by Bella Rum
I’m in a funk. No, that’s not quite right. A funk implies depression or the blues, where you snuggle down under the covers and sleep until the world gets friendlier. This is more like marbles rolling around in the stomach, sandpaper on the skin, icy cold hands, and uneven breaths alternating with deep, gulping sighs. Sleep is an impossibility, and I’m sure that living with me isn’t a pleasant adventure right now. I guess you could call that anxiety. No one is sick or dying. I’m anxious about something that I can’t share on the Internet, but I can share the anxiety part of it. Aren’t you the lucky one?
This is my nature. It isn’t easy to go against your nature. I remember facing it as far back as elementary school. Do you remember those book reports we had to give in front of the class? I’m not sure kids today have to do them as often as we did, but teachers were big on them back in the day. I was always prepared within an inch of my life. I usually got an A, but my hands were clammy for a couple of days before the report, and my heart raced until I was back in my seat where I could slouch down and make myself as small as possible. I had an acute understanding of the fight or flight response early on.
I feel like I should have a handle on this by this time of life, that I should be able to beat this monster down, that I should know how to release things I cannot control? Well, I don’t. I do try. I do, but I can’t seem to get my icy hands around its ugly throat. I always feel helpless when I see a train coming and I’m tied to the tracks. Who doesn’t?
I never convince myself, but I tell myself all the usual things. If it’s out of my control, then why worry? Because a damn train is coming, that’s why!!!! Look at all those exclamation points! I guess now would be a good time to mention that I’m a little melodramatic, too.
The interesting thing is that I function like a pro once the train wreck happens. I’m all over that train wreck: repairing the damage, cleaning up the mess, comforting the wounded. That’s me.
I went to yoga yesterday, and I was grateful to be there. I thought meditation would help, and I think it would have, but for poor Frances. Frances is probably the oldest lady in our class. Just as we were going into the meditative part of our practice, she became ill. Our instructor sent someone for a cold cloth, and told us to lie down – with legs up the wall in a restorative pose. She attempted to guide us through our meditation while caring for Frances’ nausea, but the jig was up. I think it was pretty difficult for everyone. We were all concerned.
I approached Frances after class, and asked her how she was feeling. She said she was better, but she was so pitiful. Now I felt more anxiety for her. Concerned that she wouldn’t get home safely, I asked her if she could drive. She said she could. I didn’t know what else to do.
It’s been a troublesome week on a number of levels, but next week could be better. In the meantime, I’ll take a few deep breaths. It can’t hurt.
What do you do when something lousy is happening and you have no control? How do you react?