i haven’t woken up with anxiety in so long. that tight and heavy weight on my chest.
this past week i have woken with its presence.
and i don’t like it.
but its presence has also reminded me of its absence.
of the fact that i have awoken for many months now without its grip.
without its lava creeping under my ribs. spreading through my bloodstream.
i mean, i have felt anxious. nervous. socially awkward.
but i haven’t woken up with the general anxiety that is dreading facing the new day.
the kind that sends uneasy vibrations through your body,
that makes the heavy comfort of bed feel safer than the wide open world.
i used to feel this often. most everyday.
an unseen but strongly felt companion.
making its way from my chest to my bones.
making every step, every decision
a little more difficult.
always a little harder to breathe.
and now, i think this feeling is an indicator (as all feelings really are)
a barometer of change.
because, a lot is changing. and that transdermal stress is there, beneath the surface,
starting to squish my lungs. pressing and reminding me that stuff is happening down there.
things are changing.
so for today, i am just going to notice this. sit with it. try to breathe through it.
but also, i am going to say a little prayer of gratitude for the mornings i have woken free from this. because, lately, my life has been pretty stress-free.
and, while my current life-schedule is not necessarily sustainable financially forever. emotionally, physically, relationally i think it has been so healthy and life giving.
to finally learn what i need:
that having those components makes for enough space to keep anxiety mostly at bay.
not completely, and not always.
but when i have space to write. space to meet up with people who i care about (and ones who care about me). when i have time to be available for people. time to climb. when i can wake some days at 430am and others not til 800. when i can move from baking muffins to running a group to sitting quietly to write. when i can rush around doing grocery shopping then drop off a lasagna to a friend. when i can feel connected to the community and engage in meaningful encounters – both paid and volunteer.
when i can have the space to feel simple. and alive. and free.
then somehow, peace becomes my companion more than the beast anxiety.
but, we have to befriend the beasts in our lives. not chase them away.
and don’t, whatever you do, try to run.
so today, i will try to create a hospitable place for anxiety to dwell. and try to find moments to welcome back my friend peace… hey, maybe they can become bff’s?!!
we’ll see 🙂