The Good Mother’s Touch

In October of  2015 I came down with a tooth infection that did quite a number on me.  I remember having to go to work using copious ammounts of Anbesol and entirely too much ibuprofen to combat the pain. 

I made call to my dentist’s emergency number two days prior and made an appointment for the morning of of my last shift. I had worked the night before being in severe pain and when I got off that morning and made my way to the dentist’s office I was already exhausted and this weird bubble had formed above my tooth at the gum line where the gums and the cheek come together.  Way up in there on the right side top. 

Here’s a fun little factoid:  Novocaine (spelling?) does not a thing for numbing when the area in question is badly infected.  To put it simply, it was the worst pain I had felt in my life, 39 years at the time. I know the experience will be difficult to describe with words, but I’ll try. 

When I sat down in the chair, my dentist went immediately to work trying to numb the area. The shot was way more painful than normal due to the infections and had me wound like a clock spring by the time he finished. The numbing medicine did not work. Regardless, the only thing to do was to move forward. 

His plan was to complete a root canal on the tooth and get the infected root out of there and pack the area directly with some powerful medicine. He succeeded but not without much trauma to me. The pain I discovered during that visit was a pain that I don’t expect to meet at any other point in my life.  I don’t know if it is just because of the close proximity to the brain that the the pain from the teeth is so intense or what, but it is a different kind of pain. It is so intense that at the high peaks there are no other options; your eyes slam shut and your breathing stops, you sweat buckets and all of your muscles tighten like a piano string and tears come out of your eyes no matter how much of a man you are. I had such a grip on the arms of the chair I was in that I’m impressed that they just didn’t break off. I imagine it’s like sticking a white-hot wire through your tooth into your brain and then wiggling it all about up there before extracting it to reheat it and do it all again. 

By the time he finished I was broken, mentally and physically.  I was a shell of the human being I went in there as.  I was soaked in sweat and I had developed and unshakable shiver, I couldn’t stop shaking, though I tried to hold myself together as best I could. 

After getting some instructions and some pain killers from the dentist, he released me and told me to call immediately if things change or if need be go to the hospital emergency room if it came to that. 

It came to that. 

After I left the building I sat in my car for about fifteen minutes shaking uncontrollably.  Every five minutes or so one of the nice ladies at the reception desk would come out and check on me. Finally I got the energy up to start my car and make the ten mile drive back home. 

Mom

My mom knew I had an appointment that morning, she was at work at the time but she was aware of what was going on. When I got home I texted her to tell her that I made it through and that I was home. 

I was completely exhausted. I felt like I had been beaten by a group of healthy teenagers that had stuffed bars of soap in socks and then hit me with all their might 10,000 times. After working all night and then spending half of the day getting my ass kicked at the dentist’s office, all I wanted to do was sleep. 

Here’s the thing, though: I had the feeling of doom upon me.  If you’ve ever had the feeling, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, we’ll, I’ll try to explain it.  In my life I have never had a feeling that I was 100% positive of something. There are many things that I was pretty sure of as all people have, but very few things give you a feeling of positivity. There is always a chance that things won’t turn out the way you think. 

With this feeling, I was 100% positive that if I lay down to sleep at that particular time, that I would not wake up ever again.  I had the distinct feeling that if I fell asleep, I was going to die. I was positive of it, completely sure, and I was afraid of it. 

So, Mom texted me back asking me how I was and to lay down and get some sleep. Remember, she was at work at the time. I had no problem relaying my fears to her.  I texted her back and told her that as much as I wanted to sleep, that I couldn’t because I was certain I would die if I fell asleep. 

Her next text read: “I’m coming home.” 

I got my jammies on and sat shaking and broken in my bed staring at nothing, and keeping my eyes wide open. 

The mom walked into my bedroom where I was sitting on the bed shaking uncontrollably.  She sat next to me and placed her hand upon my back. 

Magic.

I exhaled a sigh of  relief because at her touch, my shakes went away and I was filled with a surety that I was going to be okay.  I was not going to die that day. Because my mom was there now.  The way she always had been in those times off need ever since I was a baby. I knew I would be okay and I knew it when she touched me. 

I think there must be an unbreakable bond between a mother and her children. Some hidden instinct, some incredible power there that I can’t understand or explain. Maybe it comes from the days when we are the tiniest. The days we are the most vulnerable and she is there to protect and comfort us. I don’t think that ever goes away, that ability to comfort at the smallest touch. That is one thing that is completely unique to a mother. 

