This morning I again pondered my anxiety and how my life is different now. I was angry at myself for going back to the same space. I even considered quitting the meditation because I did not want a repeat of yesterday. I felt like a little kid saying I was going to take my marbles and leave because I didn’t get what I wanted. Not everyone would get that reference. What the f*%K! Why can’t I control my meditations?
Anyway, I did decide to stay and tried to examine times and ways I attempted to rid myself of anxiety. I must admit I was a slow learner. The first time I was aware of an actual process of being less anxious was when I was 36. I distinctly remember driving to work one day, post divorce, thinking “Well I’ll never have to worry about dealing with his sorry ass again.” At the time I smiled and felt a huge weight fall off my shoulder. My nerves were so tight, any relief was welcome. The relief was short lived as we still had two teen daughters.
I did realize that I finally grew some balls because I did not take his shit anymore. He would call or come over and demand X, Y, or Z from me and I just politely told him no. When that didn’t work and he started stalking me, sending love letters and cards, and calling me all hours of the night I finally told him I would get a “friend” to beat the crap out of him if he didn’t stop. I laughed until I cried at that memory. It felt good to release it. I gave myself an emotional pat on the back for remembering my standing up for myself for what seemed like the first time.
I still lived in the land of anxiety and what if? I think I was more aware that I might not, and I do mean might not, need to stay there forever. From: will there be dinner tonight? – to when is my mother coming home tonight? – to who is she married to now? – to how do I please my teachers? – to is anyone my friend? – to what will happen next at home?- to whatever shit my emotions were dealing with, I was living in the land of anxiety. As the tears flowed I told my inner kid, you are OK , you had reasons. I was in survival mode most of the time. Who the f*#k wouldn’t be in survival mode?
I distinctly remember wanting to have natural childbirths for my babies. I knew it was better for them as opposed to all the drugs I read about. I also knew I did not want to be out of control at this important time. Being out of control was my kryptonite. I could not let that happen. Flashback to stepdad #1. My mother explained to me, at four, that the reason he was violent was because he could not control himself when under the influence. Holy shit, any connections to my little girl? Well duh.
At different times in my life instead of looking for the catastrophic expectations, I started asking myself, “What is the reasonable outcome?” What a novel idea. Do people actually do that? LOL I can’t say there was one specific incident that turned my life of anxiety around. I do know that many awful things have happened in this lifetime of mine. I do know many of them sucked. I also know I have been granted a bounty of good memories.
I am a prolific reader of self help books. Trying to find answers to the why this and why not that. Each has added a droplet to my golden goblet. I am at a place now where I know there is enough to sustain me, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I yearn for more knowledge and more ways to find and accept joy. I have had some things to deal with that I would not wish on worst enemy, and I survived.
I can honestly say that as I start to feel anxious I do my best to look at the anxiety and see where its level should be. I am so much better at analyzing the reality and lowering my stress level. It doesn’t matter how long it took to get here. All that matters is that I have more joyful, more peaceful, and less anxious days ahead.
I guess my meditation went where it needed to go.