So I’m back, with a vengeance. I wish I could write something happier today – but today is not the day.

I haven’t written for a while. I haven’t done much of anything for a while. My upswing fell prey to one of the inevitable and irresistible truths of the physical universe – what goes up must come down.

I’ve worked hard to control my anxiety – creating runs of “good days”. I knew it was there, just out of sight. Until at last, I find I am the pig in the house of sticks, and there are many Big Bad Wolves that come to huff and puff and fuck my shit up.

It’s the kind of stuff that some people take in their stride: overwork, arguments, too many invites, heartbreak. For me, these problems are like smoke signals, summoning forth a form of madness.

My anxiety is so familiar to me. Like the kind of friend you don’t even greet, you just head back inside and leave the door swinging open. The kind of friend who you don’t offer a cup of tea because they just help themselves to the contents of the fridge. The kind of friend who is so comfortable, they put up their feet and outstay their welcome. The kind of friend who loses control and kicks off after a few drinks, making those hurtful comments that only those who know us best can wield.

And then all of those little things and big things roll together. Work has been manic. I haven’t been to the gym in ages. Progress on the new house has stalled, as I have lived in the disruption of overseeing a new bathroom install at my parents’ house. Polaris came back and threw assorted spanners  into the works.

Until at last, the house falls down…

The pressure in my face, like the itchy onset of a nosebleed. The hum in my ears grows into a thunderous roar. The rush of blood and air, as though Dementors circled in black clouds above me.

And it seems the “good days” have made the bad days harder. These flashes of happiness and certainty crashing against jagged rocks and imminent disaster.

They say feel it, don’t fight it. They say feel it, accept it. I submit to their wisdom, but when I close my eyes it’s all obsession and motion sickness. I don’t cry. I stream. Tears seep from me, until my body is slick with them. It is hard to tell if this is catharsis or indulgence. Is this recovery or relapse?

Am I getting better? Can I build my house from bricks this time? Because the Big Bad Wolves are drawing breath still.