Check In…continued.

July 11, 2013 § 2 Comments

And like the stone dropped into the pond, the ripples keep surfacing and spreading.

Ah, yes. The terror.

It is like being cracked wide open, like free falling into oneself, into a black hole of nothingness.

I don’t really know what I am so terrified of.

Only that it sometimes makes me struggle with my daily tasks, a knot in my stomach my constant unwelcome companion.

With all that I had to do last week, shutting off was the option I took. But it is like slamming the door on a flood….water begins to burst through the cracks. And finally the build up forces the door open.

On the good side, the routines and rhythms I have set up for the family have remained. They have become a steadfast beat in the background of daily living in all its busyness. My boys are pretty good at doing their jobs. My girls are getting a regular bedtime. The house isn’t too hard to tidy up at the end of each night. I’m getting meals cooked, washing folded and into drawers (mostly).

These school holidays have not descended into the unorganised mess of last time. With our 3 bedroom house feeling way too small for our growing family, I’ve engineered to have at least one kid absent nearly every day or night. Just one child less and the atmosphere at home is more peaceful and relaxed. And for the rest of us, we have gone out and done things: the indoor pool, tennis at the park, movies…so on the odd day we have at home, it’s (mostly) focused play and kicks in the backyard.

However in my efforts to keep the overwhelming emotions at bay, other aspects of my plans have not fared as successfully. Sugar crept back in, gradually. I haven’t had time to think too much about my diet. Sol and I still haven’t sat down and written out blocks of time for each of us on the calendar. I’ve only had one proper break for myself in quite  a few weeks now. And I tend to sabotage things by staying up way too late, watching TV, thinking I am nourishing myself when really I am avoiding feeling and making myself too tired to feel the next day.

Last year I handled this overwhelm by dropping all commitments for six months. It worked then. But now….I don’t want to have to do that. I am fiercely determined to be free from all ties with that time. I’ve been feeling increasingly strong and happy in the past three months: surely it can’t be that hard to reclaim that positive space? This little moment of stress is just a small step back in my ‘recovery’, just a little speed bump, I tell myself.

But, tonight at least, I feel quite content. I can sit with the anxiety, letting it out drip by drip in small moments of conscious awareness. Robin’s health remains strong as we enter the deepest of Winter. My other children are, on the whole, happy and healthy and engaged with life. I have all that I need, some things I want, and it is enough. I have much to be thankful for.

And the ripples finally peter out, and stillness and peace return.



§ 2 Responses to Check In…continued.

  • Heidi Hodder says:

    when I developed anxiety after Isaac was in hospital last year I had the horrible feeling that nothing would ever be the same again, that the terror would always be just a trigger away, it felt very much like a loss of innocence. My feelings about it were mixed. I didn’t want to go back to how things were before, I knew the terror was both a curse and a gift, something I NEEDED to learn from. The other night it started to get triggered for the first time in months, & it struck me that whilst the potential is always there now (similar to what you say about low threshold for overwhelm) I do have the knowledge and strategies to cope with it & prevent it from escalating now. That was a wonderfully reassuring realisation!! Although I probably shouldn’t say that as whenever I make any sort of statement life likes to teasingingly demonstrate the truth of impermanence by the next moment proving it wrong! 🙂

  • Charlotte says:

    Anxiety is like a pet you never wanted and that followed you home. I have coping strategies – and it is never fool proof – so number one is learning to love yourself, your life with the anxiety…as soon as you normalise it, it stops being scary – and becomes like a stomach ache you get when you eat too much….just a consequence you will get through just fine 🙂 Best of luck with it and know you are so very not alone – there are many, many of us out there who live with anxiety as part of our messy patchwork of life.

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