This has been a surprisingly rough week for me emotionally so I haven’t known what to write. In the state I’ve been in, running fears and feelings over in my mind, I’ve had to come to term with a new place in the journey. I won’t go into detail because I’m not ready to share all that here…I’m still figuring it out on my own. But I am marking this here for my own memory. Traumatic experiences can return as anxiety with unexpected triggers. I am assured this is normal. But it’s still hard when it happens, even with the tools I have at my disposal.
I am also writing a little about Anxiety here because I hear sometimes people look at me as some superwoman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (but with children in tow.) Though I’d love to agree, the truth is that I only seem like that because I have no choice in our circumstances. The real me is much more ready to cower her head. Every once in a while that girl comes back for her things—and freaks out over the situation (or parts of it.) I don’t like not having some control, and I’m sure that’s the way it is for most of us, whether we realize we show it or not.
Control is an illusion anyway, right?
The best thing I heard this week (from a friend, who happens to be a psychologist) as I was seeking sense of why I was suddenly panicking is this: “As you go further down the spiral staircase to the source of the pain, you need to be tender with yourself.”
I tucked that one in my pocket and have been returning to touch it for two days.
Sometimes I need permission that I can’t give myself.
Here are some things I found helped me through my unexpected anxiety this week (and moved me back toward a place of feeling safe, calm, and semi-balanced):
Call my mom, have her pray for me (she’s so good at that), go to the beach with Justine, get wet (hello, bathtub temps), bring along camera for instant creative connection, confess my feelings to good, safe friends, read some Psalms (Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me), go to exercise class, pray, see a friend, breathe deeply, take a nap, have glass of wine, talk to therapist, pray some more, go swimming in a pool (I think I need to do this once a week, seriously), dance around living room with Justine, take a walk, go to the movies with Maki, call best friend, blog. (Not necessarily in that order…)
Obviously the way we deal with things is not a one-fits-all recipe. More of an experiment we hope to get right more often than not.
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” —Soren Kierkegaard
*The picture above was taken during the crazy hot storm we had a few weeks ago. I think Justine looks like a mini-warrior….which she is, of course.