Anxiety

I can’t hold on to a single thought. There’s lots of them, they’re swirling, and they’re frightening, but I can’t see a single one of them clearly, and every attempt to grasp onto one and examine it for what it is, is as futile as my attempts to keep hold of this exact moment, to stop and and understand.

My composure is fleeting fast, and I’m making mistakes, because I can’t even think, because it’s all too much, because my heart is beating faster, and I feel that at one moment the pounding in my chest will reach it’s crescendo and follow up with a sudden STOP.

I’m gagged by some invisible object, that fills my mouth, preventing a breath.

This frightening moment, might be my last, and I don’t want to go – I’m normally well expressed, existentially understanding and stoically together but it’s just – CAN EVERYTHING STAY STILL FOR ONE MOMENT? This is ALL TOO MUCH to handle, just STOP AND LET ME THINK. But the next thought I cannot even fathom has already taken the place of this one, already I can’t-

Just a minute!? You need to listen to me, I’m telling you to listen to me, you need to stop and give me a breather, just for a moment! I’m telling you to, and you’re me, my mind, so you have to listen! Just stop! I tell YOU WHAT TO DO!

It’s NOT stopping.

I’m NOT stopping. I’m not listening. Why am I not listening to myself? I AM IN CONTROL. IF I CAN STOP THIS, WHY ISN’T IT STOPPING, I WANT IT TO STOP.

It DOESN’T STOP. I won’t ever get a break, unless my heart gives out which it might this exact second, and I don’t want my last moment to be this one, to be like this. I don’t want to be scared, and to be flustered, and to have faltering breath at my last moment. I want my partner, and my mother, to be with me, and for my thoughts to be of precious times, but instead I’m afraid, and lying on the floor, clutching at my own legs.

My heart is beating out of rhythm with my chest. It beats too fast, it fights against my expanding lungs and halts their expanse, and I can’t even get a full breath to calm myself down, which is what they tell you to do, so what if I’ve messed it up, and I can’t recover, and I’m about to die. I’m dying.

This has to be it – my heart is going to explode, or my brain is going to cease, simply because the pressure within it, has become too much. Perhaps a vessel will burst, and I will feel my life drain away, as red drips from my eyes.

I can’t even breath, I can’t even recover, this is it – JUST STOP. STOP. It’s too much! IT DOESN’T EVER… STOP. THIS MOMENT IS MY LIFE, AND IT WILL BE MY LAST MOMENT, BECAUSE THIS DOESN’T… EVER… STOP.

But it does stop, doesn’t it? Eventually after some time, the moment has passed and some semblance of control returns, although exactly when its snares released their entrapment, is unbeknownst to you. All you know now, is that you can stand.

And although your heart is still beating fast, it is slightly over now – and all that remains is residual guilt, plastered across your insides. You feel so foolish, for having lost. So stupid, for not even being able to control your own brain. Your entire body is distraught, and in need of support. All of that, just to lose to yourself.

But you haven’t lost. You have confused losing the battle, with having fought it. You’re body is tired, and your mind is frazzled – but the fact the moment has subsided, means that you are victorious. It has simply taken its toll upon you.

As with any battle, there are casualties to account for, and time is required to reassemble your forces. And so you may not feel as though it is over, when it fact it is. You’re simply in a process of triage, which is the start on the road to recovery. Your strength will return, in numbers, if only you give it time.

You are worth more, than how anxiety make you feel. You are winning, and while you are afraid in those moments, IT is afraid for ALL of the rest of the time where you are in control. You are merely throwing it a bone, by giving it some moments now and then. Do not feel guilty that they may return, unfortunately the same conclusions that you came to, that allowed you to beat it this time, may not work next time – but that does not mean, it will not leave.

You are okay. Remember this. You are okay, and everything, no matter what comes, will be okay. You will deal with it and conquer it, even if in the midst of the play by play of the fight, you are afraid, you will emerge victorious. You are okay.

And on those days when you are not okay, remember – that is okay too.

A Response to a Selfish Writer – RE: Orphans

All it takes is a great reader, a great speaker – a great writer – to challenge the absolute core of your beliefs. Of that which you are, and that which you stand for. And while this is the beauty of human interaction, that it makes us cement our values further or change them entirely, either way allowing us to grow stronger or in a different direction – equally it is an extremely dangerous tool when someone has manipulative intent for their own agenda.

I don’t often use the word “I” on this blog, or speak in the first person – as I try to talk to everyone and engage, rather than focus inwards. However, this is an exception.

To provide evidence to my point; I read an article from a rather selfish man (which is leading, I know), who had disabled comments on his blog, perhaps because he knew there would be a backlash from the ways in which he speaks. I am aware there are a number of reasons one might disable comments, but I digress. I will not call out the exact name of the post, or the authors name. This is not a doxxing attempt or a witch hunt. But in his post, he wrote very clearly and categorically that we should not feel sorry for orphans, because even non-orphans can be alone.

Now forgive my stunned silence, but these two points, are irrelevant. This would be as though I were to say, when a rich person dies, don’t feel sorry for them, because their family have money. Or that you can’t have a bad day, because there are war-torn countries whose people live in fear everyday. It doesn’t make sense. Pain and grief, good and bad, exist in all facets of life, in all manners, relative to that person whom is experiencing it or can determine a perspective upon it. Because someone else feels worse than you, does not mean you cannot feel bad also.

I cannot emphasise more strongly, how much you should ignore this kind of thinking, this kind of talking. This is someone, who had felt alone, as we all have and is deciding to inflict his own need for attention, his own requirement to be victimised, upon the reader. In doing this, he’s calling out a vulnerable group. Which is deplorable. This would be as though I were to say, “Don’t be appalled by police brutality towards an ethnic race in your country, I’m not that race and was pulled over for a speeding ticket the other day. I get it bad too.” It doesn’t make sense, and it’s just targeting a group to make a point, that you aren’t even making well.

