She is camped outside of my house of dreams. Luckily, she isn’t daring entrance into that place where there is still peace. Anxiety’s cousin has joined the efforts to find a permanent room in the house of me. I feel her presence like a heavy leaden cloak around my shoulders when I pass from that inner world of quiet into this world.
So I am going to write myself through this journey. I am going to keep reaching beyond this cloak that weighs down my shoulders. I am going to step out on this road knowing that there are others who also walk it. I am going to use the one way that I can still reach out enough to touch others and I am going to fight this visitation that has held me down at other times of my life.
There is a realization in the timing of this visit. For a long time now I have kept them at bay by being singular, not risking breaking out of my quietness into sharing with others. I had stopped trying, in any true sense of meaning to develop a community in my life. Fearing that I would not be enough, or even that I would end up ruining the party, I have kept myself from going.
I had begun risking that as-much-as-I-am was enough and had begun touching my toe into the rivers of relationships with others again. Anxiety came screaming in. Though not present in an active way, she had still maintained some control on my life by keeping me isolated. If I broke out, if I develop relationships outside of me, she might have to move further away. All the feelings of not being enough became offerings on my door step to keep me inside.
It is like the words of the woman who has no fear of what she says. They know me well she said and goes on to share a story about how my anxiety rode along in a car with us on a scavenger hunt. She laughed at the story somehow not seeing that I wasn’t laughing too. I couldn’t help but remember the time she told me I was her “token friend”-like-me. People have a way of letting you know that you are not enough without fitting their mold.
I have to listen with every fiber of my soul for the other voices if I am going to make this journey to the sanctuary of healing where I can break the hold Anxiety and Depression have had on my life at so many junctures of change. Doing-it-alone was able to distance the Two from the central house but not get them out of the neighborhood. This time, I can’t try to be enough even if parts of me are happiest in the silence of my arts. I have to care for the parts of me who fall susceptible to the beckon of the Two because I leave them alone too much. I hold them back from the relationships because I hate the way Anxiety has of showing up there.
This has not been the story of my life, just the story of what I have become. I can move forward in the story. I can begin writing a new chapter from this place I am right now.
I shared this on Facebook, words of a friend who comes to visit sometimes from another town:
Yesterday a friend really made my day. I struggle with an anxiety disorder that, though better, rears its ugly head sometimes still. I was visiting with this friend yesterday and mentioning how my anxiety can make being around me trying. My friend said, “It’s good to have self-knowledge, but you are worth it.” I think that sometimes, that is all it is. Needing to honestly look at where we can grow but still being able to know we are worth it.
These are the kind of words I will need to listen to and remember in this next while. These and the caring words of others who share their own journeys. I will have to grasp outward with all my might but with the grace of respect and caring that is in the core of my beliefs.
Dear friends who read this, never give in to Anxiety’s and Depression’s siren call for isolating your life. Keep struggling to find your balance of relationships with others. I listened for too long this time around. It is time that I keep taking one more step then one more step into the world of others. It will not be easy. Anxiety and Depression know all my triggers far too well. My art and writing will anchor me and I will trust that the One who has been there for me before will be there for me again as I make this journey to the sanctuary of being enough just as I am.