Everyone believes that they have the greatest mother in the world and I’m no exception. I believe I do. I think in our own ways, we all do have the best mothers. But mine is special in a way that is inexpressible. 

I love you, Mom. You are the greatest human being I know and I continue to strive to live up to your examples. I fall short, I know, but that’s what makes me unique. I continue to try. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you! Thank you for all that you are. 

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Something You Never Expect to Happen to You.

It’s been a month since an incident at work.  One of those things you never expect to happen to you.  It happens to other people, but not you.  You see it on the news, on social media and YouTube, always happening to other people.

A month ago we had a person follow a vehicle into our facility.  I woke early that day and arrived at the plant almost an hour early.  I sat in my vehicle for 10 minutes in the parking lot before deciding to go on into the facility and get ready for work.  A co-worker had pulled up next to my car and he got out and headed for the gate.  I thought that I’d better get moving as well.

I gathered my things and started for the gate only to run into the employee that parked next to me, he was returning to his vehicle.

“You don’t want any of that, do you?” he asked.

“Any of what?” I asked as I looked to the gate.

To give you a mental layout, that Administration building is where we enter the facility.  Just west of the entrance to the building is a truck scale set into the ground.  Across from that, further west is the Maintenance building.  There is probably two-hundred feet between buildings.

Along the west side of the scale there was a pickup truck parked, but idling.  The driver of the vehicle was out in front of his vehicle ranting about something.  I don’t remember what I said to my co-worker, but he continued to his car and I continued to the gate.  Being a supervisor, I was allowed in, but the night shift supervisor was there with a few employees, just inside the gate (just outside of the Administration building) watching the man pace back and forth and rant incoherently.

When I entered the facility, I joined them in keeping an eye on the fellow.  The plant was shut down to clean out and repair the components of the incinerator.  There were many contractors at the facility helping the process along.  Since I was early that morning, my crew had not arrived and by the time they arrived, they were not allowed into the facility.  I had them block off the road accessing the parking lot so nobody would be coming in.

The night shift supervisor was on the phone with the police.  The strange man had made some threatening comments and a gun was seen on his person, along with a knife.  We kept our distance while the rants continued, he made suggestive comments that there may be a bomb on site and that he would drive his vehicle into the propane tank (that’s roughly 30,000 gallons of propane).  Different threats, mostly incoherent babbling.  It was clear that this person was not in his right mind.

After about 50 minutes, the Sheriff’s department and the Highway Patrol showed up.  I stepped inside and opened the vehicle gate in case they needed to drive in, then went back outside to see how the interaction would play you.  The police had stopped at the front gate and by the time I got outside, they were yelling for the man to show them his hands.  About five seconds after I got outside, a volley of shots rang out and I watched the man fall to the ground and crawl under his truck.  He had gone for his gun after making some taunting gestures at the police.  It was clear that he was hit.

He crawled under his vehicle and reached again for the gun that he had dropped.  More shots rang out, then all was quiet and still.  We had retreated inside the doors of the admin building.  I was thirty feet away from this man when he was shot and killed.

It would be a lie to say that I was unaffected by this incident, though others present were more affected than me.  I have been an EMT and have seen dead bodies before but this was the first shooting that I had been witness to.  It is not something you forget.

Everybody scheduled for day shift that day was sent home, except me.  After the scene was cleaned up and the police left it was me in the plant and one person in the admin building.  In twenty-one years I haven’t ever seen the place with so few people.  That has a bit of an effect as well.

During the following days you watch the news and learn more about the individual that has lost his life.  It’s a sad thing.  This guy was a veteran.  He served his country.  He had kids.  And he had a severe mental illness.

Myself, when I think about the whole thing I wonder if there was something else we could have done, some other outcome than the one that we’re left with.  Under the circumstances, I don’t think so and at the end of it all I feel sadness for this man and his family.  I also feel pride that I had a hand in keeping my co-workers safe and that they were able to go home to their families.  And I feel love for my own family who were there at home when I got there after a very long day to give me a hug and tell me what I needed to hear.

You hear people say it all the time, or you read it somewhere (here, perhaps), to cherish the ones that you love because tomorrow is not guaranteed.  I think we take that saying for granted most of the time.  It’s a phrase that resonates a little closer with me these days and I’m grateful when I wake up in the morning and more grateful when my kids stop by and I get to see them and tell them I love them and let them know that they are the most important thing in my life.  That is what is most important.

