You know that feeling in your heart telling you that something is off? That slight flutter below your rib cage… That tightness in your chest… The feeling of your internal self taking a plunge to the floor but your physical self is standing firm… It just takes one text… One phone call… One too many expectations… A little chemical imbalance anyone? Or maybe it just comes out of nowhere… Sometimes I feel like I’m having a heart attack or an allergic reaction. Occasionally I feel paralyzed. In a less extreme moment, I just feel off. Breath becomes hard to come by but is the key to climbing out of this abyss of the mind. This is my anxiety. She’d probably lie and say it’s nice to meet you but she’s busy throwing up in a dark corner of my brain right now. Such a nasty bitch.
I like to imagine tying her up and locking her in a closet. Occasionally I’ll deliver a mean upper cut to her jaw. I’ll do anything to try and push her away so I can bring myself back down to earth. I use healing crystals, essential oils, breathing exercises, and meditation. In a real pinch, I’ll pop some Xanax but once that magic wears off I worry about losing my memory from it later in life. What a joke, right? But this is the joke that people with anxiety live whenever that bitch decides to drunkenly strut back into their minds.
It seems as though anxiety is becoming synonymous with American life. It’s all about the goals and success… Always gaining and rising above… Improve… You can do better! Don’t be late. Get that A. Get that positive review. Ignore the haters. Eat healthier… Become more fit… Clean, Clean, Clean! Am I the only one who seems to have a washed up high school cheerleading coach for a brain? It’s truly exhausting and enough to cause a minor existential crisis from time to time.
What do we do? We keep that shit to ourselves because if we don’t, we seem crazy! We feel like we are going into anaphylactic shock on the inside, yet we just keep on smiling and waving on the outside. We see random people on the street who probably feel the same way we do, and we will never know. The only reason I know is because I work in mental health. I listen to people’s darkness and hidden truths on the daily. It’s a brutal world we live in. Horrible shit happens! Things are unexplainable, unreconcilable, unforgivable, and unbelievably painful. But you know what? There is always a flip side. Yeah, life sucks sometimes. Shit is hard, annoying, uncertain, stress inducing, etc. But life is also joyous, celebratory, full of adventure, peaceful, and a learning opportunity. Life is enough! I just read a post where someone listed all the things in life that are enough so I am going to give that a whirl here.
Enough is a powerful word. If you consider the origins of the word, you learn that the first element of the word means together and the second element means to reach or to bear. Things that are enough… Things with which life becomes bearable. Things with which we can reach potential. That’s pretty nifty if you ask me. With all of that being said, here’s my list of things that are ENOUGH. The list of different things which soothe that anxious monstrous who enters my brain now and again. *Probably not going to be comprehensive but it’s a start to keeping a more positive mindset.*
- An enchanting story that drags you in and leaves you wanting more
- The smell of essential oils, especially lavender
- A new perfume that feels like spraying on confidence
- A hug from a baby who is happy to see you
- Laughing until you cry and can’t breathe
- Fresh baked anything delicious
- Successfully soothing a sad child
- Observing the silence that sometimes accompanies freshly fallen snow
- The feel of a freshly cleaned home
- An amazing homecooked meal… especially green chili, homemade tortillas and refried beans
- Hearing the life history of your grandparents
- Cat and dog snuggles
- Baby snuggles
- The smell of Johnson’s baby products (I may or may not have baby fever)
- The love that fills your soul when your husband does something that reminds you why you married him in the first place
- Melting into a hug from the husband
- The joy that fills a dog’s step when they receive a new toy
- A refreshing meditation session
- Learning a new skill
- Holding a new born swaddled in a blanket
- Observing tired but passionately loving parents
- An unexpected compliment
- Feeling the sand beneath your toes
- Opening and pouring a bottle of wine
- Making coffee
Ok seriously, if you made it this far, you should definitely give this a try. I already feel more positive and a little lighter. Thank you for reading. Cheers!