Archives for posts with tag: anxiety

I went to bed feeling sort of moody and irritable, and in a lot of pain. I woke smiling. No particular reason, although I suppose sleeping well and waking rested is reason enough. I have learned, over time, the value in enjoying what is enjoyable – and making a point of it – even something as small as waking comfortably with a smile is worth pausing to appreciate the moment. ๐Ÿ™‚

I spent a precious hour or so in the company of my Traveling Partner last night. By the time I returned home, I found myself wondering moodily why it didn’t occur to me to invite him to stay over? I miss him greatly. It feels like a long summer ahead of missing him greatly. lol I will surely appreciate his presence even more when autumn comes. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s definitely been “summer” this week, so far. The apartment was hot when I arrived home last night – hotter than it was outside. I remind myself to ask my neighbors to give me a hand fitting the A/C in the window… then I second-guess myself, recalling the burglary in November; the one window this A/C unit will fit in is the studio window facing the park. The window through which a burglary relatively easily gained access to my apartment one rainy November afternoon…so… Do I really want to remove one pane and replace it with a piece of acrylic secured by a tight fit and taped in place, on a window that faces a public park lacking any impediment to the approach of strangers? How much risk is comfort worth? What would stop someone stealing the damned A/C? How annoying that I am even having this mental conversation? lol More consideration seems required.

I sip my coffee and watch the sky lighten with the approaching day. I start my playlist with a track my Traveling Partner shared with me yesterday. As I often do, I find another version that I also like, and prolong the joy another couple minutes. Somehow I wander into live videos of favorite DJs at huge venues, filled with huge crowds, light shows, all of the everything. lol I lose about 20 minutes before I realize I’ve been pulled in; a favorite trackย follows, and I am crying. I don’t know why. Heartfelt tears without any particular cause, perhaps just celebrating the strange sometimes fragile beauty of love and missing the company of its manifestation in flesh, over my morning coffee. I have emotions. I ride the roller-coaster.

It’s cooler this morning. The breeze through the open window quickly dries my tears; I’m not actually sad, and the tears didn’t last long. The playlist, and the morning, move on. It’s a good moment to move on, and time to begin again. ๐Ÿ˜€

I woke feeling merry – then moved to get out of bed. Holy crap, why the evolutionary-hell did it seem utterly necessary to develop arthritis pain?? I sigh, and ease myself slowly from the bed to something more or less like a standing position and make my way to my yoga mat.

(There’s a chance I watch too much Rick and Morty…)

Yoga helps. I’m not so stiff afterward. My coffee is tasty and hot. I’m still smiling and aside from being in pain, I “feel good”. I am learning to define ย how I feel by qualities other than physical pain… it definitely makes a better experience, day-to-day. I suspect this will be a valuable trait as I age. lol Besides… fuck pain!ย  I put my headphones on, crank up some favorite dance tracks, and keep moving. I may be a plump, curvy, middle-aged fat chick with some wear and tear, but I’m fucking smiling, bitches – and I feel wrapped in love and smiles this morning in spite of pain. ๐Ÿ˜€ Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finding my joy has been a journey all its own, and part of “all of the everything” along the way. I can recall being a deeply bitter, disappointed cynical shell of a human being, a dry rotting husk where my heart could have been. Unpleasant. (That describes both me, I think, and my experience, itself.) It wasn’t surprising, knowing what I know (which is most of everything) about my experiences. What surprises me even now, though, is how much I yearned to be someone completely different. Not “different from the woman I am” as much as “a woman having a different experience than I am” – and looking back it took a long damned time to figure out (with help, frankly) that my own choices were a large part of where I landed in life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming poor people for poverty, or rape survivors for having PTSD and trust issues, or domestic violence victims for struggling with repressed rage and learned helplessness; no victim blaming here at all, implied or explicit. What I am saying, is that I didn’t recognize how much personal control I have over my own state of being. I could always make choices that change the quality of my experience for better or for worse – that’s a lot of power, and carelessly wielded it results in a lot of emotional chaos. We do have choices. A lot of them. So many choices it can be a little overwhelming… does it matter if I wear a dark blue wonder woman tank top under my sweater this morning? Not so much… but it’s a choice. The choice whether or not to budget my finances is a much bigger deal, as choices go. Or, the choice whether or not to labor away in a job that defies my values, and working for a person I don’t respect, and who treats me poorly – that’s a big deal for sure, and yep, also a choice (and a choice I am very glad I made differently, at long last).

