All posts tagged: anxiety

Grappling with the spaciousness of uncertainty, by Yoda herself (Part 3)

Having finished our first 30 minute meditation from Part 2, and admitted any latecomers we’d locked out in a boundary-setting exercise in Part 1, the lesson began. ‘Uncertainty is one of the 3 main characteristics of human existence,’ Yoda Carol said, sitting her 70+ self on a floor cushion like the rest of us. ‘It’s difficult to endure, so we all cling to certainty. Yet clinging creates further suffering, doesn’t it?’ Well I know I’m clinging to my meditation aspirations as a way to calm anxiety, channel greater creativity, and nurture more peaceful personal relationships, that’s for sure. Is it not going to work? ‘We always want to make the “right decision”, weighing pros and cons, grasping for certainty. But we are just creating more attachment, and more eventual suffering.’ Damn. I thought my pros/cons list-making was a fabulous strategy. ‘There is more ease and wellbeing in letting go, so that we can focus on our actual needs in the situation as it unfolds in real time…’ Would that work for astronauts? Or brain surgeons? …

Why I sailed my choir into the therapist’s office

It had been nearly 6 months since I’d seen her, my ‘therapist’. I actually regard her as more of a ‘wise Aunty’, even though she’s younger than me. Living in Australia, far from older relatives as I am, and with Mum safely tucked up in her Residential Home for people with Dementia, sometimes I simply need to check in with someone objective, smart, and kind, who has my wellbeing paramount. Yes, #firstworldproblems I know. But I’m doing my best to live gently on the earth, and make conscious choices about my daily behaviour as much as I can; sometimes, I get a little overwhelmed, and need a soothing conversation to re-centre me. I’ve suffered twice in the past from episodes of depression (one was post-natal, and the other when my father died suddenly), so I know I need to manage a slight tendency towards anxiety learnt long ago at the feet of my mother. And this time, as I stepped into the light-filled office, with wooden bookshelves and curling leafy plants in every corner, I …

Me Mondays: Blood Into Ink #MeToo Writing Contest Honorable Mention: bone&silver/#MeToo

Originally posted on Whisper and the Roar:
Why had my cousin rung me 5 times in thirty minutes? I returned my phone to airplane mode, and pushed open the classroom door. But during the lesson, my attention kept being pulled back to the call record, even while I taught; why was my stomach knotting? The one hour dragged like mud, then I pressed redial. ‘It’s your Dad. He had a heart attack in Hawaii and…’ And is in hospital. Is fine. Will be fine. Or confined to a wheelchair at worst. ‘… and he died. I’m so sorry.’ Who took my knees away and punched me in the gut? Can I just curl up here and die on the street too? A passing cyclist wobbles and stops. ‘Are you OK?’ No. Yes. No. I can’t share this pain with you, leave me alone! Lying in bed that night, alone at home, with a silent waterfall streaming out of my eyes, drowning all those childhood snaps of kids on bikes, throwing snowballs, cuddling dogs. A black…

Can I put on ‘normal’ like a coat?

I slept so badly last night, here in Australia, acutely aware that back in England, my Mum was [hopefully] being assessed by a community health care team (previous post explains HERE). I’m writing this now as I wait to hear outcomes from my cousin ‘C’, who kindly took the day off work to be there as well. I woke up to scroll my Facebook feed, which is full of #MeToo. SO MANY WOMEN. I keep saying ‘Not you too? And you! OMG it’s nearly everyone.’ Then I see the hurricane has hit Ireland, the wildfires blaze on in California, Puerto Ricans are drinking contaminated water, and North Korea has threatened Australia for aligning with America. For fuck’s sake, this is NOT normal. Or rather, this is NOT what I want my ‘normal’ to be. I can feel the anxiety squeezing my head and chest; I have a low-grade churning in my belly that’s been there for days now. And yes, I’m still cooking dinner, feeding the cat, helping with English homework, and making vague plans …

Smashed eggshells drowning

We are on flood watch again. Last time this happened, due to Cyclone Debbie, we ended up with thigh-high water through my son’s garden-level bedroom: photos and story are all HERE. Nearby towns were devastated, and are literally only just recovering after 11 metres of brown filthy water rushed through the entire CBD. I hardly slept last night. I lay wake from 1.30 till at least 4am, tuning in to every increase or blessed pause in the rain’s fall. I kept picturing my garden 2 months ago, over and over, drowned by floodwater. I’d moved my car at midnight back then, just in time before the water went over the bottom of the doors; last night I kept worrying if I should get up to check it. Early this morning friends texted or called to see if I needed a hand, and I decided to keep ’17’ home from school. I’ve noticed I’m chewing on my tongue or my inner lips, and feel so on edge (plus exhausted). I’m kind of  hyper-vigilant, yet also numb. Expecting …