Shel Said the Sidewalk Ends; I Wish the Anxiety Would Jet



“Only bike where there are sidewalks. Not on the road.”

I’m alert even when I’m not on duty.

Are they in the streets? 

Are they listening?

Is Gil paying attention?

I remember my first trip away from my baby shortly after becoming a mother. A mile into the short trip across town, and I had to pull over to catch my breath.

Breathe. He’s okay. You’re okay.

Add that to the list of lies I’ve told myself. I was not okay. Some days I’m still not okay.

In the waiting room for my annual eye screening, the world was moving around me, bustling.

This feels too busy. It’s all too much. 

“Ms. Jennings, are you sleeping less? Your eyes are dry and a bit red.”

Lady, I may never sleep again.

“I have a new baby,” I managed to say instead.

“Oh…well then you look great. I’ll throw in some drops that are good for dry eyes. That should help. And do your best to take out your contacts at night. I know that’s not always possible, but it will help your eyes feel less irritated.”

When will this get easier?

Nine years later, I suppose it has, but then not really.

I still can’t get away from the worry and the fear and knowledge that it’s not just me in this world. I am responsible for another human. Two humans now.

Who thought this was a good idea? Have they met me?

My head met the sidewalk when I was a young eighteen-month-older. The story was that I sprung from my stroller one fall afternoon while Mom and her friend, Mitzi, were taking a leisurely stroll.

The ER doctor said I was fine. I often wonder. Maybe I should have Dr. Amen examine my brain. I’m afraid to know the truth.

Information is power so says my therapist.

She obviously does not have anxiety.

***In response to the daily prompt***



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