KNOCK. KNOCK.

I am breaking.  

A couple months ago, I started having intense pain in my chest, although pain isn’t how I would describe it.  It hurts, yes. But I would call it a tightness — a massive hand gripping my heart and lungs, unrelenting.

The first time It happened, I was at work. I almost dropped to my knees in the middle of the warehouse.  

“Is this a heart attack?”  

“Am I just tired — out of shape?”

I wasn’t sure what this feeling meant.  So I went to the doctor. They asked me a few questions and then hooked me up to an EKG.  When the results came in he walked into the room and he looked at me like I had a third eye.  

He started asking more questions.  

“Do you drink…?”

“No.”

“Do you smoke…?”

“No.”

There were some other questions as well.  We spoke about depression but it was brief.  He continued to look at me like I was crazy. “Well the EKG isn’t showing us anything.  Your heart is fine. You are fine.” Then he started to advise on me how I was lifting the boxes at my job.  At this point, I was over it. I know what I’m feeling and I also know it has little nothing to do with how I am lifting boxes.  

At some point after the doctor’s appointment, I was talking to my mom and mentioned the situation.  I told her, “I think its anxiety.”

“Yea.  I used to have anxiety attacks that felt like heart attacks.”  She said.

Damn.

My anxiety has launched an offensive.  And I am losing.

It’s been about 2 months since the first time I felt it at my job.  After the visit to the doctor and the conversation with my mom, I started turning my awareness towards my heart.  I thought it was only happening at work. But I also noticed it in other high emotional places in my life.

My relationships, my job, my finances, etc.  majority of my life is fraught with uncertainty, hurt and distrust.  And i can feel everything I’ve been holding onto — bitterness, resentment, fear, rage — clawing into me.  Over the years, I have mastered the art of masking my feelings — lying. I lie about how I feel more often than not.  And I am so skilled, I fool myself often. And those lies have spawned what might be my own downfall.

You can rob Peter to pay Paul, but Peter will get his due — sooner or later.  Peter is knocking on my door.

So here I am:  Sitting on my front porch.  There is a beautiful tree across the street from me.  It has bloomed with vibrant pink flowers that sway gently in this cool breeze.  I can’t even enjoy it over the throbbing in my chest.

 

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