The music keeps playing. I keep dancing in my chair while I write. Now and then the music moves me such that I’ve got to get up between paragraphs and enjoy a particular track in a more physical way. I love to dance. I make no claims of skill – I just enjoy movement, and music, and the way they go together so well. ย At 53, and more than a bit self-conscious about … something… I don’t comfortably dance with ease and freedom in public spaces (anymore/yet). It can bring me near to tears to brush too closely to plentiful recollections of being young, fit, sexy, flexible, and so easily able to be the music in a physical form. Stiff from arthritis pain, back broken in two places, fused and wired back together, and too heavy to feel light on my feet for very long has talked me into a level of self-consciousness about being seen exactly as I am that I’ve not yet sorted out, and which creates conflict in my sense of rhythm, which adds to my self-consciousness. At any rate, it’s a source of emotional discomfort that I rarely discuss. It’s part of my journey these days; there is so much music I want to see live, and I want to be comfortable in that world, too.

The unexpected frankness with myself this morning, on this tender sore place in my heart labeled “too fat” opens my eyes to how much I’m hurting over this, and the tears spill over my cheeks like tiny waterfalls. The worst of it is the sting of knowing that the mocking skinny girl lurking in my thoughts isn’t about experiences I’ve had of other women; she’s the woman in the mirror, at a much younger age, that woman so easily able to dance, lacking any awareness of where life would take her, and brutally insensitive about others. Straight up, it’s not about treating otherย women badly over matters of weight, appearance, or beauty. I know my own heart. I know that woman. I know what she was about. I know her. I find myself acutely aware of who I was and the content of my thoughts, then. Life itself got tired of my shit, and now I am faced with all manner of many things I was uncomfortable with as a younger woman. lol Well-played life. You’ll make me wise, yet. Perspective matters, and it can be painful to develop.

Kindness matters too. And compassion. My tears dry as I savor the wry humor of being so carefully placed in life to experience a broad range of experiences. Gnothi seauton. I could have been a better person than I was in my 20s, but I wasn’t – and I wasn’t even aware of what a basic and shitty human being I actually was. Self-awareness demands a lot of me, and this morning it demands that I acknowledge how much I yearn to feel as comfortable on the dance floor as I do in my living room. As comfortable with my partners as I do when I am alone. Funny… until I became aware I felt otherwise, I didn’t realize this is a journey I also very much need to take… so… I guess it begins here? In a blog post I didn’t realize I was going to write, about an issue I find more personal than my sexuality… my emotional comfort with my physical self. Again. Still.

I’m still smiling. Still sipping my coffee. Still dancing through the pain. All good things – and there is further to go on this journey, and I suppose that is also a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s time to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night I dealt with my anxiety, and comfortably resolved that. Win! Progress. Practice. It wasn’t any sort of trophy-winning event, and my “victory lap” will be just this handful of words, a later reminder for another day, perhaps, that it does pass, and it can be eased. It wasn’t over anything consequential, but it was very real, very visceral, the sort of mind-binding gut-punch of stress and fearfulness that anxiety is so famed for. Meditation still works. It still wasn’t “easy” – and I’m honestly not even sure I would call it meditation, considering the challenge I had calming my monkey-mind even long enough to take a few breaths…but…I went easy on myself in the moment, emotionally, understanding that the anxiety itself promotes a certain restlessness. I patiently returned my consciousness to the moment, to my breath, to a timeless mental space in which anxiety cannot thrive. No tv. No music. Just practice. It was, after a time, highly effective. There were indeed verbs involved, and even moment by moment my results varied. There’s no fighting it, though; we become what we practice, and continued practicing of calm… I became calm.

I slept poorly last night, although I did sleep more or less sort of through the night (my sleep tracker notes periods of wakefulness, and very little deep sleep, but I have no clear recollection of waking so often). I woke with the alarm, head stuffy, eyes watery… back aching. It’ll be a good day for physical therapy. I hurt. I manage my pain in a similar way as with anxiety; practices that tend to offer relief, practiced routinely, and given still more attention when I hurt more than usual. In this case, appropriate medication, yoga, yes meditation for this too, and a little later, dancing (to sort of force those stiff joints into a state that accommodates movement). I also spend more time considering things that don’t hurt than things that do, and once my symptoms are properly treated, I move on to distraction; shifting my attention to something else quite engaging, and letting the awareness of my pain recede into the background.

It’s a pretty ordinary work morning. Nothing fancy. Nothing noteworthy, really. Ordinary stuff right here. If I let myself get all worked up over a moment of anxiety, or a painful morning, I have the power to amplify both. If I take care of the woman in the mirror in the best way I know how, I have a shot at easing both. So many choices, so many verbs, so many results vary; it’s a very human experience.

It’s time to begin again.

House-hunting is weird. I have generally stayed fairly detached, which seems wise and emotionally healthy. This last little house felt so right, it was harder to maintain emotional distance. Each time I acknowledged, internally, how much I wanted this one my inner voice only weakly replied “how does it feel to want?” in that safely bitter tone that is a steady, more affectionate than not, reminder that until the keys are in hand… it isn’t mine. Well. It isn’t mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ I woke to the news from my Realtor this morning, immediately followed by the search result with new listings. So. Okay. The search continues.

