...Christmas is proving very problematic in my anxiety-induced world. It is not unusual to find me downtown Toronto holding onto the side of a building, shaking and crying, because the decorations and the music have hit me in a nostalgic place that I cannot crawl out of ...
A popular term in the treatment that I am undergoing and that will be familiar with many of you who have undergone cognitive therapy treatment for either anxiety or depression is "trigger": like your index finger itching on a gun---the seemingly pointless, harmless, ridiculous can explode ...
a message from a co-worker
the sound of Hark!, the Herald Angels Sing wafting from the ornately decorated window frames of Holt's at Bloor and Yonge
the guy flirting with me as I upgraded to a blackberry (the blackberry has been fun)
finding that dial 'm' for murder was TCM's feature this evening ----notably Grace Kelly's red dress....
All of these things trigger a reaction and all at once I am jittery or nostalgic or numb or catatonic and I fade into myself like the world is buzzing into framed blur
Clarity is as fleeting as a sip of tea or the whirr of a new message on my new phone...
....then I retreat.
Christmas is a beautiful, magical, wonderful, amazing time of kaleidoscope wonderment: but it is a trickster, too. It is a veritable bottomless tickle trunk of loss, of preservation, of winking lights that spotlight melancholy.
It does a lot to those prey to instances of emotion and panic.
The crowds were enough before to start my shudders of hand tremor; to glare my eyes and wobble my voice...
Christmas brings them in droves.
I want to visit my book people. My book friends. A gent on the subway today was reading Martha Grimes and a part of my heart cried to curl back into a well-remembered book. But, it just starts the tear ducts flowing. Three times this evening I have made my way to the well-visited shelf wherein perches my collection of Horatio Lyle: but he evades me, too.
I guess one of the hardest things is recognizing that all seemingly familiar is now strange and uneven.
Last week's trip home, usually a time of solace and exploration of my favourite local, small-town haunts in the place I grew up in, had me fleeing to find a new place, to remain completely invincible.
Here, in Toronto, I revel in anonymity while recognizing myself a stranger.
Reinvention was never easy for anything or anyone.
So my Cylon selves are out in the world: sometimes bearing traces of what I was before; sometimes signalling that which is to come; sometimes staring weirdly at an angle in the mirror and studying without profundity.
It's all a profuse trigger, an explosion of colour that renders itself, somehow and most ironically, in splashes of grey---not even the concrete safety of black and white.