Anxiety has plagued me for as long as I can remember. But, the good news is, it creates an alternative reality for me where I can move really, really fast and no one ever seems to question jerky hand movements, or restless arm syndrome, which I’m pretty sure isn’t a syndrome at all. Once, while having a meeting with my department, I experienced a bout of restless arm syndrome, and within minutes my arm had taken total control over my body and flung a steaming hot cup of coffee directly into my own face. “OHHHHH Kristina…” that’s what Rebecca said, as the rest of the department stared at me bleakly, thinking “did we make the right choice hiring this crazy asshole who throws coffee in her face to get out of a REALLY FUCKING POINTLESS meeting? Honestly, I think they did make the right choice, because those meetings got a lot more interesting after I came along—throwing hot coffee around, and puking in a trash can when things became too boring or downright stressful.
Another time, after an unfortunate promotion when both of my managers quit unexpectedly—probably because they were tired of watching me throw coffee in my face and throw up in a trash can at my desk—I was in a REALLY boring meeting downstairs in the cryptic basement they referred to as the “conference room” sucking on one of those extra-large blow pops that fill your mouth with more gum than an entire pack of grape flavored Big League Chew. My boss asked me to stop sucking on lollipops in important meetings. My response being, “I understand your feelings about my sucking on golf ball sized lollipops, but honestly that meeting was the least important event of my entire life. I mean, if Lindsey had allowed it, I would have been sucking on one of those babies walking down the aisle on our wedding day. So let’s just put this into perspective and move on, K?” Besides, every one knows Lindsey is the real boss of me.
Lately, I have been experiencing the kind of crippling anxiety that forces me to throw coffee in my face, puke in front of my employees, and suck on extra-large lollipops, but this past week, it really took its toll on my health. I stopped eating, drinking water, I couldn’t keep anything down, let alone a cup of coffee that may or may not end up in my face. I began throwing up constantly, and eventually they discovered that the anxiety and stress of doing three jobs for three sister companies for the same pay, had actually paid off in dividends, if being riddled with ulcers counts for anything. Lindsey was in Chicago and I spent the week experiencing bouts of extreme anxiety, hiding under the covers on the couch while crying hysterically watching reruns of the Vampire Diaries and chasing runway dogs down the street three of four times a week. When she finally came home, I notice that the rain had stopped, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, the dogs weren’t jumping the eight-foot privacy fence in our backyard, and all was well.
Then we watched this really fucked up movie called The Witch, which would normally, and oddly at the same, sooth my anxiety because I am really much less sane than I appear to people who don’t know me well. She said she was hungry, so I jumped up to heat the stuffed shells that Patty sent over to encourage me to eat earlier that week. As I bolted into the kitchen at my usual speed of 190 miles an hour, I suddenly felt really unsteady and dizzy. It reminded me of that time when I was twelve and decided to try my brother’s Ritalin to see if it would help me with my self-diagnosed ADD.
I told Lindsey, “Baaabbe, I don’t feel so well”, and then I literally dropped to my knees, onto my ass, and whacked my head onto the floor, which reverberated throughout the entire house and caused Lindsey to run to me in a panic. I was unconscious for a few moments, before she pulled me up, which you’re never supposed to do when someone faints. But, she considered for a moment that maybe these witchy-demon movies had actually caught up to me, because my eyes were rolled back in my head and I was laughing hysterically. She pulled me up quickly, and tried to half-carry me to the couch. As I stumbled through the bathroom in a complete state of disorientation, I fell again, slumping over the sink and then onto the ground. My eyes rolled back, and I began to turn blue. I could hear her screaming at me, begging me not to die, which didn’t exactly lower my stress level. But, for someone who thought I was either dying or possessed by the Witch of Iceland, I can’t really blame her for her erratic response.
At that point she was scooping huge handfuls of water from the sink and throwing them at my face, until I finally came to enough to ask her, “why in the fuck did you throw Gatorade on me???” She lifted me to my feet quickly, once again, and I attempted to finally make it to the couch. That’s when it got even worse. That pale shade of blue slowly became a violent shade of purple, and I became completely unresponsive. Eventually, I regained consciousness again and stood up to follow her into the kitchen, where she had left her phone. I barely made it back into the bathroom when I hit the floor a third time, only this time I hit my head on the kitchen sink, slumped over, and began making crazy choking noises.
I’m pretty sure Lindsey learned that night what it feels like to have crippling panic and anxiety. So, that’s always a plus. Long story short, she called 911 and told them I wasn’t breathing. I don’t know if you’ve ever told a 911 operator someone in your house isn’t breathing, but if you have you know that they literally send the armed guards to your house, along with the department of defense, the mayor, and every police officer, EMT, and paramedic in the fucking city of Lancaster. By the time they had arrived, I had been allowed to sit in a chair until I was reoriented; I was speaking normally, and rather than a shade of bluish purple, my skin had become yellow like a baby with jaundice, and the EMT’s took my vitals, which were perfectly fine. I convinced them I did not need to go to the hospital, much to Lindsey’s dismay, and instead of trying to talk me into going, they had completely lost interest in my medical issues and began playing with our dogs. The lady EMT also complimented my knee-high pajama pants with baseball socks, but that’s probably because she was queer as folk, and those are DEFINITELY my favorite kind of EMT’s.
I’m also sure the five massive bong hits I took before walking into the kitchen didn’t help, but there was no way I was telling Lancaster’s finest that I was higher than a dog jumping an eight-foot privacy fence. I just don’t think that would go over well with my new, way better, much less stressful job that actually pays me well for the work I do. It was a strange night, to say the least. But, the moral of the story is, if you have an overly stressful job with an overly stressful boss…eat lollipops in your basement meetings and throw coffee in your face. No one EVER questions what you do after that, and once you find a much better, higher paying job, telling that mother fucking boss of yours exactly where to stick your oversized lollipop while accidentally dumping steaming hot coffee in his face and puking all over his shoes. Ahhhh the smell of success, coffee, and vomit. Story of my life