Netflix and chill – A(nother) date with Anxiety

Netflix and chill – A(nother) date with Anxiety

Anxiety, Brute! It just could not last, this marvellous feeling I have experienced of late. After a long wait, the world was finally spinning the right way around. Decisions had fallen down on my side of the old wooden table. Feelings of relief and joy, which for so long had been but a distant memory, were suddenly omnipresent.

I find myself sitting in my favourite coffee shop in Edinburgh, in company of people whom I cherish and love. I have great coffee and good food. People are talking about things of no real importance one minute, and about turning the world into a heaven of Portuguese-inspired mischief the next. The recipe for disaster, the usual long-table talk. Suddenly, like a gust of cold wind, the walls start to narrow in. Everyone is looking at me, critically. They must not see you, you are not here. Yet, the room seems smaller than it ever has before. The voices, piercing through my skin, letting me know with clarity that I am alone. I strive to look as I always do, but the whispering does not subside. They know, the voices makes me sure of it. I am trying to engage the conversation, trying to get my foot in the door. The door slams shut. I was having a great day, looking forward to meet with a beautiful soul, and to rejoice in this once elusive blissfulness. Two against one, like in primary school. It is unfair, but to me they are three. In reality it is me against myself. Objectively. Not that it matters.

Abruptly, I tense up, my body is shaking, shivering. I am cold, as surrounded by night. My heart is racing, trying to escape my throat. I stand up, and leave. Tears everywhere. I walk fast as if I know where I am headed. I am headed away. Secretly hoping someone will run after me, knowing that they are not likely to do so. Realising it would probably do more harm than good anyway. Still walking, faster. What are they talking about. Excusing myself via text message. More afraid that I have upset the people I care about than anything else. Car, shrieking tires. Deer in headlight. Middle of the road. Forgot to use the underpass. Sweating. Crying at the side of the road, people glaring at me from a distance. Then they go about their day, as nothing happened. A brisk walk home. Loneliness and a bed. I was looking forward to dancing again. Alas, perhaps next time. I pull the covers over my head as if to shut the world out. Close my eyes wishing for a better tomorrow. Sleep is a stranger tonight, anxiety just invited itself for Netflix and chill.

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