Stress is paralysing, contorted notion I cannot begin to understand. As my childhood and preadolescent years fade, this immense throbbing web of electricity quivers in my chest, always awake, humming it's far-from-pleasant tune. I feel my mind go blank, my confidence drop to my feet, and my bones tremble. I wish it go away. It does not promote productivity and possibility, ingenuity, or, or continuity, but rather what feels like a Calamity. The exercises lay in front of me, barely touched, because of lack of time, and energy, and belief that it is worth it. I do not know what to say to the part of me that mutes and intensifies negative emotion. The function to switch off is “temporarily in repair” they tell me. Does that mean it will ever come back? And if it does, will my opportunities have slipped by already?

I do not know, but I must persevere.

Alice Bellan