So, I fainted at work on Friday. It was another bad faint. One where I needed to take the rest of the day off. Luckily for me, the folks that I was working with that day had a great attitude about the whole thing. I suppose if your bookkeeper pages you from the floor below and breathily asks you come downstairs, and you see her slumped in her chair and covered in her own sweat and she tells you she's just fainted and she just needs a glass of water, you have two choices. You can either totally freak out, or you can laugh your ass off at her stupidity for not eating breakfast. And if you choose to laugh at her, she will humor you because she will realize that, in fact, it was stupid to not eat food during the day, and she will tell you that, when she's not unconscious, she's a real hoot, and would you like to come to her housewarming party on Saturday night?

I'm pretty sure it was a combination of not eating a proper breakfast and drinking black coffee, and then getting scolded (yes, scolded, like a child) on the phone that caused the faint. Though I would love to tell you all about it, I can't really go into details about the scolding part because I have privacy to protect here. (Don't worry, though. As soon as I quit being a bookkeeper, every dirty little secret is coming out. That means your ass is getting exposed, filthy contractor with the cigarette ash and pubic hair covered keyboard). Let's just say that, in my profession, emotions run high because we're all Americans dealing with big bad IRS. As a rule, I try to live my life NOT being afraid of the IRS. As a matter of fact, I've dealt with the IRS on several occasions, face to face, and you know what? The IRS is made up of people. Live human beings who have kids and wives and bad hair days and, ultimately, they know humans fuck up from time to time. So long as you're not intentionally trying siphon off your firm's profits and stick it in banks in the Bahamas, they understand that we're human and that sometimes we make mistakes. And that we all needn't go to jail if our math is a little off.

Every one of us who works in the money industry knows that, more than random acts of violence, terrorism, pestilence, plague, or natural disaster, the IRS is the thing to be feared most in this world. Most of my clients think this way, too. And it's good that they do; the IRS can do unpleasant things like fine you and possibly make the case for your imprisonment. It was the IRS that I was being lectured about when my brain decided it would rather hang up a "Gone Fishin'" sign than to listen to any more tirades about money.

Anywho. I was getting scolded (because I may or may not raise the hackles of the IRS agent who may or may not audit my work) and my blood pressure went through the roof. Having eaten nothing but orange juice and a few carrots that day, my body had nothing in it to fight back with, so I pleasantly excused myself from the conversation because I thought I might faint, hung up the phone, leaned back in my chair, and fainted.

It was all very natural, actually. I've fainted so many times this past year, this just felt like a fire drill. Feel blood pounding in ears, general queasiness, and uncomfortably warm? Why, get near the floor! You're about to faint! This is almost embarrassing to say, but I'm practiced at fainting. It's gotten so bad lately that I actually walk into rooms and look for the softest place to land. I know exactly what to do when I start to feel faint. And I know the drill afterwards: ask for water. If candy is offered, eat some, but not all, and go slow. Follow up with protein. Go home, take nap, feel queasy for 24 hours, have general vocabulary words disappear temporarily from memory, feel better, and tell everyone you fainted.

So this is the part where I admit that maybe some sort of anti-anxiety medication might be in order here. Though I have always been pretty much anti-medication for things like anxiety and depression and the like, I'm starting to feel like maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to not faint all the time. And I really do feel like my body just altogether checked out when I fainted this time, and in the past. It was like it just couldn't handle the stress and needed a 15 second brain-scrambling nap. Sure, having not eaten had a lot to do with it, but I've gone for longer periods of time without eating and have not felt faint. I think, though it rubs against all my beliefs about how this country over medicates and how we all walk around numbing pain, I might benefit from sort of regimen to help me relax a little bit more. I know I need to exercise and eat better. But I also know that my brain spirals out of control when I give it two seconds of free time. I'm not sure how to channel this sort of frenetic energy yet. It seems to be building up in my system and causing me to shut down from time to time.

I know there are lots of natural things I can do to relieve stress. And I know, given the choice between caring for myself and working for others, I almost always choose the working for others option. I need to work on changing this.

I've been really anxious about saying any of this on this blog. I usually reserve this space for the more humorous stories in my life... but I was feeling like I needed to explain my very obvious absence from writing. I was getting all worked up about feeling like I had nothing to post about, and then that guilt and anxiety was causing me to not want to post, which was getting me all worked up about not posting... and so it went, on and on. I think, back before we had medication, this was called "writer's block". Now we call it generalized anxiety.

Whatever the hell it is, it's causing some major interruptions in my routine. It's causing me to shy away from one of my favorite creative outlets, and it's causing me to fall down on the job, quite literally. Which is maybe exactly what I need. Sometimes, when it needs a break from your unhealthy repetition, the body knocks politely. And when you ignore it, sometimes it launches itself from the ropes and slams you down onto the middle of the ring, face first.