Sunday, June 10, 2018


Life has been very good to me lately which is why a burst of anxiety came as a bit of a surprise. I was particularly tired going to bed last night. Since returning from overseas I've been running around like the Everready Bunny and tiredness befell me hard. I slept for a little over four hours and then I was wide awake. Not just wide awake in the usual way, I was experiencing that feeling I get from time to time where it feels like something is under my skin agitating me.

I've noticed in times like this I have taken a rational outlook and look for reasons why I might be experiencing this physiological response. It is as if my mind won't accept it and so I need to find the reason why this is happening.

I did manage to get to sleep again finally but when I woke up the feeling of agitation was there again, even louder and more insistent that I pay attention to it. It makes me want to move and to move away from all human contact. It makes me want to seek out my own company, so that I can settle the anxious response down.

For the first time ever I googled this experience to learn what I already instinctively knew - this was a physical response to anxiety. In a way, this calmed me. I was assured that it didn't last, and that's right. It doesn't last too long, if you can just breathe through it.

Importantly, I have learned that these anxious moments, not necessarily resulting from any particular experience or emotion, simply come. There is no need for self-flagellation, or to involve anyone else, but simply to acknowledge that I am someone who experiences these unpleasant sensations from time to time. It's not a flaw of character, or even something that I need trouble myself about. It is simply my reality. Experiencing this sort of response to an unspecified anxiety is part of being me.

Just as my experience began without warning so too did it end mid morning of its own accord. I kept to myself for my own self care purposes but also to not involve anyone else in my distress. I went about my morning quietly, knowing that to do simple physical tasks calms the experience. I soothed myself by telling myself many times that I would be all right soon, that the crawling feeling under my skin, the dark mood, would soon lift, as it did.

People who are anxious don't ask for the anxiety, don't enjoy the anxiety and only make matters worse by being hard on themselves. I've made enormous inroads on my anxious disposition, enjoy a happy and full life and consider myself a fortunate person in all the important ways.

Still, the anxiety waltzes into my life without an invitation from time to time. It's unsettling and uncomfortable ,but it's my reality and I have no quarrel with it. As best I can I give it room. I've accepted it, happy to wave it goodbye rather than kicking it out the door.

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