Imperfect Hearts

I am an amateur flintknapper.  If you don’t know what that is, look it up, bro.  It’s a hobby really.  Something for me to do to pass the time.  It also relaxes me and sets my brain free to think or not.  Yesterday being St. Valentine’s Day, I was uninspired to do anything creative.  However, I was struck by a bolt of creativity this afternoon.  I thought, yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I’m going to chip out a heart out of stone.  A heart of stone, if you will.  Like my ex-wives!  Bah-dah-bing!

I went outside in the afternoon sun and grabbed a chunk of obsidian and knocked a piece off.  Usually I have to knock off several pieces to find the one that I like but today I just took the first one that fell off.  Then I sat down and started working on it, flipping it over, turning it this way and that until I could see the shape of the heart inside the stone and the way to it revealed itself to me.

I went to work.  Chipping, flaking, grinding, creating the proper bevels and then repeat the process.  The shape slowly started taking shape.

Not too long after that I realized there was something wrong with the heart.  It was off kilter just a little bit and a bit chunky in the middle, there was some weird impurity in the stone.  I tried thinning it down and working it into what I wanted.  But the more I did that, the more it wanted to fight me.  At some point during the process, I submitted and just let the stone work the way it wanted to work.

When I realized what was emerging, my brain, wrapped deep in the feathery blanket of creativity, started thinking about the condition of the heart and how it relates to me.  Or you.  Or everybody.

For all of the perfections in the human body, the heart must be at the pinnacle.  One could argue that the brain takes the top spot but I think the brain takes second string.  The heart is a perfect muscle.  It doesn’t need us to think about it in order for it to beat and pump life giving blood into the cells of our body.  It just does it and for the most part, it stays happy doing it.  It doesn’t complain about the hours put in, the overtime, the strain when we’re exerting ourselves.  In fact, there is reason to believe that the heart enjoys the exercise.  It’s doing the one thing it was designed to do.  But for all of the amazing things the heart does, it is flawed.

It can’t be perfect, because there are no perfect things.  But the heart’s flaw is not in it’s design.  It is in it’s soul.

Too often we are led by the heart in much of what we do.  Sometimes that leads to something wonderful and life fulfilling but sometimes it leads to that immense chasm of hurt we call heartbreak.  We can probably agree that when we feel joy, or love, or happiness, that the feeling we get is like no other.  Likewise, when we are heartbroken, there is no pain like it, nothing to compare it to, and we even have difficulty putting into words what that joy or pain feels like.

Like the stone heart I worked on today, the human heart has it’s imperfections.  Sometimes they are as obvious as the sleeve on our arm (or the shape of the stone), sometimes they are hidden deeply and can take years of excavation to be seen.  It can be mostly transparent, open to all things and experiences.  Probably mostly they come that way until there is reason to become opaque.  The death of a loved one.  The darkness of a bad relationship.  In those instances, I think the human heart turns to stone a little, metaphorically speaking, in an effort to protect itself from something similar.

It is a truly magnificent instrument, to be sure.  And where ever it may lead us, there are lessons there to be learned.  It is a teacher, a healer, a do-gooder and an evil-doer, and a lover and a hater.  When all is said and done, though, it seems right that the heart, whether made of stone or of tissue, is and will continue to be perfectly imperfect.  And that is as it should be.

On Writing Instruments

I’m trying to find a good writing instrument.  I can type.  Maybe not with the best of them but I can trudge along at a good 60 wpm when I’m in a groove.  I’ll give that credit to my high school typing teacher, an ornery old lady that looked like a goose and had the temperament of one as well.

Due to a stupid work schedule I find it hard to dedicate times that I can sit down and write.  Oh, I could do it with a bit of difficulty but it still would not be my ideal idea of quality writing time.  So, for a few years now I’ve been trying different instruments to see what would be the best for me to take with me and write whenever I can.

As I type this up, I’m using an old Acer Chromebook.  It’s basically new, I bought it for a reason then found that I couldn’t use it for that reason, or I did’t know how and so I set it aside and forgot I had it for a few years.  I resurrected it.  It’s okay for this type of thing but I haven’t found a way to get Microsoft Office installed on it.  That’s fine, I suppose, if I want to do all my writing our of Google Drive.

It is a fine portable instrument in like-new condition.  I can’t complain.  The keyboard bothers me.  I much prefer a nice mechanical keyboard.  Those are the ones that make the satisfying clicky sounds when you press the keys.  I seem to be able to type faster on those, but I don’t know why.  Also, there is no number pad off the right that I love so very much.  You see, all those years ago in Ms. Goose’s typing class, I never could get my fingers to master stretching all the way up to the number bar at the top of the keyboard.  It still makes me crazy trying to do it.

