4 Comments

High Anxiety

This very morning I was on the Skype phone with Grace Bridges, publisher of Splashdown Books, when she pressed the “Publish” button.

As I told her, my heartbeat quartered.

TT: That’s a little less dramatic than doubling but more elevated than normal.

“Yes, it is exciting, isn’t it?” she thought she agreed with me.

Deep breath.

How do I explain that the things normal people call “exciting” are the things I experience as “anxious?” I can’t tell you how many years it took me to realize that I probably go through the same physical reactions as the rest of you – elevated heartbeat, sweaty or clammy hands, sudden contractions in the gut and an overwhelming need to do something – but I label these as “bad” where others seem to label them “good.” The something I do also tends to be hiding under the covers until I calm down.

It started with fireworks. Loud noises and bright lights scare the poopooweeweekaka out of me. I clearly remember spending a 4th of July baseball fireworks display weeping and cowering under my parents’ legs under the bleachers at the only ballgame they ever took me to, begging them to make it stop for however long it lasted and quite a while after it was over. I was about two, probably.

It continued with swimming pools and diving boards. Couple a fear of heights with a fear of sharks and see how happy you are to jump off an unsteady board into a potential death trap.

TT: It makes no difference that sharks don’t live in swimming pools. I saw Jaws. I watched James Bond movies. Sharks can show up anywhere, anytime, period. According to Saturday Night Live, they can even knock on your door and eat you.

Top it off with the most humiliating yellow rubber cap ever on your head over your ears to prevent the ear infections you always get after being in the water and consider how often and how enthusiastically you would go swimming. Fun? I don’t think so.

Fast forward to roller coasters and swing sets and that spinning thing on the playground that all the other kids run to and I run away from because two minutes on any of those things leads to all my internal organs fighting to exit my body through my mouth. Do that every single time you try a “fun” ride and see what emotion you connect with elevated heart rate and clammy hands.

So you’ll have to forgive me when y’all get “excited” and I get “anxious.” I’ve had a lot of practice.

On the plus side, Star of Justice’s May 1st release date is currently on target for both print and ebook.

Please enjoy the ride for me. I’ll be in the corner breathing into a paper bag.

About Robynn Tolbert

Born in Kansas and born again at age six, Robynn has published two novels and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives in Kansas with a clowder of cats, a patient dog and a garden.

4 comments on “High Anxiety

  1. Woo-woo! How anxieting! (That’s like exciting, but adapted just for you 😉 )
    Seriously, though, that’s super cool! I’m very proud to know you! Good luck!

  2. Congratulations, Robynn! I completely empathize with the anxiety you’re feeling!

    I’ve found certain supplements helpful to controlling this reaction for myself in recent years because I do NOT like surprises, OH no. Emotionally, I equate “SURPRISE!!!” with highly unpleasant and disastrous news of the “my life is now going to be over AGAIN” kind. I seem to live under the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” My gut is quite sure that I DON’T want to live in interesting times!

    I also hate paperwork. It creates its own anxiety-field (what if I don’t do it right?–and the inevitable realization that I AM NOT doing it correctly, and if only I knew how to do it correctly, my life would be so much better!–or at least, again, not be “over AGAIN until I do get it right”). …with horrible nuances of Groundhog Day, only with paperwork that must be properly completed to break the spell instead of “guy finally gets it right, girl falls in love with him,” and love breaks the spell.

    Loud fireworks or other splashes of light/loud noises; no problem (the smoke, though, is a big health problem).

    Whirly rides–not so much fun, but I can still do them, if I keep my eyes closed. My 18 yr-old son will probably never ride one with me again, though… (LOL) On that last ride, I recall saying non-stop, “Makeitstopmakeitstopmakeit…” A large part of my objection was due to the semi-tractor they had powering the ride, and the fact that every revolution took us through the exhaust fumes, which made me horribly nauseated by the end of the ride. (and so my son won’t go with me on them any more, because he loves me and doesn’t want me to be that sick)

    So anyway, I take my supplements, and remind myself that NOTHING surprises God, and He is well able to keep me going, even through mounds of improperly filled out paperwork… 😉 ((((HUGS)))) I know He can keep you going too, and I do hope you go enjoy some nice warm sunshine instead of hiding under your covers today!

  3. Hang in there, Turtle…I hear ya, I go through the same thing. The only temporary cure I know of (and it seems to be unique to me) is to spend two weeks far from home, where none of the usual bogeymen can get to me. It takes me about 4 days to come down off the cliff I didn’t realize I was inhabiting on a daily basis, then I start to mellow.

    Congratulations on your book!

  4. Thank you, all. May God be your comfort and peace through all anxiety-inducing moments.

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