Funny thing, I learned more from this experience, because I really wanted this little house that very much. My anxiety while making the offer lingered while I waited to hear back. I was equally anxious about either outcome… but I learned the most from my anxiety specific to success; if I my offer had been accepted, there would suddenly be so many new details to attend to, and I didn’t feel wholly ready to face them. This is something anxiety is good for; teachable moments built on what-if scenarios that really “come to life”. There are things I hadn’t previously thought to specifically plan for, like… this little house lacked most basic appliances, and the result would be that immediately upon moving in, I’d be needing to buy a refrigerator, a washer and dryer, and certainly wishing I’d prepared sufficiently to also afford a dishwasher! Wow… That’s quite a bit of money to spend immediately after closing on a house, and also paying for a move. So… yeah… maybe plan for that? I mean, plan for it anyway, for the undetermined and indefinite future of many possible outcomes that exist until one actual outcome unfolds ahead of me. The more prepared I am for all the many possible outcomes, the less anxiety there will be in the moment, and the more easily that anxiety that does develop can be soothed by the easy assurances of good preparation.

So, this time, I’m not sitting around feeling disappointed (that consumed about a day and a half last time), instead I am making a list of the obvious details that would have required funds in the immediate aftermath of moving (I don’t own a lawnmower, either, or some of the homeowner gear one might expect to need…. like a step-ladder). Many of them are things I can plan ahead for, and certainly… I would do well to live much more frugally leading up to a home purchase; I’ll need every cent available in those first few weeks to be most easily able to just get up and go get whatever small solution to whatever common problem develops. That level of readiness would feel very secure. ๐Ÿ™‚ More cash in the bank then seems to have more value that some moment of frivolity now. I find myself resolved to be very strictly attentive to a very lean budget. It even feels comfortable to make the wiser choices.

This morning, yesterday evening’s anxiety isn’t leading my day, but the recollection refines my thinking and keeps me on track toward reaching my most important personal goals right now. It’s a nice change of pace from allowing anxiety to send me into a tailspin, wrecking my days, wrecking my sleep, tainting my thinking with doom-soaked scenarios that never teach me anything, or have any positive result. I smile and sip my coffee, and move on with the morning, having taken some notes.

A beautiful morning full of hope… that was yesterday. Today, too. Probably also tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today is a good day for perspective. Today is a good day for contentment. Today is a good day to be re-inspired by the ordinary – and even by my own anxiety. Today is a good day for beginnings… and a good day to begin again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I lost my taste for gaslighting after I lived with it for years. I gave up on April Fool’s Day entirely as a result. I mean, think about this “celebration” with great care… Is it kind to willfully mislead people about the nature of their reality? Who does that? Even as a prank, it’s a dick move. So… I stopped doing that shit because it isn’t actually funny. Just as with humor based on Schadenfreude; it isn’t funny for the person having the experience.ย Our amusement over it? If it’s based on cruelty, it’s cruel. Tit for tat? Not funny. It’s a dick move. We’re very fancy primates… which means our animal nature is not above that sort of bullshit, and, sadly, some of us actually go for wallowing in our worst potential. ย We are too easily entertained by the human equivalent of throwing poo.

Am I being curmudgeonly? Perhaps. I just don’t care for people treating people poorly, (I definitely don’t want to be the person doing it) and in an era of serious challenges with bullshit and lies being passed off as news and truth, we’re all fighting for our sanity as it is. Don’t be a dick today. Consider that other person and what it means to be treated poorly solely for the amusement of others, and this just because the calendar turned over by one day. April Fools are the people playing the pranks, not the pranks themselves. Can you not pass up the chance to be foolish? Really? Is this the best of who you are?

You do you, though. It’s not my call. I’ll be over here, enjoying a lovely Saturday on the first day of April, staying away from social media, and treating people as well as I am able to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not saying I’m any better than you, or even different – I’m just walking my own path. There are verbs involved, and I live within the confines of my own perspective. I have to face this woman in the mirror, a woman who knows what being gaslighted feels like, who understand how cruel practical jokes are for the person on the receiving end, and for whom frustration is real kryptonite. Gnothi seauton… eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚

Is it clear I didn’t start here? ย …I did have to begin again.ย It has been a journey, with missteps, and choices, and things to consider further. I’ve fought and resisted a commonly enjoyed cultural practice. That’s okay. I’ve made progress over time, and that’s enough.ย I awoke to the understanding that this practice of pranking people is cruel, and my understanding changed my choices and my behavior. That’s sort of how the whole growth thing works, actually, and it’s a very singular personal journey for each of us. ย ๐Ÿ™‚ Today is a good day to grow and to choose. It’s a good day to take another look at the day and ask myself “why this?” and “why today” and “who might this hurt?”. It’s a good day to change the world.