Anxiety

Written by Atticus Payne
Art by Edvard Munch


Here is a look into my most recent anxiety attack. A strange, practically manic trance.

Breathe. Breathe. As simple as an inhale and an exhale, yet so perfectly constructed, yes? What fantastic machines we are, fashioned organically by the creator. What there is in a breath. The pull of your diaphragm, the expansion of the chest cavity, pressure in and out. Calm. Calm. Think of breath. Remember? A swallow. Air rushing in, filling your lungs, oxygen squeezing in countless miniscule alveoli within the lining. Shh. Do you remember? The way it works? And then, next, the gaseous exchange. Oxygen in, carbon dioxide out. Fascinating, like clockwork. Yet adaptive, unlike metal and wheels. Aerobic turns to anaerobic respiration, burning glucose and oxygen to form adenosine triphosphate and setting your muscles, each cell that knits into tissues that pull on joints, bones, movement through this strange, dangerous environment. How well made we are. How I long to praise you, oh God. How I wish I could hear you now. Yet here you are, at the heart of everything, as you must be, just as you were previously, yesterday night when I wondered at the vastness of this existence. What is man that you condescend to him? Who am I that you would hold me up in pain? And yet the greatest One stoops to care over every human, contemptuous as we remain. Remember, remember. He has never, will never, can never leave you. He is here. Even now, he is here. In remembering, do you not feel him? That is how you know, in this time. That is how we all must know him. In words, in memory of all he is. Bits and pieces that come up at just the right time to prompt you every which way. In the storm of screams, here you are also. And you are unafraid. So what should I fear? It is all in your care. All I need do is wait and do the best I am able with the controls I have been given. That is all. How doable.