Tag Archive | Stress

Waiting To Exhale

Jenny Perlin

My hands shook as I put the toothpaste on my toothbrush this morning. I realized every muscle in my body was tense and aching. My fists are always clinched. My arms always crossed tight over my chest.

And then I realized I never exhale. I hold air in my lungs like I hold so many of my feelings in my heart.

I’m dying for a rest – a break.

Almost ten years ago, I left my husband. There were months of planning and worry. I saved money. I rented an apartment. I consulted a lawyer. I bought new furniture. I moved out while he was at work. I left him a note. All of this without him knowing it was happening.

When it was finally over, I remember sitting on the back steps of the science building at work smoking a cigarette with a friend. The sun was warm. The quiet privacy between the holly bushes that flanked the steps and under the blooming magnolia trees was precious. As we talked and laughed, my legs started feeling funny. I wasn’t sure what was happening.

And then I realized the muscles in my quads were relaxing for the first time in months.

Oh, how I need that moment again.

Nothing used to be better for that reboot than a few drinks or twelve. Drinking was better than any of the meds the psychiatrist has prescribed. And here I had to go ruin such a simple cure by being an alcoholic.

I’m waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I’m not alone
I’m waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I’m not alone

Hello, speak up, is there somebody there?
These hang ups are getting me down
In a world frozen over with over exposure
Let’s talk it over, let’s go out and paint the town

Cause I’m waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I’m not alone
Cause I want somebody to shove
I need somebody to shove
I want somebody to shove me