My cure for anxiety Pt. 1

Accident scene photo of my son's shoe lying in the road after he was hit by a pickup truck

My anxiety had gotten worse.

Thing had happened around me and to me that had caused me fear. And I always thought I was not like that.

I’ve been desperate for a solution when the anxiety turns on from out of nowhere and I can’t seem to shut it off even when I know with my brain that everything is OK even just writing about the feeling makes the feeling try to come again but I was so desperate for a solution that I found something that helps.

I found something that helps. It’s a realization and a remembrance. It is one of the good things that has come out of my son’s injury in the spring. When I saw him in the emergency room on that stretcher

and they couldn’t tell me he was going to live –

the actual experience of that moment couldn’t hold a candle to what I had felt in my imagination all the times I had worried about it happening.

This was what my desperation finally led me to discover: my imagination was conjuring up all kinds of calamity for me and that if any of the events were to actually happen, it would not be as bad as what my imagination had created and had caused me to feel.

I knew this because I had lived it. I had lived the worst – my son, broken and battered and hanging in the balance of a vortex of horrible possibilities – and in the reality of that I had been strong.

I had this realization right in the middle of an anxiety attack, and immediately all the power of the anxiety was drained out just like someone had opened a tap. I actually felt the anxiety leaving my body. It can never be as bad as what I have imagined.

I had to stop believing the lies that my imagination was feeding me.

When I realized how much better I could feel immediately if I would just stop believing my imagination, I started applying that mantra every day, any time anxious thoughts would come up

It can never be as bad as what I have imagined.

And when I started noticing those emotions created by my imagination I realized how often they were there. say the mantra How often my mind was creating an imaginary reality for me say the mantra and how I just stepped into it as though it were real.

So much of my life experience had been an imaginary construction of emotions. Powerful emotions from a vivid and creative imagination.

I had been living a life that was almost completely imaginary.

What could I do after this realization?

*the image shows my son’s shoe lying in the middle of the road after he’d been hit by a Toyota Tundra on May 24, 2019

Free Writing Tomorrow!

This writing is my work. I have to remind myself of that. It’s not like a job where you clock in, fulfill some expectations, clock out, and get paid. My writing is for me. It’s my heart work. It’s my art work. It’s my own battle that I’m fighting for myself.

The battle isn’t in the writing, it’s in what happens before I write. It’s the fight against resistance that happens to all creative people. Everything in my world is pushing back against my desire to do my work and I will rationalize anything to make myself believe that I don’t really need to write, I don’t really want to write, at least not right now. Later. Tomorrow.

There’s a little hole in the wall bar down the street from where I live with a sign out front that says “FREE BEER – TOMORROW!”. It’s always tomorrow when the free beer will be available, but the problem is, it is never tomorrow, it is always today.

That’s what I do to myself with my heart work also. I say, copious amounts of writing tomorrow! Because “free beer today” is too costly. And no mistake, sitting down to write costs me something. It costs me the pain of introspection, the reality check of putting words down that may or may not please me later, the frightening prospect of putting truth out there.

But over the long run it still costs me more not to do my work. I forfeit peace, purpose, groundedness, satisfaction, and accomplishment.

A quandary is this: There are things I need to express, work out, and put into words that could veer into the territory of “not my story to tell”. This has been a large part of my difficulty lately. I don’t want to expose someone else’s secrets or violate their privacy. I could write everything in a private journal but for me that doesn’t satisfy the cosmic requirement of putting it out there. Even if no one stumbles onto this blog, I am still putting my words out into the ether to be shared with the universe and that, for me, is part of the process.

So that’s difficult. I do think I am entitled to share my story even when it overlaps with someone else’s. I just have to be careful to tell it from my perspective and not try to state what was going on in someone else’s head and heart because I can’t know that and *that* is definitely not my story to tell.