Sunday, February 27, 2011

staring down the dark side

Anxiety has moved in. Without an invitation. It showed up yesterday and I'm thinking we'll be together, nonstop, for the next 3 weeks.

I know anxiety well. We've spent much of my life together. But now that I know what life is like without its constant presence, it's more intense when it shows up.

The clenched teeth, pit in my stomach, shaking hands. The jittery feeling that I'm going to crack at any moment.

The hyper-awareness.

The fear.

The dread.

I rationally know these are just feelings. Intellectually I'm sure that they can't destroy me. The realistic part of me is holding on to the fact I've come out on top of just about every anxiety smack down. But facing surgery in 3 weeks, with the host of unknowns this experience comes with, is fuel for anxiety's fire.

It's hard not to plunge deep into the dark side. To worry about freak accidents, about things going wrong. About blood clots, about never seeing my kids again. About kidney failure in my future.

About getting my period during surgery.

About death.

Anxiety is throwing everything it has at me. And it has quite the extensive arsenal.

It's even got other forces cooperating with it. The drive home from Vermont in a snowstorm. The news that someone in my family was just in the emergency room. That another one is sick and I'm blood test support.

It's almost impossible to breathe deep, to stay focused, to grasp on to calm as it skitters out of my range.

Anxiety used to be my creative fuel. I used to channel it to accomplish what I couldn't on my own. But I don't want that anymore.

I don't need that anymore.

Anxiety isn't welcome.

Now I just have to figure out how to kick it out.

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