From my house I hear the countdown from ten to one from the announcer on the mic downtown. Then a loud cheer and a wished Merry Christmas to all gathered round. The lights are lit up. Downtown is adorning Christmas flare and now a parade to follow. My friends and family are there. My senior is spinning her rifle with the band in her last Christmas parade – ugly sweater and all. I hear the sirens. I can barely stand their yell from this distance. I couldn’t have endured up close. Anxiety makes certain of that.
It’s had its way with me all day. I know by now when it’s creeped under the covers. It is usually what awakens me. I’m pointing my toes up and flexing my shin muscles. Then shaking my foot. Goodness, my legs won’t relax. My extremities feel tingly. My nostrils feel too small to take in enough air. My jaw requires unhooking. I feel movement in my molars. Noises are coming at me from a far distance, almost like I have bionic ears. And the first morning light switch is just unbearable. Anxiety is incredibly inconvenient but I’m trying to make peace with it.
This morning I deboned an entire roasted chicken with my hands and focused on feeling that, and not myself. The greasy skin and slippery meat: I tried getting all that I could from it but left most the wing meat for the cats. Speaking of which, I put up the clean dishes just before like I was a cat burglar. I can’t stand the clinking of glass and porcelain just now. I am walking on the balls of my feet like I’m poised, though I’m just the opposite. I’m electric inside and every surface feels like metal. I’ve cried several times already. No one single emotion but rather every one of them. This makes it difficult to parse out what’s really going on. Like the wad of Christmas lights I recently detangled: all lit up while trying to make a sorted string of them. It’s similar.
I despise missing moments to anxiety. Abhorrently despise. I want to be present and lucid. When my body does this circle I feel as though I’m on a hallucinogenic. (Yes, I take an anti anxiety med already and have for most of my adult life) I experience depersonalization when it ramps up, which means I’m stuck in a dream state of sorts, as voyeur and not partaker. I also suffer pain in my body. I will need to introduce another means of relief this month. It is beyond what my brain can manage. My body knows things my brain is working past. Surely it will take the cues that I’m safe and sound and there is nothing to fear any longer. Yet I suppose there remains an outstanding fear that I am not safe. At least, not safe within my own skin so my mind/body try to leave. I lasso and pull myself back into myself all day long with prayer, gentle breaths, grounding. I often wonder how many have to work this hard to simply show up for their own lives and loves.
It won’t always be this way. That’s the truth. Nothing remains forever on this side of heaven. I take comfort in that here. Every morning is new mercy. Each day is a gift to unwrap. I believe this beyond what I’m experiencing inside. It requires a lot of push-back, this faith thing. And holding fast to truths that seem so far a stretch, considering. But what is faith if not for a stubborn overarching hope that should reign supreme? There is no hope outside of this — just wishful thinking. I was not made for penny-tossing wishes; I was made for dogged faith that is the very well that hope springs up from. I will garner that truth throughout this day, and hang it on every sensation that speaks contrary. What else am I to do?