John Walker's Electronic House

Anxiety Day

by on Jul.24, 2005, under The Rest

Today has been Anxiety Day.

It’s been a while since I’ve had one this intense – obviously with anxiety disorder (it’s so great to have a disorder – if you don’t have one, you really do, you’ve just not identified it yet) there’s the general lunatic worrying accompanying every waking moment – but today has been a day when it’s all bubbled over the surface.

It’s been an odd week. Lots of stuff. The reaction to that shooting really upset me as well – especially seeing the hateful comments even here. While I’ve had really valuable conversations with people about why they believe the policemen’s actions to be justified, those have been with people of the decency and intelligence to not dismiss a human life away because he didn’t react perfectly in a moment of panic. Watching a nation compromise reality down until a baggy coat is a valid death warrant depresses me greatly. Hearing the vocabulary of the nation take on the vocabulary of those who attack is devastating. The Sun’s headline yesterday (below) really hurt me – such a vicious, hateful and utterly despicable comment to make even were the dead man a terrorist. That he was not I hope will hasten Rebecka Wade’s long-necessary resignation. The headline from the Express, however, is the one that’s worried me far more. The words “[they shall] be shown no mercy” are the words of Al Quaeda. And there they are, on the front pages of our newspapers. As the police shoot to kill those who intend to kill, our vocabulary becomes that of those from whom we wish to distinguish ourselves. I wish that ours was a response of mercy. I wish our papers proudly boasted, “They shall be shown mercy.”

Anxiety Day (back there again) makes every conversation ludicrous. No matter the subject, I can’t say anything without deciding that it’s been misinterpreted, and then apologising for the possible misinterpretation, which of course didn’t happen. Which then confuses the person to whom I’m talking no end, and leaves me trying to explain what I meant, which is very much like trying to untangle a spilled pool of wool with an angry cat. I become so entangled in what I’ve said, what I’ve not said, what I think the other person might think I’ve said, what I’m sure I should have said that would have made it understood and if I say it now maybe it will be so I do but out loud it turns out to be possibly the stupidest thing I could possibly say and now I have to try and explain why I said that and what it was I thought they might have thought I said in the first place and how I then thought that that meant that they thought that I thought that they thought I had said the opposite of what I meant and so I say again what I originally meant but it still doesn’t make sense because it’s the product of anxiety and not rational thought that can be articulated out loud to someone else and so I apologise for it and worry about how I’m going to say all of that…

That’s the inside of my head.

Apologies and thank you if you’re one of those who has encountered me today.

5 Comments for this entry

  • bob_arctor

    I’m considering diagnosing myself with Dyspraxia as I’m clumsy, ramble quite a bit, and have the ball skills of an eel which has suffered a stroke.
    Then I would be able to sue people.

  • Clare

    You want to diagnose yourself with dyspraxia so that you can sue people? Sue people for what?

  • bob_arctor


  • John W

    It’s sweet. It’s like he’s trying to be funny.

  • Chiarina

    Nice to know someone else has that too. Isn’t it funny how you look at the faces aroundyou and think no-one you know knows what it’s like, and how everybody else is doing a much better job of being sane than you? When actually it’s not true at all. Comforting.