1.30 am, I wake, I need a wee. Anxiety nails me to the bed, its like I have a bulk bag of sand laying on me. I can’t move. Anxiety, F***
I have to move, I’m gonna wet the bed. I can’t move. I want to wallow, wallow in self pity. I snap the band on my wrist. Ouch!, I do it again, and again. It’s working, the pain is cutting through the weight. I would add, I’m not self-harming, just using a little pain to replug the connections in my head. Anxiety F*** off!
I get up and go to the bathroom. I am now worried that my anxiety will keep my mind turning and sleep will become a thing of the past for the next few hours. Anxiety, F***!
Remembering my own advice I don’t think about going to sleep, I think about getting cosy, that usually works. It does, Anxiety F*** Off.
4.45 am the alarm goes off, yes there are two 4.45’s in a day. I did get back to sleep, but again I feel like I’ve got that bag of sand back on top of me. Anxiety F***.
I am stubborn. Having turned off the alarm I know I must stay awake. Five minutes later I get up. Anxiety F*** Off. I grab a drink of water and stumble across the dark room for some clothes. Smack my head on the ironing board, left up to remind us that the ironing needs doing. I swear. ‘F***’!
My wife hears me and asks if I’m ok. I manage humour! Anxiety F*** Off
I close the bedroom door behind me, go to the bathroom and then to the back bedroom to meditate. I double up here. My backs bad so I lay on an acupuncture mat to meditate. I find one for 20 minutes for emotional stability. I need some of that right now. I know longer would be good, but there’s a lot to do at a slow pace….
Anxiety F*** Off.
The meditation instructs you to seek out a childhood memory when innocence was absolute, and to concentrate on that recollection and the associated emotions. Indeed, I possess such a memory – one of gazing out of a Moses basket at the faces of my parents and my grandmother. I must have been less than a year old, likely on a Friday night when my parents dropped me off to play badminton. As I delve into this memory, a sense of well-being begins to wash over me, pushing anxiety aside.
Upon concluding my meditation, I venture outside with the dogs. The sun is just beginning to rise, painting the sky with its breathtaking colors. Instead of my usual gratitude prayer, I opt to have a candid conversation with whomever might be listening. I recently read that the spirits of all things in this world continue to communicate; it is we who have ceased to listen. Therefore, I engage with anyone who may be receptive. A Kestrel graces us with its presence, alongside pigeon and crow, among others. Later, I hear the distinctive call of a buzzard, even though I don’t spot it. I wonder about the message it might be conveying.
Transitioning from the meditative moment to the outdoor encounter, these reflective moments create a unique connection to the world around me, easing the grip of anxiety.
Anxiety F*** off.
I take a cup of tea up to my wife. It was our first night at home together for a while and the need to offload had got the better of us. She apologised. That was awesome. We talked a lot of stuff out. That was cool. Anxiety F*** Off
And then I danced. And danced. With the swords today. Kufu and Remus came out to play. What a release!
Anxiety F*** Off.
Where did I dance? In my garden of course….
The balance is back on the level…
Life is tough right now. Many businesses have gone down the drain. I and the people I work with are producing a better product than ever, but keeping afloat is making life hard. Throw in a few other issues on top and that gnarly old bugger anxiety will always try to take advantage. I manage him pretty well these days, but he never really goes away.
I try to talk about the positives mostly, to keep banging on about anxiety gives him status in the present and I refuse to do that. I let him go as far as I can and celebrate the strategies I have to achieve that.
So, two things. Do something, ACT, actions cure things. Think about good stuff, you can’t have an emotion with out a thought. It’s hard but it is possible.
You are a warrior, celebrate!
Simon Pollard. Garden Designer. Countryman.