Sunday, September 5, 2010

Whispers at Dawn

My therapist told me, during one visit early this summer, that in order to bring peace to my mind I had to focus on the "what is" rather than the "what if." Little did I know how much I would need that gem of wisdom so soon thereafter-

As I am writing this, my neutral-ground..
my rock.sound asleep, right now, across
 from me,with our 3 year-old son,\
 in our hotel room.
Anxiety has been my companion now for over a week, triggered almost entirely by my worries about certain of my children-  worries that are consuming me, that frighten me to my core.  At worst, worries that cause me to weep, wringing my hands together, pressing my face against the walls of my shower, the water pouring over me in an impromptu baptism- "please, God, please...please...I'll do anything, God, anything you want...just please let my kids be okay...please...."

After a particularly rough night, this past Monday, I woke up Tuesday morning, before sunrise, to my husband snoring at my back.  My heart was running a marathon, the tingling had begun, and my mind was speeding by me so fast that I couldn't catch what it was saying- except that we were in trouble.  It was still dark outside of my bedroom window, but the sky had begun its chameleon shift into shades of lighter blue, pink, maybe lavender. And, in that moment I knew what I had to do- I knew that there was no way I could face the day ahead of me unless I got a hold of those thoughts and changed them.  So I kindly nudged Tom- "Baby.....Baby.....Baby...I need you....Baby...I need you to tell me what is..please just tell me what is?  baby.because I can't remember and I need to know right now- right now."    "Judy- we have a good family- the family we wanted.  we love each other and we are good together.  We've got issues to overcome but they are easier than they seem right now. You are a great mother- Are you perfect? No.  But you're great- and you can't see that when your mind is spinning- but I can and the kids can.  We chose these children.  And they are going to be fine.  Some of them have problems-no doubt.  But you are working hard on getting them  reasonable solutions- and right now, that is all you can do.  Judy- I love you, and we are going to be okay.  We are already okay-better than okay, in fact.  We are strong when we are together, we love our kids and they know that- and everything else we are going to figure out. "

Armed with that, I got up and made it through my Tuesday, though almost every day since then I have had to stop and ponder "what is?" or ask my husband to remind me again. 

I keep telling this ball and chain- this anxiety- that it must move on now, but it is rather stubborn and is loitering, surprising me around a corner, or showing up somewhere on the path that I walk meanders into my consciousness and offers very unhelpful information-the kind I call the what ifs.  But I'm learning, without the assistance of medication, to be with those uncomfortable feelings, and to talk them out of sticking around.  I hear my husband's words, from my heart, and I whisper to my racing mind- "listen, is the truth- this is what is."  And then somehow or other, I know, that I'm going to be fine.


Deidre said...

And another what is--you have a friend, granted she is hundreds of miles away, but she loves you deeply and admires your soul and your strength and your resilience and especially your wicked sense of humor.
I can't say that I have walked in your "anxiety shoes" but you know that I have experienced other battles that you know well. I know that you will continue to move forward and find peace in this very moment, even if it takes more strength than you think you have. I know you have it. i know that there is a bright,shining brilliance in you that illuminates every space around you even in your darkest moments because I feel it, even hundreds of miles away I feel it and I know that Tom and Lily, Liam, Ben and Seth feel it too.

Dawn said...

My goodness... so beautiful.... I am so blessed to know you!!!!
Love ya , Dawn

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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