Writing is a struggle against silence. Carlos Fuentes
My anxiety has been riding me hard for the past week. Some days; especially today that has made it hard to concentrate and get things done. I hate the feeling of being arrested and unable to accomplish anything. When it feels like every task – even finishing the laundry – is too much. I did get the laundry done today, but it feels like I didn’t accomplish much else.
This is so damn frustrating to me. I know I am capable of accomplishing many things. And yet, days like today happen where doing anything feels like an uphill battle against me. Even typing these words is a chore.
I want to write or journal, but it feels like I am in a tank of water and every motion I do takes the extra effort of working against not only the air, but the water too. I don’t want to be silent. I want to be able to speak up. Or write. Or communicate. I want to write – even when it is hard or scary. Perhaps, especially when writing is hard or scary.
I hate this feeling that fear is ruling my life. I want to live my life despite the fear I feel. I want to be able to do what I want to do. I want to accomplish things in a day; more than just getting the laundry done and feeling exhausted because it took that much exertion to just start it. So here I am, writing this blog post, trying to work over that feeling of not being able to accomplish anything today.
There is also that voice of doubt in the back of my head. This post is stupid. Why don’t you stop whining? If you post this to the internet people are going to think you are a whiner. You don’t want that, do you? Argh, listen up, doubt – please just shut the fuck up. All right? I am striving against the silence. I am writing despite the uphill battle. I don’t need your help.
©K. Klein 2012
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. ~Author Unknown
Last night was my first time doing yoga in a month because of being sick. And man did I feel the gap between my last yoga session and this one. I was super tight and stiff while warming up. Thankfully the instructor took us through a good warm up and I loosened up, but it reminded me why it is important to practice. Obviously, being sick is a good reason to take it easy, but hopefully I will be healthy the rest of this winter and then I shall need to stick with my practice.
Yoga, like my writing, is something that I love to do, but it doesn’t always come easily to me. It takes a long time to form a life changing habit – getting to form those grooves in the neural pathways of the brain. I still haven’t recovered my writing everyday or even near everyday habit that I broke at the end of grad school. Obviously school was important to me, but I am still upset that I haven’t gotten back on the horse, so to speak. I am writing, but not every day.
I would be astounded if I could get to doing yoga every day. Right now my goal is to practice 1-2 times weekly and once I establish that routine maybe put in another session. I don’t want to jump the gun now because I am trying to re-establish the every week yoga that I’d work on in the late summer and early autumn.
It is interesting to me to see how difficult it is to form new and good habits and so damn easy for me to fall back on already established habits. It is annoying because sometimes I know these established patterns of behavior are unproductive. (I’m looking at your anxiety freak outs). But as with all things, if I want to change myself, I have to try. And so here I am going at it one week at a time with yoga and one day at a time with writing.
©K. Klein 2012
What is an intention? An intention is not a goal. A goal is something that you measure and check off when you have completed it. An intention is a conscious gesture to align your mind, heart, imagination, and body with whatever act you’re about to begin. You attach yourself to your goal’s outcomes and assess your success accordingly. You let go of an intention’s outcome and let go of notions of success altogether. Goals guide business; intentions guide soul.
~By Jeff Davis from pg. 4-5 The Journey from the Center to the Page
What am I doing yoga for? I practice yoga to calm myself. I practice yoga to sweat and unwind the knots in both my mind and my muscles. When I step on the mat I try to set an internal intention. Why am I here today? The answer usually centers on my emotional state. Often I am combating my anxiety; trying to see the world from a new perspective.
Yoga does wonderful things for allowing my brain to relax and let go. Jeff Davis brings together yoga and writing in his book, which I quoted above. I often go into writing with goals. For example, I want to finish my rewrite by October 31; I need to hit at least 75,000 words. However, I don’t think I have ever set a writing intention. I am not sure what it would be.
Reading this book has sparked the question in my mind: what do I write for? Or perhaps even: why write? The latter is easier to answer than the former. Why write: because I cannot stop. (Not for lack of trying earlier in my life). Writing allows me to be a happier person; I write to revel in the flow and the joy of writing. However, the first question, I do not know the answer too. I shall have to think and reflect on it.
Davis goes on to say:
“An intention plants a seed, a suggestion that may manifest during that writing session or may not manifest until two weeks or a year later” (p5).
At this moment, I do not know what my writing intention is or what it will be. But I certainly have some food for thought. Do you set an intention before walking on the yoga mat? Do you set an intention before a writing session?
©K. Klein 2012
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I am weak. Most things are forgivable and I do try to work on being gracious in my daily life. However, some betrayals and choices are flat-out wrong. Some things truly are unforgivable.
I don’t much want to go into the gory details, but I am struggling right now. My anxiety and depression are eating at me. I have the solution for Chapter 16 or so I thought. And here I am. Too damn afraid to sit down and write because I am in turmoil. I am holding the anger because I don’t know how to let go.
This is ironic because I have not talked to my mom (or her husband) since said unforgivable stuff; I can’t lash out at her. So what do I do? I turn the anger inwards and it produces said anxiety and depression. Which I then try to ignore. I’ve mentioned that I don’t always play well with my emotions. I’m trying to avoid how I feel. And it is not working.
What I have gathered from several years worth of therapy is that forgiveness is not about the other person. It is about giving yourself peace. It does not condone the betrayal, but letting it go allows you to breathe easier. I get it intellectually. However, emotionally I am stuck somewhere in childhood; more or less having an internal tantrum. I think my tantrum is uglier, if less noisy than a child’s tantrums though. Most children are done in minutes; mine has been ongoing for years.
And yet, here I am, still unable to forgive my mom(or her husband). I’ve tried, but at this point I am still unable to let it go.
©K. Klein 2012
The icy fingers of fear crawl up my back; I shiver. Sleep won’t come. Who is there? That shadow moved. Am I really alone? My mind knows the house it quiet and I am the only one awake, but my body is convinced I am not alone. I tense up.
I stare into the unending pool of the internet; trying to lose the feeling of those cold fingers. But chills still creep up my spine. I chase sleep down a back-alley. It eludes me; it jumped the fence. And the fear follows as I sprint away from it; I reach a dead end and find I am trapped between fear and its enforcer anxiety.
The questions start to race in my mind. Who is there? What is happening? Oh my god, am I going to die? As my mind races, my heart follows and my breathing becomes shallow. I try to slow my breathing down, but can’t really. I have to stop entirely; sleep is gone. I lost it in my pursuit. Now I curl up in a ball as fear and anxiety beat me into submission.
©K. Klein 2012
Filed under anxiety, health