Dread and Foreboding

Somewhere in the background I could hear the alarm bell of my anxiety ringing away. This was such a normal sound for me that I wouldn’t usually notice it. I have spent my whole life ignoring it, disregarding it, blanking it out so that I don’t know it’s there. It might be there somewhere but I’ve learned to block it out and forget about it. I’ve become expert at this. I have managed to live my life in defiance of this alarm bell – for what it’s worth. Not listening to the alarm bell has become a way of life for me, even though I suspect that it’s not really that much of a life. It’s more of a pretence than a life – the pretence that everything’s OK when it isn’t…

 

Things were not going well for me. Events were getting the better of me. Things were starting to become seriously unstuck and now – all of a sudden – I could hear that alarm bell ringing loud and clear. I could hear that alarm bell ringing loud and clear and it spooked the life right out of me. It wasn’t ringing somewhere off stage anymore – it was right there in the centre of things. It was in my very core. I didn’t know what it was for a while – I could feel the pressure building and building; I was aware that it was becoming harder and harder to concentrate on fulfilling the task at hand. I could feel myself starting to lose my grip – fighting against that feeling without knowing what it was that I was fighting against. Automatically trying to push it away, put it back in its box. Do my best to focus on whatever it was I was supposed to be doing.

 

And then suddenly recognizing the sense of foreboding for what it was. That archetypal feeling of dread, my constant companion for so many years – it was right there on top of me. The alarm bell had never sounded so loud, so ominous. Like an industrial klaxon horn trying to get my attention. Signalling the mother of all emergences. People running, scattering, looking for  cover, looking for somewhere to hide; the sky growing dark overhead – a terrible, menacing darkness gathering above. Strange shapes appearing on the horizon – shapes that looked like clouds but which weren’t. That sense of infinite foreboding. Of time standing still. Everything had been left too late and now all action was now quite pointless…

 

Only it was all only happening in my own mind, nowhere else. It was my own internal emergency. It was inside of me – that crippling feeling of dread, that indescribable sense of some unspeakable vast cataclysm about to unfold. That uncanny sense of being stuck in an unfolding moment of catastrophe. The alarm bell was ringing full tilt now and I could no longer separate myself from it. I could no longer pretend that I had some sort of a life that was independent of it, a life that had nothing to do with that awful ringing. I could no longer pretend that I had a life. There was only the anxiety, eating me up, devouring me alive.

 

Above me I could see the shapes of immense spaceships tracking across the celestial dome of the night sky. Some were burning, crashing to earth. Battle formations were poised for action, hanging in space in silent stasis. People stood frozen, rooted to the spot, not knowing what to do, unable to taken in the magnitude of what was unfolding above them, unable to take their eyes off the unearthly drama. Some terrible event was happening, but I did not know what. My mind could not take it in – it was on too big a scale for me to understand…

 

 

 

 

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