Saturday, September 29, 2007

how things are

i haven't been doing too well lately. for the past three weeks i've been having anxiety / panic attacks. i had a few earlier this year, but once every three months did not worry me all that much - and i was not even sure what they were. daily attacks, however, are a different matter. and of course by now i am scared all the time that i might have another one. the really bad ones all happened at home, or at friends' places, but i have had them at work, on public transport, at a supermarket, and while out walking. my friends both here in vienna and around the world have been absolutely amazing. they listen, they look after me, they offer places to stay (an offer i have accepted many times these past two weeks), and are quite simply there whenever i need them. i know i need professional help, but the trouble is that in my current financial situation (yes, the company still owes me quite a bit of money) i cannot really afford long-term therapy, so i am looking into other options, places i can turn to that offer free counselling, or professional help at little cost.

i am glad that the two groups i have been teaching the past three weeks are rather lovely, and i don't think my performance at work has suffered. i only find that work wears me out a lot more than it normally does, but i am still rather grateful i have a reason to get up in the morning.

liz and sarah have sort of dragged me over to itws' 10:10 forum, which means i am trying to write ten poems within ten days. i am on day six, but have not written today's poem yet. i am not entirely sure it was a good idea to start this round, because while it *is* a distraction, writing daily also adds stress. but i think i got a couple of good poems out of the round already.

titles so far:

01 Cinderella's Soliloquy
02 i kissed someone i shouldn't have kissed
03 wednesday’s foolish love song
04 words : mine, yours
05 For what it's worth, I miss you, too

i received kelli russell agodon's wonderful chapbook geography in the mail this week, and am enjoying it immensely. this morning i fell in love with her poem Venice which you can read here, and which begins

Rusty church bells don't sound,
instead we listen to the cathedral
eroding, remains from ailing statues
dropping in the canals
pouring over—

speaking of being in love with words: i have listened to joanna newsom's this side of the blue about a dozen times today. my favourite lines from the terrific lyrics:
While across the sky sheet the impossible birds
In a steady, illiterate movement homewards
here's a great live version i found on youtube.

song of the day: this side of the blue (live) by joanna newsom.


Cheryl said...

I'm grieved to hear this, michi. I hope you can get an anti-anxiety med. It's the thing that gave my sister back her life when the same thing happened to her.

I'll keep a good thought for you!

Sharon Hurlbut said...

I'm afraid I'm too far away to be of much material help, but please know I'm thinking of you Michi, and sending you big hugs and lots of healing vibes.

SarahJane said...

hey - even if you can't afford long-term therapy now, sweetheart, you can afford a trip to the doctor! please do that.
best, sarah

Sara Kearns said...

hi michi. i'm so sorry you haven't been feeling well. i know sometimes if i'm having a rough time with something, the last thing i want is unsolicited advice, especially from someone i hardly know, so i hope that's not what this sounds like, but i worked in that field for several years, and i've had a panic attack or two (okay, more), so can i second sarah's suggestion? & like cheryl said, benzos are quite safe and helpful. & though i've been pretty lucky not to have had that many actual panic attacks, any one of my general neuroses ;) have always been helped by meditation. a friend of mine suffered for quite some time with severe attacks but got a lot of relief with meds and meditation, and credits yoga with the anxiety going away completely. you've probably thought of all of that, but i thought it might help to know i've seen things like that work really well, so hang in there.

i love that idea of 10x10! and i really likesome of your titles -- i just love good titles. i think i might steal that idea for final revisions somehow. i have such a problem with hanging onto poems forrrrrever and not submitting them, because i keep thinking maybe i could make it better, no matter how many times i've done revisions -- 'see what i mean about neuroses?! so maybe i'll try to use the 10x10 idea to somehow help me with that. it's that or i'm going to have to hire a really mean "life coach" or manager or a task-master or something!

'hope you feel better soon.


Arlene said...

oh my, really sorry about the panic attacks, michi. i hear they can be quite devastating. hope you find something that helps.

and hey, i adore that pic of you and sarah!

tons of calming lush-driven hugs,

p.s. i know you used looooong-term therapy for the benefit some sicko out there. i know for certain it's not me. **all smug, with delusions of longeur**

p.p.s. congrats on the fab joint poem in eclectica!