288. Stress

There’s a nerve right underneath my left eye that won’t stop twitching.

At this point, I’m almost convinced that if there’s anything that’s going to kill me, it’s going to be stress. After starting work at the new place last Monday, it seems that my stress levels have increased drastically. During the weekend, I lost my appetite, got worked up really easily, developed stomach problems and nausea on top of it, and at one point during lunch on Sunday, I could feel the force of my blood pumping through the veins in my wrists.

You can understand why I thought that my heart was on the verge of bursting. I still have a little suspicion that one of these days, it will.

I blame it on all the proofreading work I’ve had to do. Not that proofreading in itself is stressful, but squinting my eyes to read the fine text and spot for errors that might or might not be there – that shit right there. That’s stressful.

(“What is this, a brochure for ants?”)

That, and also the 3 hours I invest daily into being stuck in traffic jams. Whoever was the bloke who invented traffic jams, I hope they’ve caught and hanged him a long time ago. Though traffic jams would not be as bad if it weren’t for morons behind the steering wheels. Why do we keep putting morons behind steering wheels? People should be made to pass a moron test, and failing that, they will not be allowed to own a driving license for a year.

That way, we’ll have less cars on the road, smoother traffic, and happier drivers – everybody wins!

While I’m blaming things, I should also add the various little responsibilities I have scattered all around: making money, serving in church, doing this writing thing daily… It all adds up, man. Like work, it all adds up, these little bits and pieces that suddenly becomes an overwhelming force.

(someone more poetic would write a song out of it, titled Avalanche or something, and then get some bubblegum-pop star in the recording booth for instant profit. Unfortunately for me, I am neither as enterprising or undignified)

Yesterday, on top of the twitching nerve under my left eye, I inexplicably developed a terrible headache. It felt like a lemon spontaneously decided to begin growing in the middle of my head, and it was pushing, pressing my brain matter against the insides of my skull.

I thought it was dehydration, and so I washed it down with half a liter of earl grey tea, but still it persisted. I thought it was the cold, and so I took a little walk out for lunch, but when I got back, it was still pounding away in my head. I thought I’ll wait it off, but when 3P.M. rolled around, I literally had my forehead on the table because of the pain.

I sent an urgent message to the family whatsapp chat (it’s useful for things sometimes), asking them if these symptoms were serious enough to warrant a doctor’s attention. Dad immediately responded with a “yes”, and so off to the doctor I went after excusing myself from the workplace.

(word to the wise: any time you find yourself at a discomfort, do these two things: 1. Drink water; 2. Sleep. It’s your body’s equivalent of “turning off and on again”. Attempting to self-diagnose with the help of Mr. Google will only convince you that you have contracted a terminal illness)

The doctor looked at me with what looked like amusement as I told her about what I was feeling, and after assuring me that I wasn’t dying, she gave me some pills and charged me RM55 for the medicine and the session, which lasted all of 2 minutes.

And now I’m stressed because I don’t have money to last until the end of the month.

(as I’m typing this, my internet connection is stressing me out with its erratic behavior)

Beneath my left eye, the rogue nerve twitches on…


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