Saturday, April 18, 2009


Are other people (take that to mean normal people) as strongly affected by anniversaries as I am? (I have to ask, are there any normal people really? If you are one, will you teach me how to be one, please?). Back to point (which is terribly difficult now), the anniversary of my husband's death is coming up in eight days, and I feel myself turning into a basket case already.

Today, I had a full blown panic attack at work, my fourth attack this past week. During the last one, my heart rate was at 147 beats per minute. I know because I coincidentally happened to be in a doctor's office when it kicked in. I couldn't measure today, but it was faster. (I also can't get the thought out of my head, picked up in my industrial recruiting days, that all pumps are pre-rated. Just how many thuds do I have left? And are there enough for the womanchild to be strongly on her own feet before I run out?) I was in a flop sweat. (For those old enough to remember or have studied this, think Richard Nixon in the first televised presidential debates with Kennedy.) Saturday, being the busiest day of my week, I had to soldier through it, and I don't think anyone knew how close I was to really breaking down. Ten minutes before I left, I couldn't stand it anymore and took a Xanax. Freaking good girl that I am, my prescription, that taken as directed would cover one month, has lasted seven months.

Well, my heart decided that it belonged in my chest. My respiration returned to normal, and the sweat eventually evaporated, taking my oh so carefully applied makeup with it. I felt okay. I forgot that I'd taken the Xanax to help me feel okay. When I got home, I fixed a dinner of cheese slices, carrots, spinach dip, and alleged chicken tenders. With that, I opened my bottle of wine that I bought last week.

That's where the stupid kicks in. Wine and Xanax are not a good combination, and feeling better doesn't necessarily mean you're okay. Frankly, I'm messed up. How pathetic is it that this is the best I've felt in a year? I'm together enough to check punctuation and run spell check. It's a pity blogs don't have a discretion check button, isn't it?

Oh, since discretion is beyond my command right now, and pathetic seems to be the modus operandi, what have you thought about the poetry? Personally, I think most of it's pretty bad, but there's some nuggets in it that are worth keeping and developing. It's been tough writing a poem a day, and getting no feedback has had me up in the air. Tonight, I don't have enough pride not to ask.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you find (or have you found) that blogging like this has helped you sort through all that you're feeling?

You seem to be more in touch with who you are and what you're going through--and why--than most people. And I guess I just wondered if that helps.

April 18, 2009 10:49 PM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

I have read and heard that anniversaries of deaths are nightmares, no matter how "well" you are doing (whatever TF that means). Try to take care of yourself and call me if you want.

I am so not looking forward to the next 4 months -- mother's day, father's day, our 35th wedding anniversary, all 5 birthdays and then the anniversary. If I could simply cancel May through September I would.

And Cyn, honestly, I have read very little of the poetry. I just can't. So many things don't work right anymore. I am telling you trhis only because I know you will get it. It's like Vivaldi sounds -- sour. Poetry, unless I know it well, seems -- interplanetary. I would never recognize myself as an English major. I'm sorry. Maybe I will try a little at a time.

April 18, 2009 10:53 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

OH, God/dess yes! Understand it, definitely, deal with it practically, unfortunately no.

April 18, 2009 10:53 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Anne said...

I wish I had a basket full of words I could offer up to ease your anxiety and help you through this upcoming anniversary. I don't....however, know I'm thinking of you.
I'm off to read your poetry. I'm sorry it took so long, my 'normal' (and your right, there is nothing, or no one normal in this world) routine is to check every blog once a week.......catching up in one fell swoop......
Take care of yourself now,

April 18, 2009 11:00 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

I have lost a few people close to me, never a spouse though. I think the first year marks off every event as the first missed. I work with people who lost parents over ten years ago and cannot work that day or week. That does seem excessive to me, but since I have not walked in their shoes, I cannot pass judgement on them. I have thought your poetry was good and cannot imagine the pressure of writing one a day! I am hoping/wondering if you got your medical insurance back when you returned to work. IF not, surely there must be some type of clinic near you. I had anxiety attacks some ten years ago. I always kept an ativan with me and still do, just in case. My heart has tachycardia and races often. I don't worry I am only allotted X beats per lifetime or I would have been long gone I think! I read a book, The Anxiety Disease by David Sheehan and I found the more I educated myself about it, the less it scared me and the attacks came fewer and fewer. They were horrible though. I'm glad you got through your workday. With each attack you get through successfully (meaning you don't flee from the place or situation) the less the attacks will scare you. I learned that I was fearing the attacks themselves. Good luck in all of this.

April 19, 2009 8:44 AM  
Blogger Theresa Williams said...


Think of King Lear in the wilderness. That is you, in the howling winds of loneliness, despair. But your heart is noble, friend. And your poems are beautiful. I enjoy each one and look forward to them. I hope you will continue he practice beyond April.

Word verification: "mammined"

April 19, 2009 4:28 PM  
Blogger gigi said...

Oddly, I am relatively...calm around the actual anniversaries of deaths. I know they are coming, and the sadness is filtered through that awareness. I am more devastated by tiny fragments of occasions, the ones that rise up unexpectedly, prompted by object or memory moments. But it's different for everyone, and this one will be difficult for you, I know. My heart goes out to you.

As for wine, Xanax and the art of blogging ~ honey, in combination they are the key to true happiness and inner tranquility, and without them there would be no Lotus Martinis. ;)

Your poetry is lovely; thoughtful and insightful, just like the author. I don't always comment because I'm not on the blogs everyday, and also because I feel foolish just writing 'lovely' all the time. (*Note to self ~ get thesaurus)

PS ~ My word verification is "dismul"! Not only is it critiquing my comment, but doing so without the benefit of spellcheck. How rude! ;D

April 19, 2009 6:28 PM  
Blogger Magdalene6127 said...

Anniversaries of traumatic loss... what you are going through seems normal, according to my understanding.

I know that doesn't help at all.

The poetry has squeezed my heart more than once. I think there is much there that is very strong.

Love to you Cynthia.

April 19, 2009 8:49 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

I have been reading your recent poems, and I think that they are awesome. I seldom comment on the blogs I read, but am glad that you asked for feedback.
Your poems are clear and succinct, without padding, but with adequate detail. Your voice is capable and mature, and when the topic is emotionally heavy for you, you don't whine--you just put out the situation. You are able to maintain narrative distance in order to create the emotion in the reader, instead of spilling out your own emotion and hoping that will somehow magically engage the reader. You are skillful with ironic contrast, and you know how to comment/summarize/conclude with a new insight.
Not once have I winced, mentally revising a phrase in one of your poems. Not one of your poems have I just glanced at and then x'd out of your blog without finishing reading it.
FWIW--If I had been asked to guess the prompt you were working from, often I would not have been correct. More often than not, I have been surprised.
FWIW--I think that you have a much wider range of themes in your poems than in your posts, and your poems--at least to me--are not subjective, as most people's blog posts are (subjectivity is of course fine in a blog).

April 20, 2009 10:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Of course I've reak all the poems, my friend. Haven't commented on all of them, because, like Gigi, I didn't always have anything of value to say.

I think this has been a great exercise for you, even if you think your poetry has sucked. It seems to have oiled up the works of your creative muse, and got you using your pen to work out some of your angst...which is what we all do at one time or another, is it not? Strong emotion is what sends us, as writers,to our...keyboards? Not everything that comes out is great, but if it is rooted in honesty, it has the potential for greatness. :-]

April 22, 2009 12:15 AM  

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