"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Every breath I take

So, I've been having a little anxiety lately.  

This is not anxiety due to imagined catastrophe, or unrealistic fear. It's the after-effect of some real crazy shit that went down a few months ago that required unimaginable i can't believe this is happening this is NOT my life steps to protect myself and my family. Leaving me with just a touch of PTSD. Seemed completely reasonable at the time, all things considered. This anxiety is nothing debilitating it never was, but it is enough to make it feel like my stomach is doing backflips and my heart is skipping beats. As uncomfortable as it is, and as often as I consider briefly popping half a xanax, I choose to sit with the feeling. Well, I don't really sit. Usually I keep moving get out of bed, sweep the floor, move the laundry along, think about dinner. I'm spared of this feeling at work thank god for small favors big ones. Being at home is the trigger. Personal life. Family. Memories... That's where things are still not quite right. But it's getting better. I've learned to view this feeling as a head's up. It tells me there's something that needs to be attended to. Something that's causing a feeling of instability. 

Sometimes it's hard to tell if the instability is external or internal. Is it just fear, or is there something I can do? I'm not a control freak. I'm easy. I'm well aware the only thing in my control is me. The thoughts in my head, the way I react, the decisions I make. But what if I make the wrong choice, the wrong decision? I'm making decisions that affect 4 other people. My children. Even though I like things predictable, I roll with the punches better than most. But, when on the spectrum of my life, it's Earthquakes, Pestilence, Droughts and Floods? That's when I get the eensy-ist bit panicky. When my world starts falling down blowing up and I'm dodging bullets... that's when it starts.

So, right, I breathe. Sounds silly, but it really does help. Breath by breath. It's better than cramming food down my gullet though that's never been my thing. It's better than drinking. And early on, that xanax was really good at alleviating the anxiety so I could get a decent night's sleep. But... daytime... it would just knock me on my ass. And I like to be productive during the day. Or at least have the choice to be productive. Deep breaths keep that panicky feeling at bay. In each breath, things are OK. With each breath, the discomfort is squelched, and I can think clearly about what's causing it. I can break it down, and formulate a plan of attack. Plan of attack. Not panic attack.

Yes, it's getting better. Things, I think, are moving in the direction of good. Back to the way it was a long time ago when it was really good. Because it was, years ago, really good. It was the best

Maybe the anxiety is like a blinking yellow light approach with caution. Maybe it's just residual fear, and as things continue to improve, the anxiety will continue to decrease. Either way, as uncomfortable as it is, I won't ignore it or erase it. I'll sit with it or fold with it, clean with it, cook with it and make it work for me.  


  1. I know this feeling.
    Sitting with it..being aware of it...dealing with it...IS HARD.
    But the only way to get through it.
    I used to stuff it and starve it...
    and now...
    now, I too, take a moment, sit and ask myself
    "why? why now? where is this coming from?"
    and then I bake 567 cupcakes

    So you are doing the right thing.
    But you knew that.

    deep breath...

  2. You know I GET this. You know it. And I am here for you if you need me.

  3. I went through that so badly last summer that it got completely debilitating and I went crazy with it. Truly crazy. I had not one moment of peace. I finally went to a doctor (hard for me to do that) and got put on an antidepressant. That was so difficult- to make the appointment, to go in and tell them how it was, to beg for help.
    So please- do stay on top of this. Breathe with it, and if you feel it might take you under, get some help. Ask for help. There is no shame in it. I don't know if I would have made it without doing that. I don't know if I would have wanted to.
    I'm going to miss you so much in the next ten days. Please be well.

  4. Ah yes, you know I get it, as often as I chant "breathe" on the blog. I make it all about the bar exam, but it's not. There's always other things.

    Mostly I'm glad that things are moving positively for you! And you do whatever you need to do - but I'm with you on the pain or discomfort. I go into it and through it. I rant a lot when in it but then it's over.

    Best wishes!

  5. Michelle- Just saying one last good-bye. Please be well while I am gone and know I'll be thinking of you.
    Love...Ms. Moon

  6. Sometimes that's all we can do. Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out...

    I think your anxiety is normal when you have or are going through a difficult time. I admire that you are able to acknowledge it and not try to just push it under a rug hoping it just goes away on it's own.

    The older we get the more we realize that the fairy tale of the life we thought we were going to have might not come true. But you know what? That's ok. Cause sometimes it ends up BETTER than we thought.

    Thoughts are with you...

  7. This post really spoke to me. About a decade ago I was mugged at gun point and then my assailant tried to kidnap me. I've suffered from PTSD and panic attacks ever since. It does get better with time. It never goes away because I think your body is changed chemically. You can definitely make it better with breath. I took a mindfulness and meditation class and it really helped. Exercise helps so much too.

    It was very nice to meet you on your blog. I wish you the best and may your breath keep bringing you peace.


so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.