There are occasions when I doubt my decision to do this emotional illness journey without medication or therapy.
Like at 3:43 this morning.
My anxiety was so all encompassing that I felt nauseous and heavy and claustrophobic. Untethered.
My usual tricks didn’t help a lot. I was determined to stay in bed rather than go downstairs and surf the internet. This left me with changing my sleep position, welcoming a cat into bed, getting some water, holding onto my piece of obsidian as a sort of shield and chanting to myself, “It’ll be alright, you’ll be fine, you are fine, it’s just anxiety…”
I don’t know what worked, but I eventually got back to sleep and dreamed a bit.
I woke up feeling unhappy and overwhelmed but more clear-headed than I felt during the dark before the dawn.
It occurred to me that I had let life get a little out of control lately. For the past few weeks I have said to myself, ooh this week is a little busier than I like, but it will be okay. Before I knew it, I was back to promising away my time and my space to my own detriment. Such a long-standing habit! So easy to fall back into.
Maybe the anxiety bear is now my friend because it is my own red flag for lack of self-care. Or maybe it’s a white flag. Surrender, Gale. Stop fighting. Start listening to your too quiet self. Start valuing your own voice.
So, I texted my friend to say that today would not be a good one for dance practice. That made me feel a bit lighter. So, then I was motivated to catch up on paperwork. One of my quirks is that I enjoy doing paperwork and getting it in order. I made a really good civil servant in my day. Too bad the bosses of this era do not appreciate such things….
I remembered to hydrate and eat a little something. Soaked in the tub and got dressed. Accomplishments!
The soak in the tub alerted me to a plumbing mishap from the big job we had done yesterday. I didn’t panic and go into despair. I was able to figure it out and get it taken care of. And now that is all in order too.
What I am doing is letting my illness be its own medication. What are my symptoms telling me? What bad habits and decisions may have contributed? Is this behavior the same thing I have been doing for decades hoping for a different result each time? What can my madness teach me about doing things differently?
This is a slow method, but I think it is leading to genuine change.