I sit down this morning, sipping my coffee, preparing for the week ahead.
I do not have much time to write. I start work in nineteen minutes. I am writing because I promised myself I would write each day this Summer.
But where do I start?
I think of a night not that long ago. It was a good night. I was mellow. My new Bluetooth speaker had been blasting tropical house tunes for the past few hours. And I had made dinner with the sunset behind me and the sound of Christmas fireworks in the distance. I sat down to watch a movie as I plowed into my hot dogs.
Then, a trigger.
I don’t know what. Everything was fine. And yet, for the next five hours, my anxiety was peaking. I started to replay failures from many years early in my mind. Over and over. I began to believe that every problem that I had in my life I needed to figure out there and then. I tossed and turned. I tried to breathe, but could not. I tried to find comfort in looking up to the stars outside. But still, this anxious feeling would not subside.
Anxiety is more than just feeling nervous. It is the whole world’s weight on your chest that makes everything seem insurmountable. Things you had not thought about for a decade or more return to consciousness. And they are terrifying.
You convince yourself that if only you acted differently back then you would not be feeling the way you are right now. Cue… immense regret. This spirals out of control too. And you see no light; not at the end of this tunnel. Darkness is now permanent. You convince yourself of this.
You continue tossing and turning, frustrated at any little sound that disturbs your quest for slumber, and then, as if in the blink of an eye, you wake up. The night has passed. The sun is bursting through your window.
It’s a new day.
That anxious weight has lifted. In fact, you cannot even remember what happened. Those long lost thoughts that last night made a brief cameo have departed once again. Part of you feels confused. It feels like a dream. And yet you know it wasn’t. You just can’t understand how things got so out of control when now they are so calm.
You rise to your feet, have a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and set foot back into the world ready to conquer whatever it may bring. Life goes on as normal.
I hope that I don’t need to endure anxiety for the rest of my life. It sucks. But if I do, I know that I do not need to let is bring me down. No feeling is permanent. As much as they might feel that way at the time.
Anxiety is a part of me, yes, but it does not define me.
I remind myself of this once again.