“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


anxiety, stage 1: a big truth disguised as small

things change on a dime, the day is perfect and then there is that moment, that shift, and the day moves somewhere else, the wind isn't so friendly anymore, and i am sitting with anxiety, my lips and tongue gone numb from the shallow breaths i take, and i tell myself to inhale 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . , exhale 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . , and it makes no difference, and i am determined to survive this without my medication but can feel that's a wish full of pretense, and i am angry, angry, angry, so tired of this, so tired of never having a weekend of rest, of never being away from it all, and i play tripeaks on the computer, feeling the numbness move upward, my cheeks and eyes feeling tingly, going dead to the world, and the palms of my hands, i am typing slowly though my mind races. i visit blogs who are cheery and my anger grows, the anxiety sitting on my chest, pushing, pushing, pushing, and i wonder if i will publish this, wonder if you will think this is just written for your sympathy, but it's not, it's not, it's just this stupid anxiety that i live with all the time and lately cannot get way from. there is a note here in front of me, i wrote it the other night, i felt bad then, felt afraid and exhausted and misread something on the computer and i wrote down my misreading, it says crayon trees, and i have kept that silly note below my monitor all week, it seems innocent and childlike, and when i type those words the tears finally come, not a good thing, i never feel better, tears never help, i always feel worse so i fight them, but they always win, they always do, and the numbness is beginning in the soles of my feet, and this is a small episode, oh you should be here for the biggies - no, you shouldn't, they're horrible and then i don't even attempt to get through them without drugs, i thank god for the drugs, i pray for them to work faster than possible. i sit here and sit here and i am aware of the weight of my bracelet, the knot in the sweater tied around my belly, and i am at work, my office doors closed, lily wanting in, then out, and i know exactly how she feels.
there are some who will be happy about this


  1. So heartfelt..and such an impossibly difficult struggle. I hope the writing is somehow cathartic..that it helps.My heart goes out to you. Just breathe..

  2. I doubt I suffer anxiety just the way you do, but it certainly does frustrate me, too. Hang in there and try not to feed it. I've never been on medication, but boy, is it tempting sometimes when I hit the shadows...
    Thank you for sharing your vulnerability.

  3. You put it in better words than I ever could. I could almost feel it, remember it, as I read. I'm so fortunate that my medication has mostly solved my problem. I feel for you and offer this advise.

    Ride it through, you survived it before, you will survive it again. No matter how much it hurts, you will survive it and it will subside.
    Breath as I'm sure you know how to do.
    Distract yourself as I'm sure you try to do. Eat right, stay away from Caffeine and Sugar (the things we love). Get warm, find a heating pad, press it against your stomach, you know the place, and Breath. Step outside, breath in the cool clean air if you can. Take a walk if it's not too dark. Focus on your blessings, every thing, even the simplest things. you will get through it.

    bless you,

  4. I am remembering the first time I came here, to your blog, and I felt that, just below the surface. I don't remember now which post it was, but there was something there that I felt, vibrating below the surface. You have a mind, a wonderful unique, intense mind, the mind of an artist. And this may sound strange, but when I was thirteen and I imagined who I would grow up to be, it was you.
    When I read your writing I sometimes feel that I am looking in this strange distorted mirror that is not exactly me, but the me I might have been.
    All of that to say: Breathe, yes breathe, and curl up with a book or a movie and lose yourself, if just for a little while.

  5. I used to suffer anxiety attacks when I was younger and thank god managed to cure them finally without the need of medication, to which I have bad reactions. I am glad it works for you!

    Others have given such great advice. Breathe, of course. Eat well. Change your environment when you feel it coming on. Laugh - its chemically great! Go barefoot on the naked ground. Chin up and get on with things. Breathe.


  6. I have only had a couple of panic attacks and really didn't even know what they were...
    but i have medication for them now, just in case....

    and what you wrote.....and how you wrote....girl, you know you amaze me, right ?

