IMG_5042It happened again.

I was having a productive morning. I wore makeup. I did my hair. I dressed in something other than leggings and a sweater. I ran errands. I was ON TOP OF THINGS. I was GETTING THINGS DONE. The radio was on. I was singing along loudly, not giving a damn what people in neighboring cars thought.

And then I pulled into a parking space for a store I needed to go into, and it hit. Hard. Out of the blue, sudden, crippling anxiety. Thank God I was parked. I couldn’t go inside the store–couldn’t bear, even, to open my car door. Somebody would greet me just inside those doors and I’d have to talk and my mouth would be filled with invisible cotton, and the smells would overwhelm like a cloud of suffocating gas, and the lights inside would be bizarre and make my brain hurt…

…and even though I KNOW that a simple smile and nod would be enough to send the helpful sales staff on their way…

…and even though I KNOW there is no cotton in my mouth…

…and even though I KNOW there wouldn’t be anything remarkable about how the store smelled…

…and even though I KNOW the lights really aren’t brazen and harsh…

brain knowledge isn’t always enough to rein in a sneak attack of anxiety.

I let myself cry for a bit. Then I took a deep shaky breath and drove home.

Only I didn’t end up at home. I ended up at our local music store. I forced myself to turn off my car, walk inside, grab the ukelele I’ve been daydreaming about all summer, and buy it.

THEN I went home. I sat on our back deck and learned the four easiest chords possible. After about an hour of clumsy strumming, I began to feel better. Breathing became easier. I’m still on the verge of tears, but the space in my chest has opened up again.

Breathing is good.


p.s. Still no progress on the book, but just posting this little piece feels like a small victory against writer’s block. I’ll take it. ❤



10 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Molly Pendlebury says:

    I understand so hard……hugs my friend, glad you got yourself through it safely and knew what your body needed at that moment. I tend to force myself through the planned agenda and tell my body to go to he..

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