Extremes and Anxiety

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I had an anxiety attack late Saturday evening into Sunday morning.  After the events with my mother, the gravity of the situation really began to sink in and I felt myself fearing losing her.  One thing I’ve always prided myself on is being very good in a crisis.  That is the one major benefit of having anxiety my entire life—my brain and body kind of go on auto-pilot in real emergencies and I get a sense of clarity where I just do what needs to be done.  Eckhart Tolle talks about that in “The Power of Now” and how everything disappears except for the crisis at hand.  But after the crisis settles, the emotional component kicks in.  There were so many moments I felt helpless this past weekend that I feared what would happen.

I know that I am going to lose my parents and it is something I’ve always hated.  I’ve had a fear of losing them since I was nine years old.  And now that I’m an adult and we are closer to that moment, when I’m transitioning with my siblings to care taker, it weighs on me. Then I started fearing my own death and leaving my son behind and the weight became crushing.  I know time moves on and we only have so much time while we are here.  In the midst of that fear-based brain, I had a moment of truly understanding how fleeting life is and how important it is to do what really matters.  How important it is to let go of all the extraneous bullshit we strive for—just let it go and focus on what matters.

I have a tendency to go to the extremes with everything I feel—fear, passion, excitement, and anxiety.  Even if I love a book, I will make sure to get them all.  Like I fill my life up with so much stuff because I don’t want to feel the fears.  Having a lot of stuff makes me feel safe and gives me the illusion that I have all I need and I will always have all I need.  I see how much my life has become cluttered by that behavior and, in that moment of clarity through fear, I know how much I need to let go of.  I’m trying to hold on to past lives, to things that are no longer present, to things that I truly no longer need.  Now it no longer makes me feel safe—it makes me feel heavy and clouded.  

That was one time I was actually grateful for my anxiety.  That was probably the clearest I have ever been on making a decision through my anxiety and I felt like the anxiety actually served a purpose, gave me an answer.  On Sunday morning my son climbed into bed and told me It was the “bestest day in the world” because he loves the morning.  And that firmly planted me right in the present moment.  No amount of fear is going to change what is coming, I’ve spoken about that before.  No amount of lamenting or filling a home up with stuff is going to bring back the past, or the feeling from the past.  No THING is going to take away the pain of the past or stop the future. The key to being happy is to truly be present.

I pulled a card and it was about sensitivity.  It said “You are extra sensitive to energies and emotions right now.  Honor yourself and your feelings.”  It’s true.  I am extra sensitive right now because I’m in the throes of a deep change.  I’m in the field between the forest and the road, navigating my way between lives.  And I’ve lived a wonderful life, it’s no wonder it’s hard to let it go.  I have to trust that the next phase will be as wonderful, if not more so.  It’s time for me to embrace the change, make peace with it and lean into it.  I feel guilty for talking about it so often and not doing it.  But I’m stuck in the memory of that safety and security and the truth is, it no longer exists.  It was always an illusion anyway.  That security needs to come from within.  I am so grateful for my life, and there is a lot more of it to live.  As much as I don’t want to say goodbye, I am grateful I have all the memories of it. 

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