So this A - Z will be a weekly series of posts exploring human nature and behaviour by looking at everyday emotions, experiences, and situations. It will draw on my observations of other people, my own experiences, snippets from authors that write emotions/behaviour exceptionally well, or just some cathartic rambling. However I do hope you find these posts insightful, amusing or just a little bit interesting.
A is for Anxiety
Anxiety is something that I think everyone can relate to and understand. Whether it is a full blown panic attack, the nerves of talking to a large audience, or butterflies before a big exam, anxiety is something we all experience at some point in our lives.
For me personally, the height of my anxiety levels is on a rush-hour, busy tube. I don't know if it's the claustrophobia of so many people squeezed into one place with arms stretching and bags poking into my back, the simple lack of fresh oxygen or the terrifying thought of being stuck underground in a cylinder of metal, but my rational mind goes out the tube window. Within minutes my heart rate sky rockets, my breathing becomes shallow and rapid, and my face flushes an unattractive, vivid puce.
The fear that I might be sick is compounded by the butterflies in my stomach, the sweaty palms, the wobble of the tube as it hurtles over the bumpy tracks, and the knowledge that I just can't escape until the next stop. The only way I've found to distract myself during the journey is to play word games in my mind and stop all thoughts from wandering to my own feelings of panic.
So when I reach my stop, I feel a complete and sweet relief as I jump through the tube doors. I can finally take a deep breath and feel my heart start to slow. I have escaped.
Anna Dressed in Blood, I can't help but be reminded of the tension and anxiety that spilled from the pages. So here is a little snippet that perfectly describes Cas's fear and panic:
"I'd like to leave now. I'd very much like to leave now. The hairs are up on the back of my neck and my teeth would chatter if I wasn't clenching so hard. Given the choice between fight or flight, I would choose to dive out the window, knife in hand or not... After this is over, I might puke. Assuming, of course, that I'm still living."
Does this quote make you as anxious as Cas?
What situations make you nervous or panicky?