My relationship with my anxiety changes from time to time.
Sometimes it’s just a light presence at the back of my mind, like a small child who’s bored and follows me around and gives me an occasional prod hoping for a reaction. I gently brush aside his pokes, or take him by the hand to comfort him, or walk alongside him until him realises I’m not going to pay him any excess attention. Eventually he wanders off or is dissolved into the ether of the universe when he’s ready.
Sometimes I see it as a companion on this journey of life. He walks alongside me, quiet and serious, giving me near-constant reminders of all the things I have to do and all the things I might want to be. But eventually if I continue walking he realises that I acknowledge and respect what he has to say but it’s not going to sway my path, and he too returns to whence he came.
And sometimes, in times like these, anxiety is like being anchored to the beach. The tide comes in and I’m assaulted by waves, the water hitting me in the face and filling my mouth with ice and salt. I struggle to keep my head above the surface, but every time I take a breath another wave crashes over me and plunges me under again. And for days and days (and days and days) the tide continues to come in. These are the hardest times, when every minute is a struggle to think of anything other than taking that next breath, and the thought of all the waves that have yet to come is almost enough to drown me.
I don’t want to whinge or complain or give too much attention and power to the anxiety I feel, but some days really are hard. But I keep on walking even when I’d rather lay down and die, and so far it’s been worth it. Life, however hard, can always get better if you keep on living. And it can sometimes be a difficult decision to continue fighting when all you can imagine are futures full of challenge and struggle, but like any nightmare, they fade into memory as you wake up and enjoy the day.
Peace everyone. I hope you’re all sharing joy from your hearts.