Now is STILL the Winter of our Discontent

by Elisabeth

After my Sunday of doing-nothing-but-nursing-an-anxiety-attack, I was ready to turn things around on Monday.

I never wanted to have an easy, comfortable life.

I had to remind myself of this, even though I was still a little stressed over having no one to take our apartment.

I want to have A Life. Not an easy-peasy life, but a challenging, rewarding, crazy, unexpected, joyful, interesting life.

Believe it or not, this thought really helped me as I started to make a Craigslist ad, and focus on the task at hand, after returning home from a busy day at work. I felt like I had gotten my stamina back. I was ready to DO this. Nick brought in the mail and told me that there was something for me from the Ministry of Justice and Corrections of Quebec. Not really a letter anyone wants to find addressed to them. I’ve been called for jury duty with only two months left of residing here.

Nick and I went out for dinner and  wine as we mentally prepared ourselves to deal with a week of showing the apartment. We are both getting anxieties. He told me about how he psyches himself out about his fear of death, and will find signs and evidence that he has a disease, or has premonitions that  make it increasingly hard to sleep. He doesn’t worry about day to day stuff, like I do. I got him to listen to a talk about death, by Abraham-Hicks. Nick knows I’m into this Law of Attraction stuff, but he’s never listened to it. He’s very skeptical.

“There are times that she is circle-talking,” he says.

“But it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not,” I say.

“Doesn’t it?”

“The point is that it makes me feel better.”

I’m starting to even doubt the things I turn to to get me out of doubt.

On Tuesday Nick let me know, in one distracted phone call, that an exterminator would be setting traps in our apartment. March is end-of-quarter. An extremely busy month in my industry. There are no moments to read Huffington Post, or answer personal emails, or even to take lunch breaks during the crazy sales frenzy. But I was managing the Craigslist thing, while texting or emailing the responses-en francais- to Nick. I was a little worse-for-wear having indulged in too much wine and too little sleep.

“Why do we need an exterminator?”

“There are mice upstairs.”


“I don’t know, around the house I guess.”

“Where are they setting the traps? What about the cats?!”

My anxiety started to rise. Since I am trying to be impeccable with my word, I won’t describe my feelings about my landlord. In the past, he has come into our house and left a trail of insulation and rat poison packets all over the floor with our cats indoors. Somewhere within visions of my poisoned cats, and the idea of mice hotels, Nick kicked it up a notch while I was haphazardly processing a PO and typing an email simultaneously. The landlord would also be showing the apartment to “the lady upstairs.”

Visions of my unmade bed, dirty underwear, and tax papers askew ran through my head. The thought of the “lady” upstairs peering into my book titles and nail-polish colours bothered me. I do not have impeccable thoughts about her either. Nick and I have forged a bit of a friendship with her three kids, but the truth is, I didn’t necessarily ever want their mother in my home.

My anxiousness started to double over on itself and my interactions with people got terser and worser. Incidents occurred and I had to get to the gym to do my penance for missing Sunday. The entire time I wondered if I would either die of anxiety or burst into tears. I felt broken by the time I got home. Exhausted from the high RPM of the day, only to notice that someone had taken all the stuff out of my closet (clothing, shoes, my fan for summer) and moved it onto my bed.

clothes on bed make Elisabeth go CRAZY.

clothes on bed make Elisabeth go CRAZY.

Enter my shadow.

In a moment of rage, and imagining my ______ landlord going through my stuff; I write an accusatory asking him to “provide an explanation on why he’s going through my stuff.” I CC Nick to keep myself from saying anything threatening or “Ministry-of-Corrections-worthy.” In the subject line I write: Please Explain.

Nick writes back to let me know it was the exterminator, who had to put traps in remote locations like my closet. It all made sense. In my fit of anxiety, I had been ready to take down anyone. I was vibrating with fight. As I began to feel less violated, I realized that I would have to apologize to my landlord. And I did, even though I don’t really like him.

By Wednesday, I felt a little embarrassed and exposed by the appearance of my shadow the night before. I sheepishly extracted more information from my boss about my move. It’s all on track but somehow doesn’t feel like it. I had no idea how to lighten up. Then I tried to call in and get my new access card to my new ING account going only to be told that I need signatures by a professional, like a lawyer or doctor, to get access to my money.

Bad credit strikes again. My shadow came back for another round of unbridled fear and anger as I my face ran hot. They weren’t letting me have access to my own money! I felt humiliated and angry, and definitely was not impeccable with my word.

In retaliation, I tried to buy my ticket out west, something that I knew would feel good. A definite move. But because I’ll be taking Phyllis with me, I had to call in to book the ticket instead of doing it online. I was on hold for 20 minutes with Air Canada before I hung up. There were cancellations because of storms across Canada. I wouldn’t get through anytime soon.

When I get home from the gym, Nick had made me a fabulous green-bean, feta, walnut salad and noodle casserole. I love coming home to dinner, and Nick. Everything felt ok for a moment until I realized that Phyllis has an eye infection.

I told my friend the other day that I was tired of writing posts about my anxiety. BOR-ING. I want to write savvy posts about new things I’m doing, or trying, or about how I’m so zen about moving across the country. I want to be evolved and cool, like Gloria Steinem, who is an idol of mine, and is on my mind because it happened to be her birthday yesterday. I want to be relevant, and contribute. Potent. Abundant. Interconnected. Magnificent. Bright.

Sigh. I’m just not there yet. Instead I pace around the house listening to lectures on Youtube. I try to get right with the sharp, intensity of emotion that I feel as I stress-eat rye crackers with brewers yeast and olive oil on top. It’s good- I swear. I haven’t been as impeccable with my word as I hoped I could be nor have I rocked any goal or project or way of being. This “changing your life” thing is uncomfortable and I’d hoped I’d be better at it. Yesterday Phyllis’s eye looked better and Nick told me that we might have someone to take our place, but I’m still on edge.

All I got right now is hope. Hope that the apartment thing will work out, that Phyllis is ok, that moving will work out, that winter will eventually go away. Just need to keep reminding myself:

I want to have A Life. Not an easy-peasy life, but a challenging, rewarding, crazy, unexpected, joyful, interesting life.

Despite it all, that’s exactly what I’ve got.