Excuse me pals, but I am having a tough time. For the first time in my adult life, I'm considering therapy. Historically I'm no more anxious than the average person, but lately I've been going into internal panic spirals. There's a cloud of converging circumstances I've alluded to that probably have something to do with this, and maybe part of it is just being in mid-life, but the real trigger for me is the phrase "nuclear war" coming up in my news feed. I don't know the actual likelihood of it happening and I don't want to know, all I do know is that seeing the words send me right back to being a little kid again and I was a basket case of a little kid. I couldn't surmount my worries about things I couldn't control, and those things included everything, from being murdered in my bed at night to the arms race of the 1980s. It's not a good experience for a child. Nobody could help me then as much as they tried, I just had to outgrow it, and I was lucky I did. Oh, but I feel now like I did then, this familiar inability to stop imagining the worst scenarios. I am well aware that this way of thinking is not remotely helpful. For the past 30 years I've been able to manage myself pretty well, heading off unproductive and damaging thoughts at the pass, but it's not so easy anymore. I can't accept the idea of feeling like this all the time, it's not good for me or my family. Yoga still helps a lot, mentally, and limiting my media intake still helps, and Mike is a mensch and a miracle of a partner, but even combined it doesn't seem to be enough anymore. I understand that I can't control a lot of things, but I can get help to control the way I react to them. So, the adventure begins.
I hadn't planned to write about something so raw and personal, especially considering that many people close to me might not know I've been teetering for awhile, but looking back on what I've written in here the past few months, it can't be much of a surprise. It's not like I'm ashamed of my vulnerability. It's good to get these things out in the open, especially since I know I'm not alone. Being human in a world of mostly good humans at the mercy of the few really, really bad ones, honestly I can't believe everybody isn't in therapy every moment from birth.
Otherwise, conversely, and really I should have led with this because I want it to be the topline of my existence, life has been full of light and celebration. This past weekend we went up to my hometown so my parents could throw a reception for my brother's recent nuptials, and it was so great to just be together, having fun and enjoying each other's company for joyous reasons. Also it was confirmed that three of my first cousins are bringing new lives into the world this fall, more cherished babies from awesome people, and that right there is a blast of hope and healing. It was strange, and not strange at all to be at my parents' house after not being there for an entire year, the longest I've gone in my life. I've seen all the family, we've just convened either at my house or my sister's, but that location will always be home, always part of me, and to go an entire year without crossing its borders is inconceivable. Also, shit, time goes by really really fast. Was it really a whole year? Feels like yesterday. I'm thrilled I got to see one of my oldest friends even if it was for too short of a time, and I ate all the delicious foods and danced and partied and basked in the love and HR had an absolute blast and overall it was wonderful, a beacon at the center of the debilitating storm that is my headspace lately. That I have this at my disposal needs to be my focal point, I know it, I just need a wrangler for awhile to assist me in shifting my perspective.
Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. Just getting it out there already feels better.