The ocean pounds the shore, a peaceful noise. The air is warm, perfect. Birds sing, the coor of a dove. I have no place to be, no time constraint, nothing on my agenda, yet I am anxious. It is a disorder, not a choice.
With anxiety disorder, it’s always a battle. Sometimes I suffer with anxiety-proper, the panic that begins in my gut like a stab wound; sometimes it’s just a spider of restlessness crawling on my skin. It clings to me like a shroud of electric gloom that has nothing to do with what’s going on around. I am scared and irritable, making big deals out of small, because to me, to how I feel, everything is a weight on my shoulders, a pin prick in my flesh. A twisted ankle, hair in my eyes, nose itch: it’s a big deal. Even thinking hurts. Every action is war. To breathe is a fight.
I will not give in. One deep, slow breath can often clear my head a little. The burst of lemon zing or the zap of a strong mint can bring temporary relief. An ice-cold cloth on my forehead, or exercise, keeping moving. If I can meditate, it helps; if my mind only regurgitates the jumble of thoughts in my head, then not so much.
I’m sitting on a Mazatlan beach shivering with fear today, but I know – and will keep at the forefront in my mind – this won’t last forever. Like the sea, anxiety ebbs and flows. I await the tide change.