I’ve even gone as far as to buy an adapter for my mechanical keyboard and plug it into the bottom of my phone.  The nice blue back-lit keys lit up when I did that.  Interesting, I thought.  I opened the Word App on my phone and started typing something up on my mechanical keyboard and to my amazement, the same think I typed showed up on the screen on my phone.  That was, and still is, sort of amazing to me.

Not all that portable, though.  No sense in packing a huge keyboard around with your little phone, is there?  Much easier to tote a laptop around, it is just one piece, after all.

I’m not sure if I like the Chromebook for writing or not.  The biggest irks so far are no number pad and no satisfying clicky keys.  I’m going to give it a whirl for a little while, though.  See if it grows on me.  It doesn’t have Word on it and I don’t know if I can get it, or even if I need it, really.  I’m just so used to writing in Word that it is difficult to make my mind transition into something else.

I have another baby laptop at home that does have word on it, but it is the one that you either have to buy the program and download it or pay a monthly fee for a subscription in order to use it.  I’d rather just buy it and use it whenever I want, but that’s not an option right now.  That damn program is stupidly expensive.

So, I’ve written on PCs, laptops and phones.  I haven’t found one that I really enjoy yet, but this Chromebook has a more comfortable keyboard than my other little laptop, though not as satisfying to write on as my PC.  This might be a better solution to the writing tools dilemma for now.  Time will tell.  I’m sure I can train myself to be efficient when using this thing.  I think being comfortable is a large part of the acceptance of the instrument.  If I’m uncomfortable using it, I probably won’t use it.  I’m at least mostly comfortable with this for writing.

Well see how it goes.

Ramblings About Writing

What shall I write about today?

I don’t know if it was my last entry or not, but at some point I stated something to the effect that I would use this site as a tool to stay vigilant about writing.  I haven’t been back here since then until now.  Gives you some insight into my level of self control and inability to commit.

In my heart I’m a writer.  Or maybe it’s just in my head.  Hell, maybe it’s in both places.  Here’s the breakdown.  I feel passionate about writing.  I like to do it when I can.  That’s the heart, I think.  I’m decent at doing it when I do it.  Not great.  Not even good, but decent.  That’s the head because in reality I’m probably terrible at it.  And I think about it constantly.  There are all kinds of stories floating around up there that want to get out.

I was a member of a writing forum at one point where I learned a great deal from the wonderful people there.  It wasn’t a big forum like writing.com or some other such.  But the small community of writers there were very close and got along well with everybody else with the exception of the occasional drifter that was briefly focused on disruption.  They didn’t stay long, though because nobody really paid any attention to them.

I refined my skill at this forum quite a lot.  I wrote stories and participated in focused challenges from time to time.  It was a nice little spot to sit and write for a while, then have your work critiqued by exceptional writers.  I made a lot of entries, some of them pretty good from the feedback I received.  Then the website closed and everything was lost.

Because I’m an idiot and didn’t save the things I had written anywhere.  Just posted them and took the constructive criticism about my writing and used it to improve.  I wish I cold find a way to get those back.

Well, no sense in dwelling on the past, is there?

In other news, given the current status of my employment (still employed doing the same thing with another position awaiting some further steps to secure), I’ve been thinking about writing a lot more often these days.

What would it be like to be able to write full time and get paid for it?  That is a question I’ll probably never know the answer to.  But I’m willing to try to find out.

It’s not even about that.  It’s about the passion.  It’s about the characters in my head and the situations they get themselves in.  It’s about getting those things out of my head so I can move on to something else.  Because they pester me.  It’s like a Chinese water drip on the inside of my skull.  Maddening.

All one can do is to try one’s best, am I right?

That’s where I’m going to start, if you want to call it a start.  I’ll call it a continuation.  Because when it comes to writing, there is no destination.  There is only the adventure.

 

 

Life Changes

Let’s get some truths out there.  I’m a forty-year-old man.  I’ve been doing the same thing for twenty years; I’ve been at the same job, worked with many of the same people, doing much of the same thing.  I’ve worked my way up from a starter position to a supervisor and it was no easy task.  It took a long time.

I’m also not an idiot.  I like the people I work with, and I like to think that most of the guys that work for me appreciate me as a boss.  I try my best in everything I do.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but I always try.

