Where did she go, the girl I used to be? Self sufficient, calm, observant, fun loving, resourceful? I used to read mystery books by Enid Blyton when I was young, all afternoon long, when everyone else was taking a siesta, in Lahore. I thought of nothing but what I was reading in the books, I worried about nothing, so carefree in my younger days I was. I used to, oh so quietly, sneak into the kitchen and make myself butter and jam sandwiches and then take them to my room and munch on them contentedly as I read my exciting books. I used to go out into the garden, even in the horrid afternoon heat, and talk to the flowers, and watch the butterflies alight on them, butterflies with their gossamer, iridescent wings. Even then, flowers, their brilliant colors and amazing shapes fascinated me. Then when the sun got too hot on my face and head, I would go back up to my cool, peaceful room and resume reading. It was so peaceful, no thoughts, no anxiety, no worries, just being me and doing what I was doing, in the moment. Life was fun, enjoyable, I was present and engaged in it. When and where did all this anxiety, this yearning, this restlessness and sadness come into me? I am constantly anxious about my son. I constantly miss him, worry about him, wonder if he is fine. When I cook dinner, I mourn the fact that he is not here to share it with us. I worry he is not eating right, resting enough, taking care of himself properly. I worry about my aunt, who is very sick. I’m going to visit her in December, booked my ticket already. It may be the last time I will see her, she is so thin and frail, I don’t know how long she’ll last. Yes, I know, I know, she is 75 years old, and has lived as good a life as she could have with her god awful illness. She has been surrounded by her nephew, niece and their families who love her immensely. I know, we all have to go someday, but it is still sad for the ones left behind, or to watch someone become a wraith because of their illness, it is truly a difficult thing.

Obviously, it is uncertainty that makes me anxious. Also worries about my son’s wellbeing make me anxious. Phantom worries, nothing concrete, just what ifs. Dammit, I took my Seroquel a bit ago and now I am getting very drowsy, but I have to finish this. If I wait till tomorrow, the whole timbre and tone of this piece will change.

I just wish I could recall that peaceful time. The time when I just existed and read my mystery books and munched on jam sandwiches. No other thoughts in my head, nothing worrying me, nothing upsetting me. Is it possible? Have I simply developed an anxiety disorder, a biochemical thing, and since it makes me feel anxious, I attach thoughts to the feeling? Possible. In any case, it is not a very good way to live. But I am trying to do something about it, being aware of it at least gives me the chance to address it and hopefully find a solution.

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