) have cancer. Hell, everybody could have cancer. Sometimes you don’t feel it.


What I’m saying is that these are really not major things to stress about, and therefore, I do not feel stressed about them. Except that I keep coming up with things to add to my list of Escapist Approaches (oxymoron?), and that makes me think that maaaybe my psyche is a liiiiitttle bit tired.

Ice cream. That’s what I need. Ice cream.


16 thoughts on “Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind

  1. Hang in there, Single! I can completely sympathize, having just gone through a similar medical experience. After the ER visit and medication that made me feel dizzy all the time, I pulled a calf muscle on my first run in three weeks, then I caught some type of stomach flu. I was starting to feel like Job. Looks like my marathon plans will be changing to a half marathon instead (which will be a lot more fun anyway). Sending good thoughts your way and hoping the endoscopy gives you some answers.

    • Are you running with Gwyneth Paltrow? Grrr. There are at least four bloggers I read, including you, who are dealing with digestive problems of some kind… I hope we all get better soon! k8edid tells me the drugs will be great. I fear I will say something tremendously honest and very dangerous to Jack. Ha.

  2. Two scoops. Flavor of your choice…I think it is the slow burn situations that do most people in over time.

    I am struggling with stomach issues as well – still no answers, but my ultrasound tech was extremely handsome, gentle, and strangely silent during my procedure on Friday. In a strange way, even a bad diagnosis sounds better than just not knowing at all.

    The drugs given during the endoscopy are great. Something to look forward to!

    • It seems like an epidemic among the blogosphere! I actually have felt better in the last few days, except for yesterday. Like you, I just want an answer… though I would prefer the answer to be, “All better!” It’s the worrying about it that is the greater ill.

      • Hey, he makes up for my gastroenterologist, who is not only “homely” he is a real jackass (I’ve run into him at the hospital when I worked there, and at the pool where we both exercise). BUT he knows his stuff and is highly recommended by doctors I know and trust.

  3. It sounds to me that you’ve got a lot going on right now, and even though you’re handling it all, your mind and body are feeling the toll. Medical issues are tough enough when you know what’s wrong; how much more so when something’s wrong, but no one knows what…

    As for the rest, it all just compounds the stress. Maybe you didn’t recognize the stress because some of it is so long term. Having a job that you’re grateful for and you’re used to and that isn’t really that bad… Believe me, I know that can cause stress that you don’t always mentally acknowledge. It’s not a crisis level situation, but you are unhappy and unsatisfied, it fills you with professional and personal self-doubt (or maybe that’s just me). I could say the same thing about the romantic situation. It is emotionally stressful to want something so badly that is almost but not quite what you want it to be. The questions and doubts and frustration and anxiety that causes effect the body in truly physical ways.

    Of course, I’m making some assumptions here, just based on what you’ve written. But, it seems normal that the things going on right now would cause you stress. Even you’re grandfather’s passing was stressful – worrying about him, loving him, wanting him to stay and knowing he should go. We deal with so much in life, and we handle it, we keep going, and we don’t realize the toll it takes on us.

    I hope you don’t have an ulcer, but whatever it is, just remember to take care of yourself as best you can. Eat right and rest. Do what you have to in order to let out and minimize the stress. Small joys and pleasures and pick-me-ups. We all want you to be happy and healthy.

    • Stoney, you are such a sweetheart. I often feel like a wimp for thinking that the long-term effects of wondering about what is likely a very minor medical fluke is getting to me, but when you’re always a healthy person and something wonky happens, you do worry. I appreciate the fact that you understand so much (um, sooo much) about what’s in my head.

      This might not be a good sign for you, PS.

      • Not wimpy at all! Not feeling good is enough to really wear you down, and not knowing makes you worry. I think that’s worse than knowing. When you know, you can deal with it.

        PS…I’m glad you think that. I was a little worried you’d say something like,”butt out, busybody – what do you know?” But I just wanted you to know that whatever you feel is normal and there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way.

  4. It’s always good to remind ourselves of how rough other people have it, because it keeps our crap in perspective and helps us to be grateful for what we have.

    That being said, we still have a perfect right to get mad, sad and bothered by the things in our own lives that are not what we want them to be.

    I feel your list, for sure. Sometimes, when I’m on the highway going from point A to point B, I think I may have to physically restrain the car to get it to turn off the road to where I need to be. Because it wants to just keep going – on and on into somebody else’s life. But I have this phrase running through my brain a lot, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment and the validation. I’ve been able to outrun myself a time or two with a well-timed vacation, but mostly, I do tend to show up with myself. Fortunately, as angsty as the last two weeks have been, this is the week when all those stress-causing things get checked off the to-do list. Phew!

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