Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Triggers that You Don't Think Are Triggers...

...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.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I think my Christmas present to you this year will be flash-fics, tiny little snippets, one a day. Focused on our boys Horatio and Melrose, but who knows who else might slip in.

If that's cool with you.