There’s a certain rhythm to my morning. That’s a poetic way of saying I have a routine that keeps me on task and able to get out the door on time for work. Much of the time I’m on autopilot, checking emails, reading my Horoscope, drinking coffee and of course the actual getting ready for work part. The routine is comforting and familiar…until it feels like time stands still.
Or rather until my body and mind both stop working and I in turn stop moving. This is what I experienced this morning. I was literally frozen and unable to function. The task of preparing for work, something I do 5 days a week, was suddenly too overwhelming and impossible. I couldn’t focus or concentrate. I couldn’t organize myself. I didn’t know what my next move should or could be. I was stuck.
Isn’t there a theory about objects staying in motion? Let me introduce you to anxiety. It can stop you dead in your tracks. Shortness of breath-check. Feeling powerless-check. Panic-check. Feelings of impending doom-check. It is a full body experience. Rumblings of a brewing storm deep within the chasms of your mind and body. Sooooo uncomfortable and unsettling.
I’d like to tell you I picked up the phone and called someone, but that is not the fanatic way. I was paralyzed in my kitchen which is where my phone recharges. I sent an email indicating I was in trouble and my dear friend called me. I could not answer his questions, could not determine how I was feeling much less put voice to it. I was lost in my own kitchen. But, I could listen. He had me sit down. He suggested I take a couple deep breaths.
Slowly, I was coming back into the present. Of course, I didn’t know that’s what was happening. All I knew was I didn’t have to try and make decisions or figure anything out. I was gently being guided to re-enter the present moment.
The storm followed me throughout the day. I wanted to simultaneously pull my hair out and hide under my desk. I went for a fast and furious walk. At one point I had fantasies of driving my car very fast through a brick wall. For me, anxiety/angst causes me to be aggressive. It’s almost as if I think I can stamp it out of myself through action. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. And sometimes it’s just not possible to act out, such as today while I was working.
Waves of anxiety threatened to knock me off my feet all day. I had to take it easy. I silently cried in the bathroom stall. I took deep breaths. I stole 5 minutes in a dark conference room. Took even more deep breaths.
What I didn’t do is give in to the voices. The voices that invite me to disappear in the river, or jump off the bridge. I stayed the course at work. I went to my therapy group. And most important I reached out to my dear friend again and asked if I could visit. Connection. Not being alone. Distracting myself from the constant self destructive chatter. As I heard it get louder, I picked up that super heavy phone. Connection saved my ass today!
123 Ggod’s forgiveness helps us help, permission is not necessary.