I have developed a tremor of some kind, low grade neural white noise. Surely a manifestation of some kind of disjoint between who I feel am meant to be, if I may imagine there is such a person, and the role to which I am trying, oft resentfully, to adapt. Not a tremor anyone would notice, but when I am coming up against obstacles, fielding impossible requests, looking at the fruits of apparently wasted efforts, I sense it in my hands first, sometimes my arms and legs so I have to sink into a chair and plan for my next move. When it goes on too long, it steals the physical strength I need for my weekly Pilates class, and puts my body into some kind of hangover the next day. Not normal, and I wonder if something’s wrong.
I do a web search on “muscle tremors” and find links to neurological disorder, Parkinson’s Disease, generalized anxiety disorder, multiple sclerosis, and stress. I’ll take stress, please, for five thousand. Or maybe generalized anxiety, if it means I can take a ferry to an island next week and hang out at a beach cabin, drinking coffee with cream and taking occasional visitors. And let’s have a tidy diagnosis, a simple and effective treatment, and no one will get hurt. My friends and family don’t need me falling apart right now. “Why didn’t she tell anyone?!” We all know dang well why–because we had enough on our plates, and it’s better to know after the fact, when it’s too late to fail to know how to help.
But I do have help. No one knows how much general anxiety my dear, doughnut-delivering friend relieves in this world, preventing the onset of ever so many tremors and worse. Always a hug from her, no matter how brief the passing while exchanging kids for a play date, dropping off a borrowed book. No one knows how dear is the encouragement of a fellow writer as he explores the angst of existence and finds the sparks, the reasons for hope, the unmistakeable beauty in every life. How sweet is the “Good night; I love you” of a daughter or son. As the apostle Peter said, “Love each other deeply, because covers a multitude of sins.” Pushes back the darkness, fortifies my sinews and begins to restore that neural electrolyte balance. The unspoken whispers of “Du courage.”