There is breath.

I wrote this in my journal the other morning when I woke up already in trouble. I consider the writing to be a win. I awoke to a brain running at a hundred miles an hour and anxiety beating at my brain before my feet hit the floor.

I am all jacked up. I hate this feeling of driven internal agitation. It’s one of the feelings that drove the bingeing and purging. I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin, crawling out of my head.

Slow, slow, slow. I say the mantra over and over again, silently. I repeat it in my brain. Slow down the thoughts, slow down the actions. Don’t let yourself get driven.

Breathe.

Calm the body. Close your eyes.

Breathe.

Don’t look around. Don’t look at the mismatched books on the shelves. Ignore the clutter that you’ve accepted as tolerable when your brain doesn’t feel like you’ve been mainlining caffeine.

It’s okay. It’s all okay. Feelings are not reality. It’s a hard lesson. That and the waiting. Wait. It will pass. Just wait. But no guarantee on how soon, no insider knowledge on when the wave will ebb.

Wait.

Unfortunately, I have a lifetime of reacting to the racing thoughts. Reacting in inappropriate ways, but reacting nonetheless.

It’s “fight of flight” without an external event. I want to run, to go fast so I can push the feelings away. There is a reason binges happen with speed.

It will pass. I wonder sometimes though, which I hate more, if “hate” is even the right word when I’m apathetic; is it the pits of depression or the frenetic rages which anxiety gifts me with on an unpredictable and random basis that are the most distasteful?

There are numerous tricks to dealing with anxiety. Numerous coping techniques. I know them. I read about them all the time. Sometimes, however, when anxiety strikes, the thoughts and coping techniques disappear. You can’t think your way out. One thing for me remains, however. I can grab onto one thing.

Breath.

Breathe. Deep and slow. Observe it. Be aware of it. In and out to a slow count for as long as you need.

When all else fails, there is breath.

What’s your go-to for anxiety?

4 thoughts on “There is breath.

  1. I have to agree with you – breathing works for me, too. It helps slow everything down and allow my brain to think more rationally.

    Have you thought about making a list of things that help you, and placing it somewhere that is easily accessible so that you can reach for it when you need it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot how they call it, but several years ago, I read about a coping box. You take a shoe box and fill it with things that calm you down/ make you feel better/ etc. That way, you can just reach for that box, open it and go to town.

    Liked by 1 person

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