Now to his credit, he then went on to say how he visited an orphanage and they were all living in the moment and enjoying life, free from a virtual world. Which is great… but this is not their fault. Because he feels sad, alone, perhaps distanced in an online world, does not somehow validate his point. We can still empathise with an orphan, who has lost their regular home, their security, and the loving embrace of parents. Equally, of course parents can be bad influences, but it is scientifically proven that significant trauma is likely to be caused in a child, whenever a significant life event happens upon their parents. E.g They leave the family, they pass away, they get divorced, etc.

Fortunately, the author wasn’t a great writer. He had numerous (obvious) spelling errors, and clearly did not manage to sway my views. But if he had been, someone may have walked away believing this. In fact, it had likes on it, so some people did.  Some people were convinced, that you should not empathise with an orphan, because you can feel alone, or lost in your own family. Of course you should empathise. Just because a non-orphan can feel sad or alone too, does not diminish in any way, the plight of the orphan.

To that point; what is upsetting, is that this author had numerous likes already on his post, after only posting it recently. Perhaps his blog had some followers already, or perhaps people who were vulnerable themselves, were easily swayed upon the read. And relatively, this post disputing his point, based on basic human kindness, may not receive any attention at all.

 

Serenity Now

Peace cannot be achieved, today and now, without an immense amount of effort. It takes everything to let fundamental disagreements, pain, and past unfairness subside in order to move forward without the anvil of the past weighing you down. It cannot be demanded, because by its very definition there can be no force and all parties must accept the conditions amicably.

Demanding peace is no more useful than demanding yourself to relax in a moment of panic. It’s a paradox. Fundamentally it cannot be rushed. It takes effort. It takes endurance, respect, and consistency.

What differentiates the villains from the heroes in old tales, and even blockbusters that we know of now – is that the villain must only succeed once to achieve their goal. If the villain wishes to cause terror, to take lives, and to exert their will, they need only do it once. Their world ending plan, or their terrorist attack – has to be only be achieved the one time. Terror, is spread easily – peace is a little tougher.

So we must be consistent. Stronger. Unwavering, and unfaltering. It begins not with magnanimous leaders that boast their own narcissism, but with the people who we often forget actually run the world – the people. It can only be achieved on the grand scale that it will, once the small behaviours of the people change. Once people remember to prioritise what they want most, rather than what they want now.

The next time someone skips you in a queue, or walks in front of you – do not storm and pout and get mad about it. Even if it irritates you in the exact moment, work hard to laugh, or joke, and move past it. Do not let the second, dictate the minute. Because very quickly, the minute can dictate the hour, and so on. Big things are only made up of small things, and it is our lack of vigilance on the small things that allows larger things to manifest themselves over time.

Talk about the small things; communicate towards a solution, as they arise. Accept that the solution may not be achieved immediately, but it cannot even begin to be worked upon until stakeholders are even aware that an issue exists. More so; do this with a smile. Do not assume maliciousness, where ignorance will do. If your waiting staff have not cleared away a table you wish to sit at, do not be so arrogant as to assume they are not doing their job, and complain of the terrible service – instead stop for a moment, consider it may be busy, and that by chance in this exact moment you spotted the table you want to sit at, they were dealing with other issues and unfortunately this was not their priority. In fact, if you have worked in the service or retail industry, you know this to be true. Be polite and kind, and with a smile bring it to someone’s attention. Think about it for a moment, from a perspective that is not your own. Imagine you are in their place, and how you would feel if someone spoke to you horribly. Equally, imagine the difference it would make if someone was kind to you, when everyone else was not. Simple actions, behavioural changes and understanding can change the world. You just must apply it to everything, every example that you can.

Say thank you with sincerity. Mean it, no matter who it is, or for what it’s for. As much as we like to believe in a society that there are certain rights we have, which we do not – such as the right to be served at a restaurant – we… don’t. Someone could just say, no.
“I have the right to refuse you, and I do.” So when you are served, when you would like to be – say thank you. And pleases are just basic manners.

Your opinion is not inherently worth more than anyone else. While of course, someone who is actually educated on a subject may have the facts to more accurately represent it, it does not mean they are any more important than the next person who wants to discuss it. Discussion is for everyone, so listen to everyone’s opinion. Do not simply wait for your turn to speak. Listen. Use it to change your own opinion, or cement it. Regardless of what it does, it is almost always certainly worth it, as long as the person on the other end is genuine.

IF we had wished to achieve serenity now, all of these things we should have begun to do a long time ago. But while we must be patient and wait a little longer, and to some degree this can be disheartening, simply remember the following phrase;

“The best time to plant a tree, is twenty years ago. The second best time, is now.”

This will guide you, and remind you that all things worthwhile require persistence, patience, consistency, and sacrifice.

This is all a lot to remember. And a lot to do. But the truth is, the small change in attitude brings about all of the following in turn, a domino effect. Once you approach everything with kindness, and acceptance first, all of your future decisions can be made by you in the moment, rather than requiring guidance, and a list of examples by which you can conduct yourself.

Use advice as your guidelines, not your rule book.

And finally, while peace and a global serenity may not be achieved tomorrow; while it will require an immense amount of effort and forgiveness on all sides; while it will require the removal of pride from the equation and the relinquishment of “the upper hand” of power – you can start today. You can be the best you can be, and as that’s all you can do – you as a human, and the ones you love close to you, can achieve serenity now.