Warning: Not for the Fainthearted

Here’s a tip:

skull-crossbones-health-and-safety-caution-signDon’t go to a movie in which one of the lead characters is dying of an unnamed terminal disease when you are dwelling on how much you fear your own death because of certain undiagnosed medical conditions, which only compound the dread of mortality you’ve lived with since your first panic attack at age 26, followed several years later by a cancer diagnosis.

Seeing that movie will only ratchet up the anxiety you’ve been feeling ever since recent blood work indicated there is something off in your body, blood work prompted by the chest discomfort and shortness of breath you’ve been experiencing for almost two months when undertaking the simplest physical exertion. Anxiety also fueled in part by your doctor’s foot-dragging in getting back to you and setting up further tests that might explain just what the fuck is going on.

And of course, if certain other aspects of that movie’s plot remind you of some situations you went through during your last marriage, situations that contributed to your divorce, then you should definitely not go. Because that plot will only remind you that the person who said she would be there through sickness and health is no longer there; not that she could cure whatever is prompting these health issues or end the ensuing, enduring anxiety. But a hug and comforting word or two could probably do wonders under the current circumstances.

(To be fair, that ex did go out of her way to show concern for you and provide care during recent surgery, and would probably do so again. And for that you are eternally grateful.)

But if you do go to that movie, and it finally ends and you walk back to your car, try to block out or tamp down the hatred you feel rising up, the metaphorical bile flooding your gut. The hatred for the dog walking contently with its owner across the railroad tracks, for the happy loving couple that passes you by, for the old crumpled shirt left beside the sidewalk, for the asshole drivers who remind you of the bigger asshole who almost hit you yesterday—just a foot or so away from your left leg as you crossed the intersection where you had the right of way—whom you curse silently to yourself, even as you wonder what it would be like to be hit, just a glancing blow perhaps, enough to break bones and make you scream in anguish, but just that. And especially the hatred for yourself, for all the stupid decisions you’ve made, and most certainly the ones that have probably contributed to your health issues.

You thought the movie would be a distraction. Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re in for. And as you drive home and think about all this, you remember that it’s probably not a coincidence that crisis appears twice in the title of your blog. And that maybe the next time, you should stay home and watch an episode of Bojack Horseman instead of going to the movies, so you can laugh at the exploits of someone even more screwed up than you (even if he is an animated talking horse). And that you’re thankful for therapy and drugs and the people who care about you, even if they’re not there to give you that hug you so desperately need.

~ by mburgan on September 2, 2019.

2 Responses to “Warning: Not for the Fainthearted”

  1. ❤️

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