Anxiety feels to me like a bag of eels, somewhere in the pit of my stomach. Twisting and rolling, it threatens to burst open and tumble the contents out of my mouth with the scream I can barely suppress.
That was what it felt like as I stood outside my local hospital on a grey and rainy day not long ago. I had just been told by my physiotherapist that she had found ‘neurological abnormalities’ that might explain the knee problem I’d been putting down to hypermobile ligaments, or a meniscal tear, or arthritis, or anything I could find on google. Those abnormalities could (probably would) mean I had something much more sinister wrong with me, something I’d been terrified of for years.
So an ordinary day became a day I was seeing as if from behind glass, wondering whether the people walking past could see the terror and the tears in my eyes. Wondering how life could still look so mundane, as if after punching me hard in the face it was trying to pretend it had done nothing wrong.
This was day zero, the beginning of a new life.