At forty, I’ve realized that it has become a detriment to my health and sanity to keep doing what I’m doing for the people I’m doing it for.  I don’t feel like the direction in which the leadership is taking us is the right direction to go.  Not that there aren’t some good things happening, there are, but there is also a feeling of doom, if you will, surrounding the whole operation.  I’ve requested a position change.  I think those in charge will likely try to keep that from happening.

I’m not pushing it too hard.  I’ve said what I had to say, made my concerns knowledge to my immediate manager.  I think they were blind-sided for the most part, then shocked when I said what I had to say.  Yet, nothing is happening.  I think the reason that I’m not pushing too hard is not because I don’t want out of there, but because of the guys that work for me.  They are a great group of guys and we work well together.  They know what I expect of them and they always, always deliver for me.  Nothing but respect for them.  I wouldn’t be able to say enough good things about them.

The problem comes from above, not below.  And when that is the case, there is almost nothing that can be done.  As I said, I’ve made my concerns known and it is clear why I’ve requested a different position, at a different place within the company.  Having said the things I said, I believe that my time there is limited anyway. Time for some life changes.

It’s a scary thing to take on at forty years old.  I’ve had exactly three jobs in my life since graduating high school in 1994.  Twenty of those job years have been at the same place.  I have a lot invested in my time with the company.  And a lot to loose starting over.  This causes it’s own kind of stress and stress is what I’m trying to get rid of.  There is way too much of it in my life at this time and I need to shed it, for my health and my sanity.

Sometimes we have to make difficult choices, not knowing where those choices will lead.  It’s a leap of faith.  That belief that it can only get better because the alternative too hard to ponder.  Time will tell, I suppose, and hopefully the road will become clearer as the days go by.

Labor Day

That one federal holiday. A way for the government to say “Dude! Thanks for busting your ass all year! Here is a free day off!” 

That’s pretty much the gist of it but unofficially and sadly, it is an unofficial end to the summer season. If you’ll take a moment to notice around this weekend, there is a noticeable increase in the amount of camp trailers being pulled along behind various vehicles. Whether we know it or not, we are doing our best to get in that one good camp before the weather turns cold and foreboding.

September first is also the opening of the dove hunt here in Utah. Which sucks quite a bit. Every year without fail come September first,  the weather cools off considerably and the doves fly away south. Not all of them, of course, but most of them. Only the dumb ones stay to get shot. So we hike our asses off in order to bag six doves (nowhere near the limit) and cook ’em up in a nice Dutch oven over Labor Day weekend. 

Such is tradition. 

This time of year is nice, I suppose because fall is just around the corner and we’ll start seeing the beautiful colors that autumn brings. That lasts for about two weeks, then the six year hell of winter is upon us. At least it seems like six years.

I never look forward to winter. It’s cold and ugly and none of the things I enjoy doing is done in the winter. People ask me all the time “Why don’t you take up skiing?” Are you kidding me? Do you even look outside when it’s winter? Nope. Winter things are not for me. I’m a warm weather duck stuck in a cold state. That makes winter last longer, unfortunately. 

So, I’ll enjoy the mild weather for another three or so weeks, till around Halloween,  then it will turn bitter cold and it will last you for the rest of your life. Or a good six months. Whichever comes first.

For all you ski bums and bunnies, you can have it. I’ll be wrapped up in a blanket staring out at the cold, dead world until about April. 

The Last Couple of Days

It’s been an interesting week.   Sometimes painful,  but always thoughtful.   I had a root canal yesterday due to a persistent ache in my lower right jaw. So I made an appointment at the dentist for a cleaning and a full inspection of the painful area. He wanted me to come back the following day for a root canal because of some mysterious dark spot found in the x-ray below one of my back molars. Joy!!

So I went in yesterday and endured a painful root canal that lasted about an hour and a a half. And tonight I’m at work and on drugs.   It’s okay though, because my job consists of filling our reports and telling people what to do. Relax,  I cleared it with the safety officer. 

The thoughtful portion of the week was spent pondering what is holding me to the present position that I hold? I realized that there is nothing. There is no incentive to keep me where I’m at. I’m salary but I can make more as an hourly employee with pretty much none of the stress. So why keep subjecting myself to the same thing that my anxiety problem developed around? There is literally no reason to stay in the position I am in. No reward. No bonuses. Nothing. Did I mention that I can make more as an hourly employee? To the tune of $20,000 more? 

It’s time to make a change. 

I’m Writing This on My Phone!