  7. i am so glad you did publish this . it is a very real and intense feeling . Know that I care and am here ..a click away anyhow.

  8. anxiety is a stupid, stupid meanie.


  9. thank you for publishing this. thank you. thank you.

  10. Like you and some of the others here, I know what it feels like to have so much of an internal battle at times that everything looks bleak. It can be a scary place to go alone, but remember you are not ... alone.

    I hope it passes soon.

  11. Oh, my Kindred, I know of anxiety, too. I always have a supply of Bach's Rescue Remedy on hand.

    I am far away and also, right beside you. I had a small girl cat jump to the breakfast balcony this early morning and of course, received her fill from my plate. While I fed her, I was thinking of you.

    Thank you for sharing these exquisite words.

    xo, Graciel

  12. I have to admit that when I am in the throes of anxiety the last thing I want to do is focus on my breathing. Like you I shallow breathe in those moments and trying to take deeper breaths only makes it worse. Instead I try and distract myself, like clean the house, or I focus intently on just one thing, like a book and try to memorize scenes from it, or move my position, and sometimes even move homes. I took medication in my teens which helped but I was so afraid of becoming dependent on it and stopped even though my doctor didn't want me, too. I feel with you and I am glad you shared this with us and hope it brought some relief. Take care, Kerstin

  13. I was walking in the rain today and thinking about your post. Anxiety is a difficult thing to cope with and difficult to communicate about.

    Yes, a lot of people suffer from it and it was courageous of you to share your experience. I find it very grounding to image my feet as roots and growing out of mother earth. Mother Earth is grounding and can absorb intense energy, fear, anxiety, anger etc.

    Hope you are feeling better now.

  14. Bless you & thank you for having the courage to post that which our society finds so challenging to be honest about, often.
    Try this breathing technique: just focus on breathing down the back wall of your lungs. Not deep breathing, just placing the breath on the back wall...It will usually slow your breathing down & (the real lottery) it balances your blood gasses so the numbness can subside.
    Hope today was better. Much love & deep peace to you.

  15. To everyone - Thank you, thank you. I am fine. I was fine a couple of hours after writing this.

    I've dealt with this my whole life - since before I began school, though no one knew what to call it. I've tried everything, been through counseling, require meds daily. It is what it is, but it is not my friend and it limits my life. It is, as Cindy said, a stupid, stupid meanie. Kerstin mentioned distraction, and that is always my first line of defense - at work, mindless tasks that don't require much thinking, at home, washing dishes, etc... Both places - crossword puzzles, computer games. Getting outside, walking, etc., is impossible because always, always, a panic attack makes me physically ill and well . . . you know. :) But, that said, if I catch it quickly and if I am in a fairly calm place otherwise, a step into the yard is wonderful. Cold air is better than hot, and aloneness is better than company. At least in person. Knowing y'all are out there is pretty wonderful, knowing you have suggestions is pretty wonderful, and please know that though it feels I have tried everything and know everything to try, that isn't true, and your suggestions are taken to heart. I will breathe into the back of my lungs; I will visualize my feet as roots, grounding me; I will focus on my blessings and I will try to laugh - I am already in bare feet.

    Bless you all.

  16. Here's to happiness and finding joy in little things ~ Blessings.

  17. It is an intense ride. It does require hanging on to whatever life lines you have! Is it a gift? Perhaps it is hard to see it as one. But, who would you be and how would you write and see the world if it weren't for that cursed meanie in your life?
    I speculate...

    Funny word scramble for this post: petting!

  18. I won't begin to say I know what you are going through battling this enemy of anxiety. While I am no stranger to darkness or stress or fear, these pale in comparison to what you are speaking of. My heart goes out to you. I will say a prayer for your peace.

  19. Oh, Debi.


    . . .

    I don't even know what to say. I don't. I'm sorry.

    Oh, yes I do. I do.

    I love you.


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