My Anxiety Ritual

taken from ...Tao and Zen
taken from …Tao and Zen

It is the feeling of being alone when I am in a crowded room of friends. It takes control of my emotions and leads me away into a grey filled nether place. Seeing it approach me, I summon it to leave me alone. I am fine and do not welcome its attention. I do not want it to pretend to befriend me again. I know it is really not my ally as it fills my head with an uneasiness quite unlike any other. This annoying caller always visits me after the holidays, sometimes impatient enough to tiptoe into my world in the midst of the celebration…waiting for the moment to tap me on the shoulder and remind me that it is waiting…to carry on our ongoing discussion of life.

I have seen a lot of depressing things in my time. I have been “awakened” in a sense, to the world around me, finding it much more complicated than a Rubik’s Cube…but none the less a pattern presented to ponder upon. I think some people believe it is this awareness that causes my anxiety ritual but it is not. I suffered from it way before I saw the ugly in the world. This false cohort sought me out in childhood as well. No, I think it is a product of my soul-searching to bear witness to the grace and charm of life. I have always sought to be surrounded in family tradition as it glued my world together past and present. I hold many shared moments in reverence …vacations with my parents and children/ card games at the kitchen table with my grandmother/
my years of taxi mom to school functions/ my children stepping out on their own/ my wonderful husband and our conversations that only soul mates can carry. All of these fill my heart and head…beautiful experiences and I know that looking back I will always see them as such. However, as I revel in these times I also worry that they would someday end…and thus my anxiety takes over.

I also love the beauty of life…simple beauty of the sunrise and sunset, snow glistening on the hillside as well as the beauty of hope and compassion and love. I tend to try to drown myself with just my head above -not totally lost within…and as I do, I remind myself that all of life is fragile…the sunset will soon be gone, the sunrise as well and there will be days of hardly a hope and little compassion to be had out there. This is life I remind myself. No one said living would be easy…but the world reminds us that real living is full of the beauty and charm, love and laughter- as well as the deep emotions that make the heart heavy.

Oh my anxiety softly sings the song of never know what tomorrow will bring…and I have my quiet reflection on the hard truths of life that I have seen over the past years.. But I tell myself that pure love never leaves…it can’t be taken away as love is a forever bond. Even with the death of a loved one, the love remains within me. And the love of my family and friends..their love will remain forever within me too. Ah! I tell my little transient banshee as we stand face to face, I know this to be true as it quiets his ramblings in my head… and this knowledge keeps me one step ahead of my unwelcome visitor.

I take a deep breath…it is my saving grace in times like these. I remind myself that the beauty of life is still here…yet to be found another day in some new and provocative way. I pull my memories of family and friends to help me see what a treasure I have already collected. I again awaken to see the beauty of hope for tomorrow more clearly, new experiences to be had and memories to be made. The pattern begins to be seen and the joy of my journey with it.

Finding My Way Back Home


     It has been one of those days. The kind where I wonder if I got out of bed on the wrong side. The one where I seem to suck all the air out of the room with my stressful sighs- my meager attempts to relax and gain control over my emotions. Yes, it has been one of those days. I always feel a bit empty at the end of it all. My head a dry well of thoughts and unconnected to the present. I love living in the present. Stress steals me away and it is in these times that I really must work hard to find my way back home.

     I won’t get into the details of my day. Hard to frame into a picture, the puzzle is very complicated and over 1,000 pieces. But I hold out hope that things will change. I admit I am stressed by my day and the heaviness and worries of my tomorrow. I understand that while I have the luxury of venting myself within these words, others are literally struggling to survive. I must humble myself to realize that my life is but one, my thoughts and concerns but mine. How they grow and prosper is up to me and how I tend them. I am already feeling a bit better. A bit more in the present. I know that tomorrow is another day, new challenges and new stresses that I must face. But they are not here yet, I hold them out before me with hope and determination that I will once again make it through and find my way back home.


My Unwelcome Visitor


     Oh this most unwelcome visitor in the middle of the night. Why does he usually stop to chat after I have had a couple of hours of sleep. Rudely rousing me with his incessant noise of silence shouting his presence. I sigh…we must visit for a few before I can politely request his leaving. He will have it no other way, this uninvited guest.

     These are some troubling times. When I awaken from my dreams and find myself in the company of insomnia. Quiet moments when the rest of the world appears to be resting and relaxed. Quiet moments when my head is anything but. Instead I am filled with thoughts of tasks undone, undue concerns for those I love and endless questions about tomorrows not yet here.

     Some nights we travel to my past. We leisurely walk through the house I grew up in, play cards with my grandmother at the kitchen table or talk with my mother. I marvel at the simple times of my growing up years and lie in my bed contemplating how  life has come to be.  At least in these moments I don’t mind his presence so much. He lets me wander freely amongst my memories without much interruption yet these times are far and few between.

Most times we talk of deep, heady issues full of worry and contemplation. I don’t know why insomnia insists on me solving lifelong issues and complex theories in a matter of hours. He knows time and again I do not claim victory yet his visits demand me to try. As I ready myself for sleep tonight I whisper some thoughts his way. Do not knock on my door in midst of the midnight hours. Do not disrupt my silly dreams to tarry in my mind in the darkness. Tonight you are most unwelcome here…tonight I wish to sleep.


A Nasty Bug


     Procrastination… sometimes I get bit by this nasty bug- the sting is undeniable. Once bitten, I talk myself out of doing something because tomorrow is just around the corner and frankly, I can do it then. The whole time that I reason with myself about delaying my task at hand, I know in the recesses of my mind what I am doing…procrastinating. I feel myself becoming weak with the symptoms. I tell myself tomorrow I will feel better. Yet tomorrow is always out of reach…conveniently a few steps beyond the present and never quite in my grasp.

     I am a list maker and to come down with the postpone flu or delay delusions can make life complicated. My rationalization must be sophisticated. Anxiety can become a secondary symptom and then my mental state is flush with regret. So there is a lot of chatter between Me and Myself. A few “I told you so” and “shouldn’t have done it-s” are shouted. Our resolve is tested. We must join forces to fight this urge to dilly dally.

    I think I will look over my latest list- the mental one in my head. I haven’t written this one down yet. Haven’t been able to bring myself to do so. It is rather long, detailed and cumbersome. Maybe tomorrow I will face it head on. Maybe tomorrow I will tackle the details…well maybe ….
I really dislike the procrastination bug. I wish there was a vaccine for it.