I have discovered a way, finally, to use a regular keyboard, full-sized, mechanical with some awesome blue backlit keys, with my phone.  For me and probably with a significant ammount of other peeople, I do everything on my phone.  From social meedia, to reading everything to countless other things, there are endless uses for today’s smart phonees.

I’m a writer, at least an amateur one.  I’ve always enjoyed writing stroies or book reviews or poems, or whatever.  But most times I can’t find the time to sit at a computer and write.  Doing so on the go with the tiny digital keyboard just doesn’t work.  Especiall if you aren’t good at it.

I picked up a simple adapter that plugs in to the keyboard USB and at the other end of that adapter is a micro USB plug.  I took a chance and plugged it all in together and then plugged it in to my phone.  I was extremely happy when the blue lighting came to life on my mechanical keyboard.  And so I just decided to write about it, with a standard-sized mechanical keyboard and a smart phone.

Being on the go as it seems like I always am, I can see myself able to write more with this setup.  Time will tell, but so far I’m a happy camper.  (I can do this when I’m out camping, as well)!

Technology is awesome!!!

Discovering You Have an Anxiety Issue

I recently had an epiphany.  For the past six months I’ve been subjected to a situation that I can’t get out of…and that I hate.  I realized just this week that this situation is causing me a great deal of anxiety.

I have been forced into meeting regularly with an individual that repulses me.  The kind of person that activates the deep animal instinct within me that knows this person is bad.  This person is also in a position of authority.  Unfortunately for me, there is no way to remove myself from this situation.

Since discovering my issue, I’ve realized that I’ve had some form of anxiety probably all my life.  However, the difference is, in any previous activating circumstances I was able to remove myself from the situation thereby alleviating the anxiety building in that particular situation.  That’s why, I believe, I’ve gone so many years without realizing that I’ve got a serious problem.

Six months.  One time per month.

It’s worth it to note that the anxiety has built considerably over that time and I didn’t know what was happening to me.  All I want to do when I was forced to this situation was not attend it anymore.  Ever.  I tried different things to calm down because I would get amped up for several days before this meeting and when the time came I was barely able to control myself for the duration of the meet.  The intensity of these feelings built every month getting stronger and stronger until I felt like I couldn’t breathe though I realized I was taking deep breaths and getting the oxygen I needed.  It didn’t feel like it.  I wasn’t pleasant to be around during the days immediately prior to the meeting.  The people I work with started noticing my mood swings.  I felt like a rat trapped in a cage.

Three days prior to the latest meeting is when I had an epiphany.  My anxiety was at peak level and I was left wondering what in the hell was happening to me.  Anxiety popped into my head and I realized it was true.  I had a bad anxiety problem and I couldn’t do anything about it.  I made a doctor appointment at that moment for the next morning.  I had to talk to someone about this and didn’t know where to start so the doctor seemed like as good a place as any.

A bit about my history with doctors.  I don’t like them.  It’s not their fault, it’s mine.  I’m not one to go to the doctor unless it is really serious and I’m out of options.  The last time previous to this was because I had a bad tooth infection that landed me in the hospital for three days under interesting pain killers and heavy antibiotics.  I would never have considered going to the doctor for such a thing as anxiety.  Like I said, I was out of options.

After chatting with the doctor he told me he wanted to perform a test to gauge my level of anxiety.  A simple question and answer session with the score set based on my answers.  The top score of the test was fifteen.  Fifteen being the worst kind of anxiety, borderline panic.  I scored a fourteen.  The only thing I could say when he told me that was “wow”.  I knew that it was bad but I didn’t think it was top-of-the-scale bad.

What was more shocking to me is that I’m a mellow guy.  I always have been.  Laid back, relaxed.  Even the guys who work for me would tell you that.  I don’t get excited very often.  I don’t normally get angry very often either.  I’ve been happy with the way I was made.  Until I discovered anxiety.

Before having gone through this stage of six-month intensity, I would have told you that anxiety was a choice one made.  Like deciding to be in a good mood or a bad mood for the day.  I’m just starting my journey into this unknown realm of my life but I can already tell you that anxiety is not a choice.  It is a wild thing that lives deep in some people just waiting for the right circumstance to rear it’s ugly head.  Realizing I have a problem is definitely a real eye-opener.

If I can gain one thing out of what I’m going through, I hope I can realize the signs and perhaps help someone else see what might be an issue in their life.  Time will tell.  Right now I’m in treatment for it and I hope time is good to me.