Today has been one of the worst anxiety days in recent memory. It has felt to me like everything is too hard, and that all I can focus on is surviving another few minutes. I re-read this post I wrote on all the things I learned in group therapy (an absolutely golden read, by the way), and it reminded me of how strong I am, and how many tools I have at my disposal if only I can muster the strength to use them rather than flinch away from that which threatens to overwhelm me. Many times at work today I very nearly went home, or felt incapable of staying to try and care about other people as I fell into a whirlpool of anxiety. I stayed with it though, forcing myself to at least try to stay in the centre rather than get caught up in the current. It’s been hard though, so hard.
I have yearned for comfort today, so much so that it’s physically hurt. When I got home and started playing Dragon Age, I went from “just trying to survive” to realising that I was not well, not even remotely well, that I had utterly lost track of my sense of wellness.
I didn’t stay in my comfort zone for long. I put down the controller and I went to taiji for the first time since I broke my finger. To my surprise I could feel my anxiety before and after the class, despite all the fun and exercise I had during the actual lesson. Tomorrow I plan to continue moving past my comfort zone, away from that which I am craving. In a way, it’s not dissimilar to my colleague who used to use drugs, or smoke when she was trying to deal with trauma resurfacing. I am watching my yearning for comfort and video games rise, and I am trying to be okay with it.
I’ve talked about waves of anxiety before. To use the analogy of a tidal wave coming on the beach, my body instinctively runs away from it in search of shelter or higher ground. Yet for reasons I can’t explain, I know that if I let the wave hit me I will discover something great, like I have the ability to breathe underwater. So I drag my screaming body back to the beach and sit down and make sandcastles or something to pass the time. Every now and then I freak out and run away, and each time I catch myself and gently bring myself back so that I can face the wave.
To use another analogy I just thought of in the car, I feel like I’m giving birth. Not literally of course. But I’m scared, and I’m sweating, and I’m hurting, and I’m tired, and it’s just so hard. I don’t want to keep pushing, I just want to lie down and be comforted and have it stop. But if I do that, I have a feeling that whatever I’m birthing, this metaphorical baby, will die. If I can just muster the strength to push a little longer, to keep trying despite this brickwall I’ve slammed up against, the breakthrough I have will be something unfathomably valuable and beautiful. And as hard as it is, I think it will be worth it.